Monday, January 9, 2012
March 24: The HAT Run 50K
I had registered for the 2009 HAT Run shortly after registration for the race opened. Unfortunately I had to DNS ("Did Not Start") that race due to injury. This race has always stood out to me since it was featured in Trail Runner Magazine and even though they boast "nearly 9,800 feet of climbing" I think that number is actually GPS measured and by standard measurement would be a lot less. The fact that times at the HAT Run are typically about an hour faster than at Oil Creek would indicate that this course might feature a lot of "up and down" but I do not expect the kind of long hikes up huge hills that were at Oil Creek. I should almost certainly get a 50K PR here and am shooting to go under six hours.
June 30: Finger Lakes Fifties 50K
I've run the 25K version of this race three times. It's a super fun course with well-stocked aid stations. The course for the 50K is a bit long (nearly 33 miles), but the profile is comparable to the HAT Run. Through in warm July 4 weekend temperatures and my time should be 15-30 minutes slower than HAT. It was actually the warm-up late in Oil Creek that made me decide to not try for 50 miles at Finger Lakes this year. If I do the 50K, I should be finishing just as the mid-day heat takes hold. If I do Fifty Miles, I'll pretty much have to suffer through the heat of the day - something I'd rather avoid.
October 7: Steamtown Marathon
Last May's Pittsburgh Marathon gave me a glimpse of my potential as a marathoner. Pittsburgh is a difficult course and running a 16-minute PR makes me wonder how I might do on a more speed-friendly course. Steamtown is by no means a flat course, and I've been warned to not get carried away with the early downhills, because the penalty for those early gains is severe. But it is also a race where many go to qualify for Boston because good times have been posted there. Based on my finish at Pittsburgh, I'll be shooting for a sub-3:40 finish.
I'll of course shoot to do well in some summer 5K's, and I'll likely go back to Rocky Ridge Park in August with a plan to improve on my finish last year at the On the Rocks Trail Run. That about sums up my racing. The race scene in this area for January and February is pretty scarce with only some low-key 5K races happening, so my first race of the year may be the HAT Run, although the idea of kicking of the year with a 5K PR does appeal to me.
As far as training goes, I have a loose schedule planned for the year, and with over 1,500 miles run in 2011 it occurs to me that I could go for 2,012 in 2012. Although that would require averaging over 38 miles per week (and I am not off to the best start on that). I think at sometime soon I will reach over 2,000 miles in a year, but I doubt that 2012 will be that year.