Tuesday, November 22, 2016

40 by 40 Goal: What's Next?

love the view from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP

As I mentioned yesterday, I accomplished my goal of 40 races between my 38th and 40th birthdays- seven months before my 40th birthday. Yay me!


Being the chronic overachiever that I am, I have 3 more races planned for November and December. I'm calling my goal "finished" after the race I run New Year's Eve. I won't be running the New Year's Day race this year since it's on a Sunday.

Of course, just because I'm finishing my goal six months early doesn't mean I won't be running any more. I'm planning on running another 4 or 5 races before I actually turn 40 at the end of June. Since I will be drastically reducing the number of races I participate in, I will be turning my energies towards training and bringing my race times down.

I had originally planned on a challenging schedule of a 10 miler in March followed by a full marathon a couple week later. The marathon would then be followed by a half marathon that's been billed as the toughest half in the country (the accompanying full marathon is billed as the toughest marathon in the country). After that is a 5k that is entirely uphill and a 5k that is run into, and then back out of, a quarry.

Basically it would be the spring of tough runs. My training would focus on two things: building the distance base and endurance I'd need, and lots of hill workouts and cross training to build the muscles needed for all the hills in the races.


While running the trail run on tired, leaden legs and suffering from lack of sleep, I had a lot of random thoughts run through my head. It occurred to me that maybe running a full marathon this spring wouldn't be the best plan. With Mr M's crazy work schedule my training time is limited. I'm confident I can find the time to train for a half marathon, but I'm not confident that I'd have the time for the long training runs I'd need for a full marathon. I had been planning on running the full marathon version of the half I trained for while pregnant with River. Switching to the half marathon means I'd finally get to run that race.

But I'm not sure even the half will happen this spring. I've got a big project I'm working on that requires a lot of time and attention to detail in the beginning. I'm hoping it'll be less time intensive by April or May, but in the meantime it's sucking up a lot of my time, which is very evident in my treadmill mileage this month. Less treadmill time means I won't be as well trained as I'd like, especially for a half marathon.

I'll really have to play things by ear and see how soon my schedule calms down. I'll keep the 5ks on my schedule: the flat 5k in March (aiming for a PR), the uphill 5k in April, the quarry 5k in May, and the June 5k I've run the last 5 years. One race a month is very doable, even with my busy schedule.

Some possibilities I will keep in mind: changing the flat 5k to a 10k, and the 10 miler (I volunteered at this one last year). Those races are consecutive weeks in March, though, so if I add a race I will keep the 5k and do the 10 miler. Though the 10k would be a good lead-up to the 10 miler..... :)

If I follow through with the races planned I should end up with 47 or 48 races before I turn 40 at the end of June. Because I can't leave well enough alone and just stop at 40 races :)

I'll update this list when I actually turn 40, but in the meantime, here's some of what I've accomplished:

1 mile
Completed a race while pregnant
1st in age group
2 mile
In a kilt
2nd in age group
4k (2.49 miles)
Cross country
2 races in 12 hours
Very last finisher of the race
5k (3.1 miles)
Mixed surface
Evening run
Ran a 5k without stopping to walk
3.5 miles
Pushing jogger with one boy
Only one race of the 40 was run twice- all the other races are one-offs
4 miles
2 races in same day

4.8 miles
Mud run
Pushing jogger with both boys

10k (6.2 miles)
Corn maze
Predict your time

Half marathon (13.1 miles)
Color run
With all 3 kiddos

13.6 miles
Glow run
Traveled to a race (stayed in a hotel the night before)

Full marathon
(26.1 miles)
Obstacle run
In costume

Kayak race
Filled out a paper entry form

Water stop volunteer


While running so many races in such a short period of time has been tiring, it has enabled me to run a wide variety of races I might not otherwise have run. I've branched out to other locations and finally signed up for most of the races I've been meaning to do. I didn't get quite the variety of distances I'd hoped for, but I'm still very happy with what I've accomplished. And I have a much shorter list of races to run: that 10 miler if I don't do it this spring, an international half or full marathon, a Ragnar race, an ultra....

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