>After Louisville, I made the conscious decision to relax for a bit. Part of this decision was because of a few activities I had on the horizon: Dani’s wedding, kicking off flag football season, and a couple weeks of long hours at work. I wanted to recover well from the IM, and make sure I had the energy and the mental desire to put in one last hard training block this fall for upcoming Clearwater and JFK.
Those weeks of rest are over, however, and it’s time to get back to the grind. Part of getting back to it has been thinking about next year. I have only a couple races left now in 2009, and neither of which was a focus race for me for the year; those are behind me now, so it only makes sense to start planning the next. Plus, I have to start registering for them now, or I won’t make it in them. I have a couple core goals for next year; one of which is to really get after it in the IM distance. I signed up for IM Wisconsin 2010, and I’m pretty pumped about it. I really think that if I set my sights on that race (and don’t randomly decide to do Western States 8 weeks beforehand….) I can really make some moves. Looking at it now, my goal would be: 1:14/5:55/3:40. Yes, you read right, I have managed to convince myself that I can go sub-11.
My other big focus of the year will be on 3-Days of Syllamo in March. The distances of this race can vary depending on weather and trail conditions, but essentially it’s a 50K on Friday, 50 Mile on Saturday, and 20K on Sunday. You add your times together and the lowest combined time wins. Some pretty legit women have been known to show up for this weekend, so it will be a good test for me. The past 2 years Ashley Nordell has not only won it for the women, but she swept first place for females in all the races. If I can’t win it, my goal would at least be to prevent a sweep like that!
Knowing that I need to be in peak shape for a March race is a little daunting – I am not ready for hard training in the winter. But, whatevs, I’m awes and I will do it. My plan for the rest of the year is to do 2 three week training cycles leading up to a mini taper for clearwater that will extend into JFK (sounds so easy….). Then I will take the usual week off during Thanksgiving before getting back into it in December. I will hopefully be pacing a friend out at Hellgate 100K, and there are a couple new 50K’s I have my eye on. More than anything else I just want to be refreshed and ready to go come Jan.1st.
While I’m on the topic of race planning, I am also eyeing up what will be my big race for 2011. I know many of you don’t really understand the need to plan so far in advance, but this one will require it: Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. This is a race I’ve heard murmurs of before, but never really had any desire to do it. Until now. What changed my mind? Krissy Moehl.
One thing is for sure – this race is hard. It’s a 103-mile circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif, stretching across France, Italy and Switzerland, with over 31,000 feet of elevation gain. The difficulty of this is pretty much why I’ve never really sat down and thought about entering. But after reading all the reports and articles about Krissy’s win there this year, it’s changed my mind. She finished the race in 24:56:01 – first female, first American, and 11th overall in a race that started with over 2,200 people. Not only that but she beat American favorite Scott Jurek….gotta love when the girls win 🙂
Looking just at this picture of Krissy coming into the finish line got me inspired to run this race (photo credited to Justin Bastien):
And then to read her race report just continues that feeling.
So there I was, all sorts of pumped up, trying to decipher the French website and find out how to enter so I can plan ahead for next year, and I hit roadblock #1 – qualifying. Shoot. They have an interesting system. Basically, they have a list of races, and then give them points on a scale of 1 to 4 based on difficulty. 4 being the hardest, 0 means you are a sissy and should find a harder race. Most of these races are in Europe, with about 50 or so being in the US, mostly the west coast. You need 4 points, accumulated from 2 races at most, to be “qualified.” And then I saw it – Western States 100 Mile…..4 points! woop woop! Also they give you a couple years as a grace period so I can use my ’09 run for it. The race holds registration in 2 waves – first you pay a smaller fee to put your name in with your qualifying information. Then they look at the numbers and do a drawing if there are more prospective runners than there are spots. So of course this may be a lot harder than I think to get into, but hopefully not. I couldn’t read the French on the website so I’m not sure if they have any stats as to how many applicants they have for the race each year.
I realize that’s a long way off, but at least it gives me something to look forward to! And the work to do well there really will require another year and a half of training, so here I go 🙂