Friday, July 1, 2011

Mid-Year Running Goals Update

As I typically do on this blog, I set running goals for 2011.  We are now at mid-year and it's a good time to revisit those goals and see if I'm on track or not.  My 2011 goals can be found on this December 31, 2010 post. Essentially I had four main goals:
  • Run every day of 2011 (keep running streak alive)
  • Hit 50 miles at Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race
  • Finish an ultra-marathon in FiveFinger shoes
  • Set at least one new running personal record (PR) 
Goal #1 = Failed
My running streak ended on February 28, 2011 at 95 days straight.  I got a calf injury when trying to run  really fast on a treadmill and just couldn't shake it without taking a few days off from any running.  Stupid thing to do in the winter when my main goal was to build a solid aerobic base--thus the running streak idea.  Stupidity and lack of discipline killed the streak, but I learned a lot.

Goal #2 = Undetermined (Howl at the Moon race is August 13)
I have 6 weeks until race day.  I am behind in my training, but feel strangely optimistic.  I am seriolusly behind on actual long runs (15+ milers), but I've gotten in a good base of easy running with a touch of speed work. This long 4th of July weekend (Saturday-Monday) will tell me a lot about my conditioning.  It'll be hot (90+ degrees), humid, and sunny.  I plan on 4-5 runs over these three days--with at least 2 being 10 miles or longer.  Hope springs eternal!  I may still reach my goal at Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race.

Goal #3 = Not Yet
I haven't run farther than 15 miles in my Vibram FiveFinger shoes, but I think I could knock off a 18-20 miler right now.  That's still a ways from a 50K race, but getting closer.  And my barefoot running is going well too.  I can easily do 5-mile trail runs barefoot...and that will creep up to 7.5 miles soon. Need to mix in more asphalt barefoot running to toughen the soles.  If I can run 7-10 miles barefoot, then I can run 20 in VFFs.  Maybe that fall 50K in VFFs is still possible.

Goal #4 = Achieved!
I ran a 50-mile personal record time at the Potawatomi Trail Race in April (12:49 finish time).  Of course, it was my first 50 mile any time would be a PR.  I'll still take it.  It was one of my slowest ultramarathons ever...but it counts.  And next year I'll knock at least an hour off that time!  (Looking forward to 2012.)  I may have more PRs at different race distances before this year is done.

The second half of 2011 has the potential to be quite good.  I have 6 weeks of training left before Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race on August 13.  Soon after Howl the temperatures will start to cool down and my training and racing should get faster.   I'll try to stick with my "Summer of Malmo" training plan until August 13.  That means as many running days as possible, most at a very easy pace, with a touch of speed thrown in each week.  My Garmin Forerunner 305 watch is motivating me to get more runs in and it should keep me motivated by providing solid evidence of improvement (pace and heart rate) on similar training courses.

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