A very belated Happy New Year. Some day I'll get my stuff together and manage to say that at a more apt time.
So, as the post title states, these are my goals and plans for the coming year. Disclaimer: these are tentative and subject to change at a moments notice.
First let me say that it is hard for me to make Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals* (credit to Dirtdawg). If you have followed this or know me, you know I work shift work. As a refresher, this means a different 8 hour (hopefully) shift each week. Along with this is a rotating day off. My schedule looks like this-11 pm - 7am - Monday off. Next week 3pm-11pm Tuesday off. Next week 7am-3pm Wednesday off ....and so on. Twice in a three week period that means a quick change of work 8, sleep a few hours and back for the next weeks shift. When my day off rotates to Saturday, which this years is on 7am-3pm shift I also have Sunday off and as it notes above I would have Monday off on 11pm-7am. That is my precious Long Weekend. Once every six weeks. If you've followed this you can see why it is hard to make big plans or travel for races and events. Now throw in some overtime-voluntary and forced and working without a day off and it gets even more complicated. Most days I am pretty proud of what I accomplish in training and my race results. Okay, enough with the griping about work and the quick pat on the back. On to my goals.
I have many short term or smaller goals for the year and I'll mention these first. My first goal is to do an event when the opportunity presents itself. Many times I'll have a day off or my schedule will allow me to do an event that doesn't involve hours of travel. Usually I'll blow these off and make some excuse. Then when the day dawns bright and sunny I'll kick myself for not going. Not this year. I've already signed up for one event, the Badger State Winter Games trail run. I have to work 3pm-11pm that day but it is close enough that I can get there, do a 5K and get to work. These events won't be big or main goals but I can treat them as hard workouts or tempos. I don't expect amazing results, just a good time and a chance for some friendly competition.
My next smaller goal is to do as many WORS races as I can. This is the Wisconsin Off Road Series. These are mountain bike races held across the state of Wisconsin. Great races and great competition. I did enough the minimum last year to get an overall score but want to do more this year. I raced the Sport Class but am leaning to doing the SingleSpeed class this year. A little smaller class than the age group classes but the singlespeed class is just one class-no age groups. I bought a singlespeed last summer and really enjoyed it. Just point it down the trail and go. No worries about shifting and gears. On the other hand there is more emphasis on keeping forward momentum going and reading the trail. To give me a little added impetus to do more of these my better half, Tammy has taken a huge interest in mountain biking and is planning on trying a couple races. Plus, some of the venues throw in a trail run before the biking so I can get in some extra racing. And I really love trail running. This leads me to my first BHAG*(see above).
I want, no, lets make that need, to do a trail ultra this year. I've been shooting my mouth off for a couple of years and Tammy keeps telling me to shut up and do it. So, it's on my calendar, tentatively. There is a 50K in early May on my long weekend. It would be a long drive and I honestly believe I can do a 50K. Fast? No. Finish? Yes. I just need to put in a few long runs before then and hit the trails as soon as possible after the snow melts. I have done a couple long cross country ski workouts already in preparation for the Birkie so I am getting in some time on my feet. I just need to commit to registering and making it a firm plan.
My other BHAG is to do a fall marathon and run a Boston qualifying time. I need to run a 3:30, unless they change the standards, plus I should be able to move up an age class since I would be 50 by the time I could possibly run Boston. Is this an achievable goal? Yeah, I think so. I have only run one marathon, the Whistlestop, in 2008. I ran a 3:43 using very hit and miss training and only one long run, a 20 miler about 3 weeks before the marathon. I think if I take it seriously and plan better that I can squeak under 3:30. Plus, I would like to find a little bigger race with pace groups. That takes away the stress of always glancing at the watch and figuring splits. Plus, I am notorious for going out WAY too fast.
My first real goal of the season is to have a good Birkie and finish in sub 3:30. I skied a 3:49 last year while skiing the last 5K on a broken ski/binding which didn't hold my boot to the ski. I pretty much double poled the last 5K. I haven't been out on the skis as much as I would like but I still have a month and I feel I can nail this first goal of the season. Hopefully that will get me off to a successful and competitive year.
Again, I have to mention my disclaimer-my schedule. Yeah, I know, pretty lame. Lots of people have busy lives and fit in more. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
My last goal is to update this blog more, at least once per week. I'll let you know how that goes. Or I guess you'll find out along with me. So, follow along and see if this shift working silent sports junkie can live up to his goals. As my Dad is fond of saying " Don't let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird ass".