Maybe it is the Type A personality in me, but I have to plan ahead. Not having much of 2010 planned is grating on me. First, how about some overarching goals:
- minimal road running except for weekly morning runs
- increase whole-body strength thereby increasing long-term endurance
- less events and more high-quality, high-caliber events
- more volunteering at local trail events
- foster and lead some trail maintenance projects
- more FA 50K+ training runs with fellow trail runners
- continue to grow and spread the word about NE Ohio trails and surrounding trails in central Ohio and western Pennsylvania
- help those with the inner desire to go further and longer and challenge themselves to previously untouched limits and push through them
While I have nothing against road running, my passion currently lies on trails where I can escape to. As of now, I do not plan on running any road marathon or ultras in 2010. I may run a trail marathon at Bobcat, though. Instead, I want to focus on a few key events in 2010 and use other events as building blocks to the end goals. In my personal life, I am shedding some personal commitments I held for the last few years but my Navy responsibilities will be and have taken an up-tick in time requirements and I don't anticipate that slowing down. My previously thought plan on deployment to the Middle East will most likely not happen in 2010, after all.
Here are my open-ended thoughts about 2010:
January: I've been maintaining a long trail run in the mid-20s in mileage since the Oil Creek 100 so I'm pretty much ready for the Winter 50K Run for Regis on the 3rd weekend. I will treat it as a training run and won't race it for fear of reversing the healing of my left adductor muscle.
February: weekend long runs as normal with an Oil Creek FA 50K that I'm organizing on the last weekend of the month covering one loop of the Oil Creek 100 course. Great elevation work that I need as I inch closer to my goal race in May. Slow, steady, and practiced nutrition is the goal. Weekly mileage in February should be in the 50-60 miles per week range.
March: my Navy duties will take center stage this month but an opportunity for a day-long run/hike on the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia will most likely present itself. This will be awesome training for MMT in May. Since I don't anticipate getting to the Shenandoah Valley to train on the MMT course as many recommend, I need this type of training and 2 months before MMT is perfect timing. My plan will be to go out on the AT for as long as I can with no aid/support except for what I carry with me. Continued mileage per week will be maintained along with longest runs pushing past 30 miles. I will probably run the Fools 50K on the last weekend in March.
April: more Navy duties will make it difficult to peak as I should this month. However, I will try to fit in mid-day multi-hour steady-state trail runs as I can. As we come into Spring in NE Ohio, some time on the rock-beds in the Brecksville Reservation and more running in Mill Creek Park on the rocks will be a part of it. At least one back-to-back high-mileage training run is needed.
May: May 15/16 Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 (paid my entry today so I'm in...for sure!)
June: focused downtime with no events and more trail time to foster recovery
July: slow re-build in mileage with the Buckeye Trail 50K as the first return to 30+ mileage since MMT.
August: volunteer at the Burning River 100 on July 31st/August 1st followed by steady-state trail running throughout the month with no events planned
September: volunteer at the YUT-C 50K in Youngstown followed by running my 2nd 100-miler of the year, the Bear 100. It takes place on the last Friday/Saturday of September, the same weekend as the Akron Marathon. This is tentative right now and no firm commitment for many months, but it is a heavy consideration. The Bear 100 is a 35 hour time limit event with 22,000 feet of elevation gain. It takes place in the Wasatch/Bear River Range in Utah and Idaho. I watched the Bear 100 DVD back in September and fell in love with it. It is a down-home, old-school 100-miler with a $150 entry fee with some great traditions. It kicks off from Logan, UT, a short 2 hr drive from Salt Lake City, UT. This event is over 4 months post-MMT so my participation in MMT should not interfere with this unless injury presents itself. History has it that the race directors run the event itself. Here is the video from September 2009 that Phil Lowry put together, co-race director of Bear.
October: if I do the Bear, then Oil Creek is out for 2010. I've really been missing Oil Creek since running it in October and have been leaning towards running it again in 2010 but I really want to get out there and experience other events and other parts of the country, especially the mountains out west. So if Bear becomes a reality, October will be a month of recovery and rest.
I think that's far enough for planning right now. It's a simplistic schedule, for sure, but that's where my heart is right now. I don't crave road marathons and I don't crave a jam-packed schedule. I have loved my time since Oil Creek...a time of not doing much of anything except for resting when I want and running when I want and for as far as I want with no real schedule. Not having a bunch events in 2010 will foster this even further.
Happy Trails, everyone! If you're on the Buckeye Trail this Saturday morning, say "Hi!"