Thursday, December 27, 2007

Year in Review

As I sit here at work with another snowy Colorado blizzard going on outside with nothing to work on I started reflecting on the past year of racing and climbing. I guess it is that time of year to reflect on the past year and start planning the upcoming year.

2007 has been my greatest year yet and I did not even plan on it. Everything just kind of fell into place. I basically went from a back of the packer at races to finishing in the top 20 in my age group on every race I entered. I also got a lot of the 14ers here in Colorado completed this year, over half of 58 that there are in this great state. Here is a list of what I was able to do this year as far as racing.

Mount Evans Ascent(14.5 miles): 2:30:00 for 4th in my age group (4500 ft of climbing)
Wild West Relay (195 mile relay): No Whiners team got 4th in divison
Georgetown Half Marathon: 1:27 for 16th in my age group
Leadville 10K: 42:50 for 3rd overall and age group, race at 10,000 feet
Bohemian Alps 50K (33.8 miles): 4:31:00 for 5th overall
Denver Marathon: 3:13:45 for 16th in age group

Not a bad year of racing considering my goals these year was just to finish a marathon in under 4 hours. I have not been able to do that until this year. What a change considering that last year I finished the Estes Park Marathon in over 5 hours.

Also this past year I had the chance to climb many mountains both in the winter and summer. I have completed 29 of the 58 14ers in the state and even repeated 8 of them for 37 total 14ers for the year. Not bad considering that I was not planning on climbing that much. I went on a trip last Feb to Quandary and got hooked. This total does not include the 20 or so other mountains under 14,000 feet that I have climbed this year or the 35 mile 4 pass Maroon Bells backpacking loop. It has been a great year in the mountains.

Here is the link to all of my pictures for the past year, enjoy!
Shad's Pictures

For this upcoming year I have decided to redirect my energy into mostly just running and attempting my first 50 and 100 mile runs. Here is a picture of my upcoming training plan. Of course this is still a work in progress. If you click on the spreadsheet below it will enlarge.

It may be hard to read the photo, sorry about that but basically there is 2-3 short races, 2 marathons, 2 50Ks, 3 50 milers, and then the grand daddy of 2008, Leadville 100 mile trail run. There is also an attempt on the John Muir trail in California which is over 200 miles long. This would basically be averaging 31 miles a day for 7 days. I thought this would be good slow endurance training for Leadville 100 which is the overall goal in 2008.

We will see if I can hold up to all of this. I am sure some of the races and training will change based on how I am feeling as I work throughout the year. I will have to back off on the speed and just attempt to just finish each race. I need to make sure that I can recover from race to race and not grind myself into the ground until the Leadville 100 at which time I will give it my all.

As far as finishing my climbing of all the 14ers, I will fit them in here and there. I plan on doing at least Snowmass when Kirk is ready to do his last 14er sometime this year. These mountains are not going anywhere and I will get them all done, just not this year. I want my last 14er to be Handies as I finish Hardrock 100 mile trail run. I need to work my way up to that, maybe in 2009. Hardrock is the hardest 100 miler out there. What a cool way to finish all the 14ers huh?

I want to thank everyone for their support and help this year. Everyone from my girlfriend Ashley for running with me and putting up with my long climbing trips and my crazy training schedule. I also want to thank my main training partners Rebecca, Neal and Rachel for the motivation this year, it sucks to do long runs solo. I am looking forward to the adventures on the trail that we have planned for 2008! I also want to thank climbing partners Kirk, Dan, Scott, Chris, and Prakash along with Rebecca again for getting after the 14ers with me this year, hopefully my training will allow me to get in a few climbs in 2008 with you. I am also thankful for all the people I got to meet/train with/climb with from and websites. I also want to thank Clyde for introducing me to ultras. We will see where this leads to this year buddy. I am looking forward to all the ultras that we have planned together in 2008.

I hope that everyone has a great 2008 and see you on the trails!