Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lucky '13

What a year! To think all I really wanted to do was not embarrass myself at Western States!

Rather than regurgitating this year's race reports and running activities as a year in review, I thought I'd check in with last year's goals.

So here we go:
1) Run 3,000 miles. Check! Last year I ran 2,969 miles and was over 2800 the two years before that, but never broke the 3k mark. This year: 3051 miles. While my mileage was not all that different than last year, my big weeks were bigger and my low weeks were lower (or off altogether), which I think provided a "bigger bang for my buck" - basically, I was fitter with about the same number of miles. At this point, I am happy with this range and I am not really trying to push it much higher.

2) Race fewer miles. Well, by the letter, I did this: 563 racing miles in 2012 vs. 538 racing miles in 2013, but I wouldn't call this a significant difference. However, I did have a couple of races this year (Nueces and RunRabbit Run) which were not 'A' races for me and so I wasn't as drained going in or coming out. But really, this was a stupid goal - I love to race and I am going to keep doing it! Plus, I think my recovery has gotten a lot better. Good thing, as my race schedule is already packed for 2014!

3) Nail Western States. Yeah, nailed it! Fourth time is a charm. :) I feel like I finally understand how to run a 100 mile race. Will I nail them all? No, of course not, but I feel like I have a sense of what I am doing now and the idea of racing 100 miles no longer scares me.

4) Another gold for Team USA. Since the World Championships were cancelled this year, we didn't get a chance to defend our title. So this one is going to carry over to 2014 which will be August 31 in Latvia. Unfortunately, I am not even qualified for the team right now! I'll be at the  Mad City 100km national championships this April to hopefully rectify that problem.

5) Break the 200km American Record. Some goals change; this one did. This was a goal for me because I thought it was a respectable record/distance but something I thought I could easily do. I still do (my husband points out that I failed to get the record twice, so maybe it is not so easy). But I was selling myself short and I feel strongly that changing this goal to get the 100 mile track world record was the right thing for me and a much more meaningful record overall. So this goal has been tabled. Now I want to see how I stack up against the overall 100 mile world record!

6) Nutrition. I didn't have any concrete goal for this and yet, it may be the place where I made the most radical changes. I did way better with my junk food consumption, but I will likely always have a sweet tooth. But carb back loading has been a good fit for me. I cut out a lot of processed foods, plus added meat back to my diet after 17 years.

7) Do Yoga. I went about 20 times this year. It made a huge difference for me. I don't even hate it and all the stretchy people in the world anymore! This is no longer a goal, just something that is part of my training.

8) Address my lower ab/groin/hip pain. I never went to any doctors, physical therapists or other medical personnel. Basically, yoga and a few other stretches and hip mobility exercises were all I needed.

So on to 2014! Goals for this year:
1) Make the US 100km team. Help the team get another gold medal. I'd love to improve on my 5th place finish from 2012, too.
2) The 18/21 Western States/AC double. This is swinging for the fences, especially since I don't have any experience running 100's in relatively quick succession (five weeks). I feel like I could take off another 20 minutes from my WS time (18:37), but I am not sure where I'll find another 17 minutes (cooler temps??). I have nothing to go on for AC, and that may be an unreachable time, but it is a place to start for my planning. Times at both races may be significantly affected by weather conditions, so things aren't entirely in my hands, either.
3) 100 mile world record attempt - Ann Trason has a stout record which may be out of my league and that's ok, but no shame in trying.
4) Get blinds for the living room and remove the carpet from my son's bathroom. Ok, this isn't a running goal! But I try to be a model of how to juggle training, job and family and I've dropped a few other balls! Time for a few home projects to get done. And when you have carpet in a bathroom with a six year old boy... well, let's just say that's gotten to be a high priority home improvement project! And I decided three years ago we need blinds for the living room - maybe time to get on that!
5) Take a non-running vacation. My kids are at an awesome stage: they can do a lot of things we enjoy but they aren't old enough to totally hate us yet. :) Last year was a lot of fun with them and I am looking forward to another, but we probably should get to a few places just to enjoy the place itself. Yellowstone and Glacier are top possibilities right now. Time to make some reservations!

Tentative Race Schedule:
2/1 - Rocky Raccoon 100M National Championships
3/15 - Pac Rim 24hr with my daughter Megan, perhaps my best racing experience from 2013
4/12 - Mad City 100km National Championships
?? 5/11- Ice Age 50M
6/28 - Western States
July- family vacation!
8/2 - Angeles Crest 100
8/31 - 100km World Championships
12/14 - Desert Solstice

I hope you have many wonderful things to look forward to and many goals to challenge you in 2014. Happy New Year!


Buzz said...

Great! A nice balance of sensibility, ambition, and balance in one program. I look fwd to following your schedule.

Kim said...

WOW!!! You had a huge year in 2013 and it sounds like 2014 is going to be even bigger!! There is a part of me that would love to really get into ultras and another part of me that thinks my body won't hold up.
Good luck with all of your 2014 running!!

sea legs girl said...

Woah! Did you sign up for Ice Age? I did not see your name on the list and it sold out in about an hour. Now I will be curious if being Pam Smith will get you in! I hope so. You can stay with me at my parents' house if you like. They live less than an hour away- if you feel like saving some money.

I was planning on running a 60k trail race in Denmark the week before Mad City, but now you have me reconsidering. I don't think I could do 100 km on asphalt, though it would be so cool to go for as spot on the American Team. Certainly you will get a spot (don't you already have one?)and it will be fun to follow your year!

Cheers on the yoga and non-running vacation :-). Good stuff.

Never a Dull Day. said...

Congratulations on your success at Desert Solstice!It has been inspiring to read about your races and see you improve so much in the last two years.

Sorry we didn't have a chance to catch up more at camp. I was really down from having an injury and it actually kept me from being in your mentoring group! It was great to meet Mac and he did join in two of our runs.

All the best to you and your family this year. I really look forward to your great write-ups and stories. I'll be cheering you from this side of the computer!

Trailmomma said...

Curious about adding the meat back into your diet and the carb thing you mentioned (what is that anyway?).

Do you really think adding meat was key?

I have no issues with it at all, just really curious.

Congrats on a great 2013. Looking foward to seeing you come through Robie at States in 2014!

Cody C said...

Congrats on a great year. All the best in 2014!

Brandon said...

What an awesome year Pam, huge congrats on all counts! Good luck at Rocky Raccoon, I'll be there running my 2nd 100 miler! I'm sure I'll see you zooming past me a few times :)