With today marking the 28th day of my break from running, I've had plenty of time to think about my goals for 2011. I'll start training again on November 1, so that means I'll have a solid two-month base in my legs once New Years rolls around and I start to look for some tune-up races. The Big Question is, what races should I run? Odds are I won't get into Western States or Hardrock (both lotteries have steep odds), so my focus 100 miler for the spring most likely will be the Massanutten 100 (I have much better odds in that lottery). Since I have some unfinished business at MMT100, I'll be more than happy to return there in killer shape to make things right. As for my other first-half-of-the-year races, I'm pretty much looking for ideas from other people. I know the 100 mile world pretty well, but I've only run two 50 milers, and two 50Ks, so any suggestions anyone has for great races to run, I'm all ears!
Once summer rolls around, I'll be super-excited to head out to Death Valley and crew for my buddy Chris Roman at Badwater. I'm very much looking forward to seeing that course up close and running as much as Chris needs me as a pacer. After I return from that race, I'll focus on making a splash at the 24 Hour National Championship (it'll probably be in Ohio at NorthCoast again), and then find something fun to run in the fall (also looking for suggestions for races in October-December).
No matter where I end up toeing the line, I know I'll be in a "different" kind of shape next year. I've had plenty of time to plan out a new training schedule, and hopefully this plan translates into a little success for 2011. I haven't really focused on any "speed work" since I started running ultras, but I think this is as good a time as any to see what remains from my old 4-minute mile days. It's been a while, and I know it's gonna hurt like hell, but I'm also pretty darn excited to see what I can do with this new speed/distance hybrid training plan I've cooked up. It all kicks off in one week...in the meantime, how about some race suggestions?!