Because what’s a blog without some year-end goals to make public and maybe hold myself somewhat accountable?

1.  Have fun running

This one seems obvious but still eludes me sometimes.  I didn’t realize it until about halfway into my extended break, but toward the end of last year running had started to feel like a chore.  I don’t want that to happen again.  I run to get outside, to clear my mind, to chat with friends, and to explore the glorious open spaces around me – not to nag me or stress me out like other things in life.  The best advice I heard before heading into Canyons last year was to remember to pause and look up – I’d like to carry that advice into the whole 2018 season.  Take time – pause – and look up.

Don’t forget to look up and take it all in

2.  Go to more yoga classes

I get spoiled having a wife that is a yoga instructor that routinely leads me through evening stretching and exercises.  However every time I go to a studio yoga class I realize how good it is for my mind and body.  My PT exercises feel good when I do them twice a week, but Yoga feels like 90 minutes of PT for my whole body and mind.  It’s probably the single best thing I could do to strengthen my overall running, and I’m hoping to be able to carve a day out per week for a full yoga practice next year – as well as continue working with my awesome private instructor.

3.  Try a new race in a new location

I’m a creature of habit and the races already on my radar for 2018 are ones that I have previously raced (Marin Ultra Challenge and Canyons 100k).  Sure, they are full of stunning running in world-class locations, but it’s nothing new for me.  I’d like to mix up my season next year with some new events as well as some old favorites.  Last year I ran Skyline to the Sea for the first time – this year I’ve got a long list of potential runs in the summer and fall depending on our family schedule.  Castle Rock 100k is intriguing if we are around.  I’ve never done the Javelina Jundred (or any 100 for that matter), and I know it will be crazy popular with all the press, but the Canyon de Chelly 55k sure looks amazing!

Canyon de Chelly made a splash this year in the New York Times

4. Earn a second ticket into the Western lotto

I’m hoping my jaunt through the Canyons on April 28th takes care of this one.  Two tickets is better odds than one, and I had such a blast at the lottery in Auburn this year that it’s definitely on my calendar for next year again.  (See my race report from my 2017 Canyons 100k adventure here)

One year my name will be drawn!

5.  Listen to my body 

Listening to my body is one of my strengths and also one of my weaknesses.  I am usually quite good at intuitively knowing when I’m hurting, getting stronger, fatigued, or not having fun – until I’m not.  I sometimes slip over the edge to over-analyzing everything and fall into a “can’t see the forest through the trees” scenario.  In 2018 I intend to listen to my body holistically and take on a more sustainable approach toward my running.  Again this break was nice for some perspective, and it allowed me to take a large step back and realize that I want to be running for a long time to come.  I want to set reasonable goals and gain both physical and mental strength in 2018, while continuing to back off when I need to before I take it too far.

6.  Spend quality time with my family

One of the best unintended benefits of my time off was a ton of great time with my family.  My wife noticed it immediately and started talking about how nice it was to have me present and around on the weekends and my time off of work.  I admit it was really nice, and this one is a bit scary to tackle.  How do I keep up with my training and also hang out with my family?  I’m looking at planning my rest weeks so they coincide with family time off, even if it means taking a bit more rest here and there.  I am no longer as afraid that time off will directly impact my fitness in an immediate, radical manner.  So if it’s a hike with the family vs. a run by myself, I am going to try to lean toward the hike with the family as much as possible in 2018.  We’ll see how it goes!

Who wouldn’t want to spend time with these monkeys?

7.  Run Diablo more

After Canyons last year I realized that the best training I could do in our immediate area was to run up, down, and around Mount Diablo.  I’m hoping to hit it up once a month in the build up to Canyons in 2018.  It’s such world class running, with vert galore, and with the changing of the seasons every month is like a totally new environment.  I feel like if I can hit the start line at Canyons with a few more laps around the East Bay Devil under my belt I will be in good shape.

I’ve got some dates with this fella in the Spring

8.  Run with my problems, and not away

2017 was a hell of a year for me emotionally with some major life stressors that popped up in life at home, my family far away, and work.  I was blind-sided multiple times and am just now beginning to regain my balance.  I have worked on my support network and have some really promising things in place for 2018 that I am hoping will keep my emotional feet under me a little better.  I am looking to transform my running as well – to shy away from running away from my problems, which is so easy for us long-distance runners to do, and do some more running with (or toward?) my problems instead.  I don’t know what this looks like yet, but I imagine its a feeling of more engagement and more mindfulness in my entire life, but also in my exercise.

There it is – eight goals for me to carry into the next year.  I’ll see you on the trails!



Write A Comment