Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can you hear me now?

Sometime around 2002 we bought this piece of land up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My brother asked me if I was really going to build a log cabin. I said "I have to now, I already said it out loud."
Below, you can see pictures of the property before and after we built. They key was saying it out loud, not just dreaming.

So the time has come to voice my goals for the upcoming year. We have many hopes and dreams for the family, but I just roll with the changes there. I will limit my talk of goals here to running. Saying them out loud is my way locking them in. You heard it here so you can hold me to it.

After suffering a stress fracture of my 2nd metatarsal on my right foot 11 weeks ago, I am back to running regularly now. I am pretty sure I will be able to continue so here is what I would like to accomplish in 2010. (in some particular order)

I've got a 1/2 marathon scheduled the last day of January. This will be my test to see if I am really ready to continue.
It will be my third time to run the Lake Benbrook Half Marathon. The first time was over ten years ago and was my first race more than a 5K. The second time was last year and I was deathly sick with the flu. I couldn't break 2hrs. I did run a 1:47 1/2 marathon in June on a very fast downhill course. I would like to beat this time but the courses are very different so I am not going to be dissapointed if I don't PR. (maybe a little)

I'd like to set a PR in a 5K somewhere. Ideally, it would be after the 1/2 marathon but I doubt I will be able to wait that long. There is a local 5K on Jan 3 that I will probably do. My goal of a PR shouldn't be too hard. I don't even know what my PR is since I haven't run an organized race at that distance for some time. This is the way I look at it. Anything over 24:00 will mean I am still injured. If I come in uder 23:00, I'll feel great. Ultimately, I'd like to see a sub 22:00 in my future. For those of you scoring along at home, I'm 46 now so I feel those are respectable times and would allow me to place pretty high in my age bracket in any small races.

Okay. Here it is.
I want to run a marathon. I know, I know. Big deal. Many people say that and thousands do it. But I don't want to say it unless I think I can do it respectably. I nearly did one last year but the training needed was taking too much time. As soon as I decided not to run one, I enjoyed my running soooo much more. Best decision I could have made at the time. But I am ready now. My weekly long runs before injury were regularly in the high teens up to 20 milers. I'll work back up to the 13.1 by the end of January and then start training for the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon on June 6, 2010. It is a gourgeous route along an old railroad track. The first half is all uphill and the second half (where the 1/2 marathon starts) is all downhill. The race start is only about 20 minutes from our cabin so I plan on participating in this one in some way or another every year. This race is organized by the same guy who does the Lean Horse Ultra (from Hot Springs, a bit farther to the south). He also just announced a new Crazy Horse Marathon that will also pass through and end in Hill City, SD.
By my "respectable" comment above, I mean my time. I know you are not supposed to shoot for time in your first marathon but I can't help it. So here it is in print. anything over 4:30 will be a disappointment. Anything under 4:00 will make me ecstatic. even at this stage of my recovery, I regularly do sub 4 minute Yasso's so convention wisdom says it is possible.

In addition to these specific goals. I will run every trail race that fits my schedule. I love the camaraderie and atmosphere surrounding these races. I love to run trails by myself but once in awhile it is nice to hook up with others. Our cabin borders the National Forest, so all I have to do is step out my back door in the summer and 50' away is the largest trail system, playground you can imagine. The 40th annual Mystic Mountain Run in July is one I will surely do.
In case you are wondering...Yes, I would love to run an ultra someday but will wait to announce that another time. The 50K at the Lean Horse 100 the end of August would be great if I am ready.

If not, there are some great trail Ultras in Texas in the fall. the Rockledge Rumble in November. I was training for the 30K trail race when I got hurt. I'd rather do the 50K. We'll see.

So there you have it. It all bcomes official as soon as I hit "publish post". Wish me luck. Keep up with me here, on Facebook and at



Libby Jones said...

Good luck on your goals, Phil! I'm running Texas Half in Dallas the same day as Benbrook but hope to run into you at a race someday.

Enjoy your runs - if your quest for a "respectable" marathon time make you lose the joy, then you'll be losing a LOT. As a race director, it's always interesting how many of the local age group runners seem sad or angry as they cross a finish line. They have this great finish time, but it wasn't what they hoped for, or they could have done better, etc. And it's sad because, again, when you see their face at the finish line, you see they've lost the joy.

Those at 13 minutes per mile + are typically the ones with the highest level of joy at a finish line.

There is something to be said for just going out there, respecting the marathon distance, and enjoying your first time at 26.2 miles of rolling scenery!

I hope you fulfill all your goals in 2010!


Dana said...

Thanks for becoming a follower! Glad to have other people that are active reading!