As my recovery from the Haney to Harrison 100km is progressing well, I have been thinking more about the 2011 season.
I love race planning. The other day a friend wondered out loud how people decide on which races to do. A very good question.
For me, 2011 is about having a variety of distances, terrains and of course goals. Having run two ultras this year, I really enjoyed the variety it brought to my 5km, 10km, half - and marathon mix of the past five years. I absolutely love running and since I realized I love ultras I now have even more races to choose from.
I'd like to get faster on the 10km, half - and marathon distance, particularly in the latter I am keen to get closer to that elusive 3-hour mark.
With ultras I can be a beginner again, especially if they are on trails since I am a reasonably novice trail runner who is not yet very adept at negotiating down-hill trails. The distances are new, which allows me to do them with an open mind toward the time and focus on finishing.
Race planning is about finding goals that interest and excite you, whether it is getting faster or running further - or just trying something new.
With so many races on offer in and around Squamish that I haven't run that often, or not at all yet, I am happy to stay relatively close to home. Having said that, planning trips around races are always a great way to focus travel plans.
For 2011, I'd like to start with the First Half Marathon in February, hopefully followed by the Diez Vistas 50km trail run in March and then moving along to the Vancouver Marathon at the start of May.
The STORMY 50 mile trail was such a great experience that I'd like to do that one again, which is early August. (A very tiny part of me is wondering if I should try adding a second lap this year - but for now 100 miles seems a distance I am not quite ready for).
Another race that looks great is the Tucson Marathon because of its superswift-looking race profile.