Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Race Plans

I love this time of year. Christmas to New Years is a great time to be a runner. The weather may stink, but at least we have time off from work and it's a perfect period to make plans for next year. I like to break my races into several categories: new (never run before) races, old races that I do every year, old races that I haven't done in a while, and challenge (goal) races.

Here are my plans for 2009 races based on several categories:

NEW RACES (never run before)
These new races keep you motivated and ensure that you'll be exposed to new trails, new runners, and new challenges. I've had my eye on this "Dances with Dirt" series for a while. I ran the Gnaw Bone 50K this year and would like to add the new Devil's Lake race in 2009. The Rock Cut series intrigues me since it's a three day event. I have regularly done the Sunday 50K, but never the shorter 25K or 10K.

July 11: Devil's Lake 50K (Dances with Dirt series)
Sept: Rock Cut Hobo triple crown (Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10k, 25K, 50K)

OLD RACES (run almost every year)
Doing the same races each year is like visiting an old friend. They are comfortable. Plus, you have a chance to compare times over the years. I've done the Riddle Run, Mingo Fat Ass, and Farmdale every year they have existed. I'd like to keep that streak going. McNaughton & Hobo have become regulars the last few years.

Jan 31: Riddle Run 28 mile fat ass
Feb 14: Lake Mingo 28 mile fat ass
April 11-12: McNaughton Park 100 Miler
June 27: Clear Pond 5-Hour
Sept: Rock Cut Hobo 50K
Oct: Farmdale 33 Miler

RETURNING RACES (haven't done in a while)
I've done a lot of races that I never went back to--not because they were poor events, I just have too many other commitments and races to select from over the course of a year. I feel the need to return to LBL since it's a group buffalo trip and fairly close by (maybe a 4 hour drive down to KY). Plus I can stay with coach Jeff at his sister's home very close to the race start--that makes it cheap and trouble-free. The only real question is whether I do the marathon, 60K, or 50 mile event. This will be a good tune-up for the 100 miler at McNaughton park in April.

March 14: Land Between the Lakes 60K or 50 Miler

CHALLENGE RACES (tough goals)
Everyone needs a couple BIG RACES on your clendar. I probably have too many, but I'm going to try and PR at these races. Can I better my 5k time and qualify for Boston (on a trail course) and accumulate 350 miles at a 7-day race? We'll see!

*May 9: Gnaw Bone 50K (6:00)
*August 13: Howl at the Moon 8-Hour (50 miles)
*Oct 11: Towpath Marathon (3:19)
*Nov: Mahomet Run for the Library 5K (18:59)
*Dec: Deer Run 8K (34:30)

These race choices are not that different than this year. My main goal for 2009 is quality. I want to run well in most races that I do. This year (2008) was a year of participation and socialization. I did the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam and the 7-Day Stage Race, but I was in them to finish...not excel. I plan to change that in 2009. I'm not going to push the pace at every single race, but I have a few that I have marked with an asterisk indicating my intent to set a new PR (the PR time or mileage is in bold). So those are my 2009 plans. What are your plans?

Happy New Year to all the runners out there!

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