Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Welcome to 2011

Goals for 2011

1) Raise $14,000 for development programs with WHM in Uganda
2) Speedwork or tempo runs twice a week

3) No less than 50 miles per week, including recovery weeks
4) Get weight down to 163 lb.
5) Finish well

6) Kick butt

Setting running goals for the year is often just an extension of the natural human desire to want to aspire to something. Even then, setting running goals is often a crap shoot. 12 months is light years away, making goals set in January seem rather outdated in April. Last year, I had a number of result-oriented goals that made good sense when I made them, but often failed to take into account current health and other conditions necessary to turn them into reality.

In the process of setting running goals for 2011, I realized that in order to get to where I want to go with this running experiment, I needed to do things differently. While the desire to compete well is still strong, there comes a point where you know that you can only compete well if you train well. I need my body to be at its peak condition, which means taking care to run for quality as much as it is to run for quantity this year.

Goal 1 is a given; it keeps me grounded so that whether I come in 1st or last, my passions stretch far beyond the race course.

Goals 2 & 3 are measures of consistency and quality in my training. I want to make sure that I put in quality runs every week and that every week has the quantity necessary to sustain an excellent performance from mile 1 through mile X. I want to limit those gaps where I am losing focus and losing ground.

Goal 4 is a measure of discipline and a recognition that being excellent at one thing (running) requires discipline in all things. Diet has never been a huge issue, but the goal is really to tighten the reins on what I need to do off the course to support what I do on the course. I am a whole person and although I still need to enjoy myself, I also have to be smart if running is something that I place as a priority at this stage in my life.

Goals 5 is there to remind me that the hardest thing is life is to finish well. That last 10% of any endeavor is always the hardest to do because of the temptation to be satisfied with the first 90% and not push the pain/discomfort threshold. It is the point where there is the most to gain and the most to lose. This year, I want to be most satisfied with the last 10% of each and every race because the race doesn’t end until I break the tape. Goal 6 is just one of goals that we all want to do in each and every area of our life. There’s no secret to it, although it really preceeds from the other 5 goals on my list.

As far as my race calender for 2011, I’ve streamlined it down trying to focus on a few key goal races for the year. I needed to stremline and prioritize if I wanted to expect peak performance at those goal races. I also needed to provide ample time between races to recover (minimum 5 weeks) and get back to 100%. As of now, my goal races for 2011 are the Miwok 100k, San Diego 100, Angeles Crest 100, Firetrails 50 and an as-of-yet unidentified marathon. Although Leadville is still pending depending on the timing of a mission trip to Uganda with my wife, it’s a reasonable healthy list of races. Miwok and Firetrails are especially good tests because I get to run the trails used in these two races all the time here in the Bay Area. Other than that, I am just looking forward to reconnecting with all my running friends again out on the trails and roads and wish everyone the best for 2011. The season is upon me fast and the Redwood Park 50k is 3 short weeks away....it’s just about “go” time.