where I’ve been …

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finishing the Kiawah Island Marathon, near Charleston South Carolina – December 2017

Been a while – about two and a half years we last corresponded.  Let’s catch up.  How have things been for you?

Still running.  Did a nice local 50k a few weeks ago, happy with my effort.  Learned a bit too.

Since we last spoke, I’ve run nearly 5000 miles, and completed 16 marathons and ultras.  Steady progress on some life goals too.  Next week, I’ll run an event in northern Alabama – state #22 for me.  And if I can keep healthy, I will complete my 100th long one later this year.

Tracking mileage and event count sometimes motivates me.  But it can also feed a certain compulsion – making running about hitting the numbers.  This is something I’ve grappled with recently.  After doing higher mileage, and averaging an event or more per month from 2012-14, I’ve dialed it back a bit.

miles-per-year

In part, life’s been busy.  But I’m also kind of searching for my next set of goals.  If I can shave five minutes off my marathon time, I can probably get into Boston.  Do I want to step up the ultra distances, maybe try for a 100k, or a 100 miler?  More fundamentally, do I want to focus more on trails or speed?

Owing to time constraints, I’ve been doing more solo running in recent years.  I miss getting more of a social fix on the trails.  How can I make that happen?

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Bridle Trails Winter Fest 50k, January 2018, photo by Takao Suzuki

Time always going to be our most valuable commodity.  Spending between 7 and 9 hours per week running needs to feel like it’s time well-spent.  For me, it needs to be aligned with a sort of ‘north star’.  Something that adds a sense of purpose to evening runs in the dark and mud.

What I’ve started doing is to put together a working list of events I’m interested by month.  This has given me a first cut at a training cadence, and also some understanding about when I’ll want to mix in more high intensity work, or more hills.  It’s a start.

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