Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 racing and training goals

I recently had the privilege of helping a friend with pacing duties at the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville State Park, an hour north of Houston. Micky is a veteran distance runner, and he has lofty goals for most of his races. Just two weeks prior, he ran a marathon in Phoenix in 2:55, and wasn't happy with it. Micky and I met at a race, the 2010 Silver Rush 50 in Leadville. We were both using that race to gear up for our first Leadville 100 five weeks later. After the race, we exchanged numbers and have been racing and training together ever since.

Houston skyline
My duties were to consist of pacing from miles 60-100, texting Micky's friends and family updates on his progress, and meeting him every 20 mile lap with his personal items. This was to be my first time in this type of role, as usually I am the racer. I was excited to be there and I wasn't alone. The crowd was buzzing with energy too. A lot of warm hugs and words of encouragement are shared prior to the 6am start. 3-2-1...and they're off. The energy is infectious and I quickly remember why I love racing. A flood of adrenaline sends goose bumps to my skin and butterflies to my gut. I have the itch, the drive. I want to race.

This year, just like Micky, I too have lofty goals for my racing schedule. I have outlined my season around four major races.
  1. HITS half Iron-distance triathlon. May 18th in Grand Junction, Co.
I really wanted to get a long tri race in this year as I have not raced a triathlon since my 2009 Ironman Arizona finish. May would be hard for me to commit to the full Iron-distance, but I do think that the half will be the perfect season kickoff. Breaking the 5 hr mark would be an ideal goal. I believe that in my triathlon days I was a more well rounded athlete. This HITS race will keep me honest, and force me to swim.
  2. a.Hardrock 100. July 12th-14th in Silverton, Co.
Hardrock would be a honor to be able to try.Ultimate goal is to finish before the 48 hr time limit. I have a backup plan for this race because I am 12th on the "first timers" wait list. That's close enough for me to gear my training for that specific race right now. It wont be clear till May or June if I will get in. If I am not brought to the entry list, my backup plan is the Grand Mesa 50.
  2. b.Grand Mesa 50. July 27th in Grand Mesa, Co.
The Grand Mesa was a great race last year for me. I used it to get my final miles in before Leadville. A challenging course just a few weeks out from Leadville is the perfect approach.
  3. Leadville 100. August 17th in Leadville, Co.
 I will then toe the line for my fourth start at Leadville. Goal for this one would be another under 25 hr finish, but just to finish is the mission. I love this race. I love this town.
  4. ING NYC Marathon. November 3rd in New York, NY
My final race of the season will be the New York Marathon. I grew up back east and watched many a NYM finish from behind the barricades in Central Park as a young adult. This will be my first official marathon and I think a 3:10- 3:15 is a reasonable time after an already long season. I would love to be able to just enjoy this one.

Unfortunately, Micky rolled an ankle at mile 36 and could no longer go on. He has had a prior injury to that ankle, and there was no "walking it off" this time. I spoke to him a week after the injury and he is healing his wounds. I need him to be well to pace me at Hardrock, this July.
I was only able to run 2 miles in Huntsville State Park, but I came home with a lot more... a renewed drive to race.