It’s been a while since I’ve had any real, focused running goals. This past year I’ve been running for fitness mostly – getting acclimated to running at altitude – with Bolder Boulder as the race I was running towards. Since I started running in 2006, I always used races to set my goals. But after moving here I kind of lost my focus.
But that’s changing.
First up – next Tuesday, Woody and I will be running the Running Bear 5K in Glen Arbor, Michigan. It’s a small, local race on a weekday morning in a beautiful Northern Michigan town. We ran this race two years ago, and were slightly disappointed by the lack of lake views along the course, but were overwhelmed by the abundance of post-race refreshments. It’s a great community event with little pressure. While the race definitely pulls in fast runners, it’s really just a big party. My goal for this is to run a strong, fast and smart race. I’ve been pushing myself a bit harder on my training runs in Wash Park and I’m feeling good about how hard I can go. But, it will be interesting to race at sea level again!
Next on the line is BirdCamp in August. I’m beyond excited to travel to Bend, Oregon for the first time, to meet many of my amazing Oiselle teammates and to catch up with others I haven’t seen since moving to Denver. I’m feeling stronger and more confident in my running now that I’ve gotten acclimated to this altitude. That said, I will be running with women who are so much faster and stronger than I am, so my goal is to run hard, run smart and hold my own. And to have fun. To do that, I’m pushing myself harder, running more often, and training on a variety of surfaces – gravel path, asphalt/concrete (sidewalks and streets) and real mountain trails. I’ve also been pushing myself harder in the gym with weight training. I’m feeling stronger than I have for a long time. Now I just have to stay injury free for at least another month!
Lastly, I want to become a trail runner. With our two trail runs at Chautauqua (oh yeah, we went again this past weekend!), and a few others, I’m on the right path but still have a long way to go. I’m not sure when I will feel like a real trail runner – or what that really means – but perhaps it’ll be once I feel comfortable enough with my footing that I can actually look up and enjoy the view for more than a split second, and when I buy my first pair of trail running shoes. To reach this goal, we’ll keep exploring trails! This is on the list because the few times we’ve gone, I’ve loved the variety of the terrain, the fresh air, the endless places to explore and how strong I feel when we finish a really challenging run. I want to do more of it.
I’m going after my running goals, what are you working towards?