Thursday, August 22, 2013

What's next?

This year is quickly coming to an end. I know it's weird to say that since it's only August, but seriously. Seems like only yesterday it was snowing while I was running the Dash and Dine on April 30th. 

What I really mean is: the races I'm signed up to do this year are almost done and while I'm planning on doing the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k in San Francisco the day before my 30th birthday, I'm not signed up yet. What I am signed up for is the Bear Chase 50k and the Denver Marathon.  Both races should be a huge challenge, and here's why: 

- I've run both races in the past. I know the course so I should, in theory, come really well prepared as I'm well aware of what I'm up against. 
- I've become a better athlete/runner- I have a pretty awesome coach, and he makes me work hard. The day I hired him, I basically committed to getting better, and I've seen a HUGE improvement. 
- I have PR'ed most my long-distance races in the past year. I have had goals an met them. Knowing the courses, these are the races I should actually be a little harder on myself. 
- Denver marathon held my marathon PR for 4 years until I crushed it in San Francisco in October 2012, and crushed again in NoLa in February 2013. Will be nice to have Denver take the #1 spot again. 
- Most my PR's are held in my home-state: my 5k, 10k, half marathon, 50k and half Ironman PR's were all Colorado races. I hope I can bring back the marathon to that list. 
- Most my PR's were achieved in 2013: my 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon... I should keep the trend going. 

Training is ramping up again, so I feel I should at least be able to accomplish a PR at Bear Chase. It's always scary to publish a goal time because then I'll have someone (I know I have AT LEAST a couple readers) to hold me accountable. Last year I had told myself I wanted to finish in under 6 hours, I finished in 5h59m11s. Mission accomplished. What is my goal this year? I would like to finish in 5h51m20s. Why this random number?  Well, it's just a 15s improvement per mile. I think it's achievable, yet challenging. 

Bear Chase time in 2012
As for Denver Marathon, I don't know how to "time" it just yet.  My San Francisco and NoLa times are so far off what my fastest Denver times are, that I feel like I shouldn't even compare.  San Francisco was very hilly, but at sea level and I was very well trained. NoLa happened after I got pleurisy, so I was not very well trained but managed to beat San Francisco's time because (I think) it was also at sea level (and below) and it was very very flat. Maybe my legs weren't tired?  I don't know. Realistically, and don't take my word for it just yet, I should be able to run a 4h18m- not so hilly course, but at elevation, with not very fresh legs. This will put me right in between my San Fran time and my NoLa. It would still be a 30+ minute difference between my last Denver and this one. 

What's next, you ask? My wedding and my 30th birthday. Both events: kind of a big deal.  But then comes 2014.  A year of challenges. I have two big races in mind: the Silver Rush 50 and the one and only TransRockies Run. The Silver Rush is one of the Leadville Trail Series races and while I've run the distance in the past, it's still a distance you can't just run "off-the-couch" and much less in a race like Silver Rush: technical and at elevation. I have not signed up and registration opens January 1st. 

TransRockies deserves it's own post, but not just yet. I can tell you a little bit about it so you know what I'll be prepping for the next few months. It's a 6-day stage run, which means you run a marked course 6 days in a row (it is a race). Each day is different and your official finish time is the sum of all 6 days. You can run it solo or as a team of 2- I'm running it with Theresita. In the end, we will run 120 miles, with 20,000ft of elevation gain in 3 different counties in only 6 days. I understand this may not be appealing to many people, but think about it. Doesn't that sound like the ultimate challenge for a distance runner trying to get away with her all-time running partner and best friend?  The answer you're looking for is yes. It's the perfect fit for this girl. Further TransRockies talk to follow, like I said, this race deserves its own post. 
TransRockies - Here I come!
As for today, I'll be running my last Stroke and Stride, which is the same course as Dash and Dine. Will I PR? Probably not, but I still don't want to take the 5K PR away from my engagement night... Maybe I'll leave that as a 2014 goal. 

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