Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Is Behind, Now What?

Ten years in Fairbanks, that’s a long time! In fact that’s the longest I’ve lived continuously in one place. Ever.

Running-wise 2013 turned out better than I had envisioned. That was partly propelled by getting into a new age group, but also by getting through the year without injury for the first time since 2008. Had some aches and pains along the way but never had to stop. I ran just over 2000 miles, which is the most in many years 5 or 6 at least, and had a bunch of good races (more on that in a bit).

For whatever reason, my skiing seems to be waning. I had some good races in February last winter (Besh Cup 10K, and the local 30K freestyle), and the Tour of Anchorage 50K turned out pretty well with a 2:29 and a 3rd place in the 50-54 (breaking a three year win streak in that category). But by the middle or end of March I was pretty much fried. And my enthusiasm with skiing and the ski scene here in Fairbanks—other than coaching some of the kids here—hasn’t really picked up. I’ll see what happens over the next two or three months and reassess.

Back to running, I started a few weeks earlier this year, racing by early April, and ended almost two months later with the USATF XC championships in mid-December. Age group wise (including 50 and over), that was my only defeat of the past several years (and humbling). Nevertheless, I was happy 6th place in the 55-59 (and something like 34th) if you count the age 50+ runners. I want to go back next year to Pennsylvania to maybe improve on those numbers. It won’t be easy because if anything the competition will be tougher on the East Coast.

Anyway, that’s probably my primary goal.

To get there I’ll need to improve on the times from 2013.
1 mile – 5:10
5K – 17:18
10K – 36:35
Half marathon – 1:20:20
Marathon 3:17 at Equinox – if I do one I’d aim to run 2:55 or so on a flat course (Humpy’s?), although logistically Equinox is quite convenient and I think with some better weather I could bring that time down a bit.

A good level to aim for would be the holy grail of age graded 90%. According to the USATF calculator, my best chances would to do 17:13 for the 5K or 35:50 for 10K.

It starts with training, and I just plan to keep consistent (uninjured), and I might do more hill reps at a hard pace than I did this past year. Finally, I think I could improve on nutrition, as I tend to slack a bit. Get a little leaner, run a little faster.

Bend was definitely the highlight of the running year, to be running outside with sunlight while not freezing in December. What a concept. I didn’t really want to return to the dark and cold of Fbx! So that might give a hint of what’s ahead.

Meanwhile, I’m enthused to be coaching a bunch of athletes from Fairbanks to Ohio, Texas, to Maryland. They also have big goals, and I want to help them along to achieve those.


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