If 2016 taught me anything, it's that I'm wired more for endurance events than the short stuff. While the sprint triathlons I did this year provided a needed break after an Ironman year, they just didn't require the discipline and dedication that I needed. When I began training for IM Boulder in 2015, the thought of covering that distance (as well as the amount of money I poured into it) scared the hell out of me. I didn't have much trouble staying motivated to get out and train. The same can't be said of the shorter stuff. Throughout the year I found myself blowing off training and justifying it with thinking like: "well, it's only a sprint and I still have three more weeks to train." This was probably true, and in spite of these excuses I had a decent year of racing, but it didn't do much for my bottom line fitness at least not at the level I'd hoped for.
So now I'm looking 2017 in the eye and thinking about the things I'd like to accomplish in the coming year. I'm leaning towards a year that's a bit like 2013 (minus the bike crash!) with a mixture of various types of endurance events. I will likely concentrate on just a handful of events this year as that seems to be the most effective for me.
January 1, 2017: 4th Annual Johnson Family New Year's Day Run. We've hosted an unofficial "fun run/ walk" each year since 2013. I will plan on running the 5ish mile course although we also have a 5k option for those that are so inclined. Post race there's green and red chili for everyone. This has always been a great way to start off the new year!
UPDATE: April 2017: 24 hours of Palmer Lake.
May 20, 2017: Tommyknocker Ultras (12 hour race). I'm already registered for this one! Located near Golden, Colorado this is an interesting event. Over a 12 hour period, participants run a series of randomly selected loops ranging from 2 to 6 miles. At the end of each loop, a runner pulls a colored ball out of a bucket that corresponds to a specific loop, and that is the next loop the runner completes. As a result, everyone's day is a bit different. I'm really excited about this one!
May 29, 2017: Bolder Boulder. This will be my 29th edition and 20th consecutive race! Need I say more?
June 17, 2017: Mountain Top Experience Ride. 100+ miles and some killer climbs on this one. Although I've done this one a couple of times, it's been a couple of years. The last time it really kicked my butt, so my goal this year will be to have a strong event.
July 2017: Carter Lake Swim Crossing. This has been on my mind for a couple of years now and with its middle of summer time frame, I think it could be a possibility this year. The race is 3 miles total and while I'd like to consider something a bit longer, I think that this would be a good starting place. A bit further than some of my previous swims, but not outside the realm of possibility. I also like that it's a "crossing," which is different than a typical "loop style" OWS. The front range location also makes it attractive as it's in easy driving distance of my parents house.
UPDATE of the UPDATE: This one is back on and I am registered!
March 2017: Highline Canal 100K. This isn't actually a race, it's a Fat-Ass Run, which is essentially a slightly organized group run with no fees, no results, no aid stations. This . . . ahem "event" follows the Highline Canal in Denver from Waterton Canyon all the way to Green Valley Ranch. It's somewhere between 62-64 total miles and would definitely be a great way to challenge myself early on in the year.
September 2017: 106 West Triathlon. I've actually done the "pre-registration" for this event which would guarantee me a spot as well as some sort of discount on registration. I'm a bit leery of doing a fall triathlon in the mountains, but at 10,000 feet, I like the challenge that this half iron distance race provides. This event falls during our annual Breckenridge trip so I'm not 100% convinced yet, as I'll need to make sure it's okay with the family. I'll also have to see what the registration cost will be. There's also the Harvest Moon (renamed 5280) that month, so that's another possibility.
|Mizuno Kazan Trail Shoes|
|Hoka One One Stinson 3 ATR|
|Inov-8 Roclite 280|
Currently I have 4 definite events as well another 4 tentative events planned for the coming year. It's unlikely that I'll do all 8 events this year, but I could see 2 or 3 of the tentative ones making the list. Thanks for reading!