But something's gotta change first.
So…I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do next year. I actually started rethinking my goals for next year during the Death Valley Trail Marathon. I had a lot of time to think out there.
Do I want to keep doing marathons? Do I want to keep doing ultras? Do I want to continue my runstreak (Day 65 now)?
What do I want?
I feel like there are things I need to do next year…things I didn't finish this year...unfinished business. But right now I don't want to train for a 100 miler. I don't want to do Death Valley again.
Mostly, I don't want to be slow.
And that's my problem. I don't want to just finish or just get them done. I don’t want to have to worry about missing cutoffs. I want to finish strong AND fast. I don’t want to do a 100 miler or DVTM again until I know I can do them well.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about the Savage Gulf Marathon. I don’t really want to do it. I’ve seen the pictures and it’s beautiful but it’s also incredibly hard. He told me that right now, I wouldn’t be able to do it because I couldn’t make the cut off. Ouch! I know he’s right but damn it…I don’t want him to be right! :( Yeah, I know that’s contrary of me because I said I don’t want to do it but I do want to be that runner that he thinks COULD do it. Does that make sense?
One of the things that really frustrates me is that I see others who've been running as long as I have (or less) and they are running a LOT more…doing 100s or marathons every weekend…and getting PRs left and right. They’re pulling out BQs and going sub 24 at a 100 and running 20 min 5Ks. How come I'm not doing that? Why am I getting slower? What am I doing wrong?
I WANT to run ultras but I want to be fast too. I'm not sure I can do both right now. I think I need to work on getting my speed back. Really work on that. I can do that, right? It's not impossible. Nothing is impossible.
As much as I don’t want to, I think I need to cut back on racing long next year. Less tapering and recovering will give me more time to fit in speed work and tempos and hopefully leave me less exhausted so I can be faster. Right now I’m thinking that 3 marathons next year is all I should do. 2 for fun and 1 for fast. MAYBE 1 or 2 ultras in the form of a 10 HR or 12 HR so there's no pressure and I can just do what I want. I plan to fill up the rest of the year with 5Ks, 10Ks, and Halfs. Not a lot but enough to keep me satisfied and get me running/racing fast.
It's so hard because there are so many great races out there. How do I pick just a few to do? I love racing. I love the atmosphere and pushing myself. Or at least I used to. It hasn't been like that lately so that's why I know I need to change something or I'll burn myself out. I definitely don't want to do that.
Here's what I'm planning:
My first marathon in 2013 will be the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico in March. It's hard and hot and sandy but I want to experience it before the veterans are gone.
Then I will use that as a jump off for the Run Under The Stars 10 Hour Endurance run in Kentucky in June. I might do the Nanny Goat again or a 50K in May to celebrate my 45th birthday. Something special. (I'm open to ideas!).
After RUTS, I'll have 2.5 months to get ready for Leading Ladies in August. I think this will be the marathon that I race. I think I can do really well there. I liked the course and it was a beautiful place to run. Plus, I would like to explore more of the area.
My third marathon next year will hopefully be the Flying Monkey. I want to go back and run that better. I want to run it rested and after having trained specifically for it. I know it probably won't be a PR marathon for me but I want to put in a good effort there.
Right now I'm signed up for 2 half marathons in 2013 - the New Years's Half on January 5th and the Rock 'n Roll Los Angeles on October 27th. I would like to do at least one more new state next year so will look for something fun to do somewhere but the rest will probably be local halfs.
And then I'll fill in the year with a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks.
My goal is to drop my PR for the 5K through the marathon next year. I'll flesh that out more the closer we get to 2013 but I wanted to put that out there for now. I also have an idea for my theme for next year but I'll wait on that too.
For now, I want to end on a fun note...I may not be having the greatest month running/riding wise...but I have had some good stuff happen. RIF #72 Natalie (@NattieRuns) was doing a SUPER Fundraising Raffle on her blog and I won not one but TWO items in the raffle! How cool is that? I won an Oiselle shirt and a bling holder from Allied Medal Displays. Allied Medal Displays contacted me last Monday and let me choose the display I wanted and it arrived a couple of days later. This is the one I chose.
I might need a reminder of that every now and then though. Feel free to kick me in the butt if I start whining again. :)