Saturday, December 22, 2007

Starting from scratch

Every year, about this time, I've slipped from my trianing habits. Not since I retired from the elite ranks have I trained all year. I don't like running in freezing weather and I don't find it easy to just run... I like goals. So as winter snow rests on my training grounds, I get the itch for a goal. And my favorite goal is immortal Pikes Peak. So... to goal setting:

To start, I should revisit past achievement:
  • 2006 Pikes Peak Ascent in 4:31. Hmm, not so good especially when I remember how I ran that same ascent as a 13 year old in 3:08. My son is 13 now... too bad they don't allow kids under 15 into the race. I admit, I was not at all consistent in my training for this one.
  • 2005 Pikes Peak Marathon in 5:15. Now that was a nice run. I only had one problem that day. I ate some food at Cirque but I think I needed more fluids when I did that... I had about a ten minute stretch there where I had fierce leg cramps. I was all but incapacitated for a while and couldn't even walk three steps without stopping to stretch. With a little more care, I could have clipped another five minutes I bet.
  • 2004 Pikes Peak Marathon in 5:20. Not bad at all. I know I trained pretty well that year; considerably better than the year before. I did have a shut-down above tree-line that I did not have in 2005 because of how I managed my heart rate. By keeping my heart rate in the fat-burning zone in 2005, I was far stronger for the last bit above tree-line.
  • 2003 Pikes Peak Marathon in 5:45. Ouch. I remember that first marathon of my life. I scampered up the first section and then... well, I guess I don't remember much above Barr Camp. Except pain. Still, I ascended en route faster than I ran the Ascent in 2006. The lesson here is obvious. In 2006, I think I ran on most Sundays... otherwise I ran not at all. Never do that again [;-)

I like to set three tiers of goals. Tier 3 is "keep myself honest" and is something that I know I can do if I will just keep focussed. Tier 2 is the 100% personal effort goal and is something I think I can do if I meet Tier 3, I suffer no serious mishaps and give a 100% effort on race-day. Tier 1 is the high hope goal and is something I think I can if I meet Tier 2 and the conditions around me are favorable.

Tier 3 Goal: Run 5 days per week with a long run of over an hour every week. Experiment with nutrition and master heart rate pacing.

Tier 2 Goal: Complete the Pikes Peak Marathon in 5:00.

Tier 1 Goal: Contribute to a team that wins the Open Division of the Colorado Relay while running first leg.

OK, so there it is. The goal setting for 2008. The rest of the posts in this blog will be about my runs, races and experiences.

1 comment:

Fred said...

There is something spiritual about this mountain, running up through hopefully morning mists, smearing mud on my legs from the first No Name Creek, climbing above the clouds into the sunlight, reaching for the sky. Is it like a nymph climbing from the water to attain a new level of life?