Well it is close to June 2014 and I figure that it is time to take inventory of how I am doing on reaching my 2014 running goals to see how I am doing at this point.
If you recall I have 10 running related goals for this year and as today I have completed 2 out of the 10 goals. That said, the way I structured my goals this year I have actually made more progress than 20% compliance as I have moved closer to reaching some of the remaining 8 I have on my list.
The 2014 goals that I have set for myself include (click here to see my 2014 running goals):
- Goal #1: Run 5 Races I have Never Run Before
- Goal #2: Run a Race in 5 Different States or Provinces
- Goal #3: Participate in 3 Different Categories of Races
- Goal #4: Set an Adult Personal Best in at least 3 Different Race Distances
- Goal #5: Win a Race
- Goal #6: Run 2 Races with my Kids
- Goal #7: Run a Race without Headphones
- Goal #8: Run Across the United States (Virtually of Course)
- Goal #9: Run 100 Miles in 1 Week
- Goal #10: Run an Ultramarathon
Let’s step through these goals and see how I am doing.
Goal #1: Run 5 Races I have Never Run Before
At this point I have run 2 races that I have never run before. The first was actually an interesting story. In February I ran a new local event they were holding in my town – the Richland Run Fest. The race offered a 5k, half-marathon, and full-marathon. Since I did not want to loose too much training time for other races I decided to go with the 5k instead of the half. The events were supposed to start at 9:00am so when it got to be about that time, I had gotten all warmed up and lined up in the mass of humanity starting the race. When the race started, I noticed I was way up near the lead of the race. I did not feel like the pack was moving as fast as I thought it would but no bother. About a half or so mile into the race, I realized that I am a complete idiot and that there were two different start times and I had started with the half-marathoners and marathoners at 9:00am as opposed to the 5k runners at 9:15am. Oops… Once I figured that out I just sort of settled in and ran down the course with the lead pack until about mile 3. Since I had to get to my son’s basketball game a little later on, at mile 3, I stepped off to the side, removed my race bib and ran back to the starting line to get my car. Needless to say I am a complete idiot but it still does count as a race I had never run before so step 1 in achieving this goal still counts in my book.
The other new race that I ran in 2014 was the Ragnar Relay SoCal event. The race traveled from Huntington Beach, CA to San Diego, CA. I ran with my normal team Runnin’ from Sasquatch but we had a lot of new team members so it had a bit of a different feel. The race itself had good parts and not so good part. Good parts – running along the breach in 3 of my relay legs, getting a commemorative glass for running the supposed hardest leg of the course, getting a total of 120 kills over my 3 legs and basically having a good time. Bad parts – a lot of the early legs were just in the urban sprawl south of LA so there was a lot running on sidewalks and stopping at intersections, last minute course changes that led to us getting lost and confused in the middle of the night, as well as the fact that a lack of sleep can make one question why they do the things they do in life… In all a good time was had and this certainly counts as a race that I have not done before.
That leaves me 3 new races left in 2014. There are lots of options and I am registered for the White River 50 in July and am planning to do the Dog Lake Marathon in October as well as the Crazy 8s 8K in Tennessee in July. It seems like meeting this goal is well under way.
Goal #2: Run a Race in 5 Different States or Provinces
Of the races that I have run this year, 2 have been in Washington, 1 was in California and 1 was in Massachusetts so I am up to three states at this point with 2 left to go.
For the remaining 2 states, I am looking to run the Columbia River Power Marathon 8k or a half-marathon in September in Pendleton so that would knock Oregon off the list. The Crazy 8s 8k that I am looking to do is in Tennessee so if I follow-through with these plans that would bring me to 5 states. At this point, it looks like I should make this one.
Goal #3: Participate in 3 Different Categories of Races – COMPLETE
I have achieved this goal! Of the 3 races that I have done in 2014, each one would have been considered to be a different category of race. The Richland Run Fest was a road race, the Badger Mountain Challenge 15k was a trail race and the Ragnar SoCal race was a relay. Bam got this one knocked out early.
I suppose I could try to do a triathlon later this year or even a mud run – the problem is I just do not really want to. I guess I just like traditional distance running or something.
Goal #4: Set an Adult Personal Best in at least 3 Different Race Distances
I have set one adult PR at one distance so far this year. Actually, that PR is sort of cheating since it was in a 15k and well I have never run a 15k before so all I had to do was finish and there you go – instant PR.
The Badger Mountain Challenge 15k was a lot of fun and I guess I have a lot of technique things that I need to work on to ever be considered a trail runner. The race itself took you up and down Badger Mountain in Richland, WA two times. I have never been much of a hill runner and I figured I would get buried on the hills and that is exactly what happened, I was just surprised that it was on the down hills as opposed to the uphills. There is apparently a technique associated with running down hills – that is something that I will need to get better at if I want to be successful with trail racing. The race was fun because I did it with a number of my friends and that is what makes running so worthwhile.
As for the other races that I would be looking to PR in, well I am running the White River 50 in July up at Mount Rainier. Given that I have never run as far as 50 miles I will have another one of those instant PRs. The final race that I am targeting is an 8k PR at the Crazy 8 road race in Kingsport, Tennessee in July. My personal best in an 8k is 32:14 set in 2012 so I have a good chance of besting that since pace wise I actually ran a 10k at a faster per mile pace last year. If I am not able to bet a PR there, I will look at a fall races to shoot for a PRs.
Goal #5: Win a Race
No luck here yet. I have only really run two races that would be eligible for an outright individual win – the Badger Mountain Challenge 15K and the Boston Marathon. Let’s just say that I did not come anywhere close to winning the Boston Marathon. The Badger Mountain Challenge was a fun race and I ended up getting 14th overall (out of 442 finishers) but was not one that I had any realistic shot of winning. We will see how things go when I run a number of races this fall so perhaps I will have shot at winning one of those.
Goal #6: Run 2 Races with my Kids
This is a fun goal and one that I am doing pretty well on. In April I had the opportunity to run the 7th Annual Clot Trot in Richland, WA with my oldest daughter. The Clot Trot is a Hemophilia related run/walk held to spread awareness of the bleeding disorder Hemophilia. The race started as a Boy Scout Eagle project and is now in its seventh year. Both my daughter and I did not run it as a competitive race seeing as she actually did it the same day as she did intervals during her track and field workout for Richland High School – sort of made sense just to run it as a cool down. I was a great turnout and the race and shirts were actually free. The shirts were pink which was sort of fun but I do not think I will be wearing mine too much in the future. My daughter on the other had washed her’s after the race so she could wear it to school the next day.
So with the completion of the Clot Trot I have one down and one to go. The next one on the list is the Glow Run with my youngest daughter at the end of May. The Glow Run is a 5K held in Richland, WA and is put on by a friend of a friend of RunnersGoal.com. The race is a way to raise money for the American Cancer Society and the local Tri-Cities cancer community. My youngest daughter who is 10 now (scary how fast time passes) and it has been fun going out running with her a couple of times a week. Running is a great opportunity for some one-on-one time with your kids. I am very much looking forward to this event at the end of the month.
Goal #7: Run a Race without Headphones – COMPLETE
During races I have been unfortunately dependent on the tunes over the years so I figured it would be a fun goal to do a race without headphones. I had the perfect opportunity to run without headphones this year at the 2014 Boston Marathon and the experience of going unplugged did not disappoint. Anything I say here about running this year’s Boston Marathon would not do it justice so I will save that for a separate post or I have even been thinking about turning my experiences at Boston the last two years into an e-Book of some sort. This year there were more spectators than ever and the crowds were super loud and exciting. For me as a guy running unplugged it was an awesome experience to really be engaged with the surrounding atmosphere. For my wife who was trying to wade through the masses of humanity lining the course to try to see me – well let’s just say it was a little less awesome for her.
It turned out to be such a positive experience running unplugged that I am seriously thinking about not using the tunes at the marathon I am planning to run this fall.
Goal #8: Run Across the United States
This goal continues to be the long-term focus this year. I have always wanted to be able to say I ran from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and well since I have a job and various responsibilities, I would only be able to pursue such an adventure virtually. That is what I am doing – running from Huntington Beach, CA to Carolina Beach, NC in 2014. All together that is 2615 miles and I am off to a solid start. Right now I am virtually near the New Mexico – Texas border.
I was well ahead of pace earlier this year when I was training for Boston but I have fallen back a little bit and am currently 35 miles behind where I should be. I will be ramping back up soon and I feel confident that I will be able to meet this goal this year which for me would be great.
Goal #9: Run 100 Miles in 1 Week
This one is probably not a good idea but I have always wanted to see if I could hit triple digits during a single week of training. The most I have hit so far this year is 80 miles the week of March 22, 2014. My lifetime personal best in any week is 84 miles back in early 2013. 100 miles in one week is going to be a challenge but I think I have just the week planned out when I will achieve running 100 miles in a 7 day period and will correspond to when my family is out of town this summer. I will have to stay back for work for a few weeks running solo so hey there is nothing better to do than to spend the majority of my waking hours running right?
Goal #10: Run an Ultramarathon
I finally did it. I signed up for the White River 50 in July. The White River 50 is a 50 mile trail race and over that 50 miles the course rises and falls 8,700 feet (total elevation change: 17,400 feet). The race features rolling terrain, ridge tops, northwest forest, several sections of technical trails, and of course several demanding climbs and challenging descents. Should be very interesting and I hope to be in good enough condition to be able to finish that monster and complete this goal!