Monday, November 7, 2011

What's Next?

After UROC I wasn't sure I was going to race again this year. I took almost a month "off" after that race and then began to run everyday again just a few weeks ago. My plan all along was to start back up sometime in mid October and just see how I felt. If I felt good I knew I wanted to race the North Face Endurance 50 miler the first week of December. After a few weeks of running everyday I have decided that I am most definitely going to run NF (assuming I am, knock on wood, alive and healthy come December 3rd). In the past 3 or 4 weeks I have felt better in my training than I have since sometime in the Spring. The North Face race is once again going to be loaded with top talent, and for the first time I am going into this race somewhat fresh. A lot of people seem to complain about this race being run so late in the season, but I kind of like the timing of it. This way it pretty much has nothing else to compete with. If it were held sometime between May and September I don't think you would get near the depth of top talent that this race now gets. Yes, you would have more top runners who were in top form, but for me part of the excitement of the North Face timing has been pushing on for one last race of the season and seeing how various runners are able to do that (or in many cases are not able to). I have no idea how things will play out for me in 4 weeks in Marin, but this is certainly the best position I have been in 4 weeks out of this race any of the times I've raced it.

After North Face comes and goes then all of my focus will shift to The Iditarod Trail Invitational in late February. At this point I am not really planning anything beyond this for 2012. This is such a large endeavor that I don't really want anything looming beyond it to distract me. I'm also well aware that If I finish the full 350 miles I might not have the physical (or mental) ability to run much at all for a month or two. I do have some races in mind that I'd ideally like to do in the late Spring or early Summer, but I won't decide on any of that until after I'm done with the ITI sometime in early March.

One thing I've decided for certain though, is that I am not going to run Western States again in 2012. There are several reasons for this decision, but more than anything I just want my Summer to play out a bit different this year than the last two years. Each of the last two years I trained hard all of May/June for WS, ran WS in late June, trained hard for UTMB all of July/August, and raced UTMB in late August. I've thoroughly enjoyed the training/racing each of these Summers, but this year I am looking forward to changing things up a bit. Right now I don't know exactly what this will mean. I haven't completely ruled out the possibility of UTMB again in 2012, but I think I will more likely do a different late Summer 100 miler. Any recommendations? I've also put in for the Hardrock lottery, and if I get lucky there that will certainly be a hard one to say no to, although the timing of the race would be almost impossible for me with some other things that I have planned already.

And beyond any of these races I'm really looking forward to 2012 likely being a year of less racing for me, and thus more time to get out and explore remote and beautiful places. Almost certainly I'm going to do some racing in 2012, maybe even a decent amount in the second half of the year, but I'm not going into 2012 with as much of a feeling of wanting to race once every month or two as I have the past 3 or 4 years. A bit of a down year (racing wise) should be perfect to give me more time to really explore the amazing mountains that surround me both here in Colorado and up in Alaska, and it should get me nicely motivated for some big racing ideas that I have in mind for 2013 and beyond. Then again this is all much further away than I ever really like to plan and could easily change just as soon as I'm done with the ITI.

20 comments:

Tim said...

I wouldn't do it any other way. Just go with the flow man.

solarweasel said...

put in for Hardrock!!

Tony Pierce said...

Check out Superior Sawtooth 100 in MN (Early Sept). Point to point, 99% singletrack with endless rocks, roots and very little flat sections. Absolutely beautiful course in which only a handful have finished under 24 hours.

Edward said...

I second the Sawtooth nod, Geoff. It's usually the same weekend as Wasatch, and since we've all seen how much you've struggled at Wasatch in the past (you should be embarrassed by your time in '09), it may be time to give Sawtooth a try. It's such a brutally gorgeous course, and you'll be lining up at Iditarod with Sawtooth's race director, John Storkamp. Just a thought.

will said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. The part about not racing WS and doing less racing in general in 2012 is very engaging. You had me totally believing right up until the cliffhanger ending. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out for you and the rest of the mountain rats in the coming years.

Blade said...

Geoff~

I've enjoyed reading your blog and I look forward to the opportunity to see you race in Marin. I hope to be a volunteer there. Anyway, you are an inspiration and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Races?? It's hard for me to offer suggestions as I have yet to run my first hundred. However, I am considering the Angeles Crest run in So Cal. Whatever race or races you choose, I am sure they will reward you with a great experience.

Mykl.

Joe Kleffner said...

Badwater. It would compliment the ITI nicely...

ttsog said...

Why don't you try something different, like Rodopi Ultra Trail 100 Mile Adventure Run in Greece in early October. 164km in the wild nature of northern Greece with just 6 aid stations and 8.000+ meters of ascent. We would love to see you or your fellow ultra trail runners here in Greece. Details: www.rout.gr , http://www.rout.gr/index.php?name=Content&page=rout_profile , http://www.rout.gr/index.php?name=Content&page=google-map , http://www.rout.gr/index.php?name=Content&page=gps

AL said...

i guess it has been suggested previously, but what about the tor des géants in september? sounds epic, but quite a long travel (http://www.tordesgeants.it/tdg/index.php/eng/)...

all the best to you, and see you next year in juneau.

greetings from vienna,

andreas.

Mike Bailey said...

Geoff,

As a biased Virginia boy, I'd love to see you come out to Massanutten Mountain Trails, or Grindstone. One is in May, and the other October. You'd be able to fit Hardrock right in between and still have room for early spring and late fall races/running/relaxing.

-Mike

-Mike

Jason Schlarb said...

Glad you are running TNF (The National Fifty championships)this December!

I've heard RUMOR (anyone with more info?) of a new 100 mile in Steamboat awaiting FS approval... with a huge purse. Would be nice to see a competitive 100 mile besides WS, yeah?

Drew said...

Black Hills 100 http://www.blackhills100.com/

Fixated on the Trail said...

Nothing wrong with these two races: White River 50M(End of July), Cascade Crest 100M(End of August). That's if you don't get into HR.

Less comp at NF50 I hear with Mackey on the sidelines or so he says :)

Speedgoat Karl said...

The Speedgoat 50k will have the highest prize purse. :-) c'mon man, it's only 31 miles. Then if Steamboat happens, or of course UROC will always be there too.

But, go get Iditarod first. Keep your focus. See you in Marin, at least for a minute at the start.

trailrutger said...

How about UTMF, that ain't on to many peoples list yet.
Ultra trail mount fiji in Japan.

trailrutger said...

forgot to mention that it is from 18th till 20th of may 2012.
This is the website www.ultratrailmf.com

momroes said...

How about Green Lakes, Fayetteville, NEW YORK - you sure would have a lot of supporters at that one.....Love you

momroes said...

Hi, How about Green Lakes - Fayetteville, NEW YORK - back to your high school days - think of all the people that would be there to watch you!!!!

Eric B said...

I would also recommend the Sawtooth 100, Geoff. As a guy who has spent sometime in Alaska climbing, I found it amazing this course exists in the midwest. It not Alaska big, but big in it's own way. I ran in this fall and fell in love with the difficulty and beauty of it.

Brandon Mulnix - Owner Modern Photographics said...

Superior Sawtooth looks more your style than any of the Mid East Races. Have you ever ran in Central USA, or is everything mountainous or remote?