Monday, January 19, 2015

Dealing with 2015 Jitters

I am like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve ready to tear into the presents piled under the tree. Why? Well...

For the second year I am continuing on the Run Steep Get High Mountain Running Team which has now partnered with Salomon! And also continuing as a CarboPro Elite Athlete. I am very thankful for their support and I am looking forward to a great year of mountain running and racing!

So excited that I even had my race schedule lined up in the first week of January! - a first for me.

Danger! This may entice you to go run the steeps! Here is a preview of the mountains I will be climbing.

Jan 10 -- San Tan Scramble, San Tan, AZ, 50K - Placed 2nd and ran 5 minutes faster than last year! A fun low desert fast rolling course with a wicked climb and descent. A great race report was posted my friend Charlie Ware who I ran with for most of the race.
Feb 14 -- Black Canyon 100k, AZ, 100k - A Western States qualifier makes it a top contending race!
March 7 -- Old Pueblo, Sonoita, AZ, 50M - If my legs recover in time this is an ol' time favorite in my backyard.
June 27 -- Mont Blanc 80K, Chamonix, FR (ULTRA World), 50M - oh yeah! Need I say more?
July 19 -- Audi Power of 4, Aspen, CO, 50K - A tough ski resort mountain race that may help be competitive in both the world and U.S. Skyrunning series.
Aug 1 -- Tushar Sky Race (ULTRA US), 50K - Not sure if I am more excited about the amazing mountain course or the fact the race organizers use composting toilets instead of port-a-pots!
Sept 5 -- The Rut, Big Sky, MT (ULTRA US & World), 31M - This was too much fun last year and now more local fast friends will also be competing at this race.
Oct 4 -- Flagstaff Sky Race, AZ (ULTRA US), 55K - A great way to end a long Skyrunning series on Arizona soil.

March 28 -- Crown King Scramble, AZ, 50KM - I would love to do this race but need to see how my legs are feeling before committing.
May 9 -- Transvulcania, La Palma, ESP (ULTRA World), 50M - still crossing my fingers hoping I can squeeze in! Please, oh please, oh please...
Dec 6 -- TNF Endurance Challenge, San Francisco, CA, 50M - this was too exciting to follow via IRunFar's twitter feed in 2014 that I figured I need to throw myself into the mix and experience it first hand!
Photo Source: The Rut
Actually, I am starting the year with mostly jitters and a dash of anxiety thrown in. It started in October when I won the 2014 US Skyrunning Ultra series. For the prize - an expense paid trip to a World Series Skyrunning race - I selected Mount Blanc 80k in Chamonix, France which includes intense climbing, the world's best competition, stunning scenery, and a foreign mountain range.

Then to add to my jitters I flushed out a demanding 2015 race calendar which included my 2014 favorites The Rut and Flagstaff Sky Run.

So, to control the jitters I need to focus on tasks at hand and remain in the present.

Making a few specific New Year's running resolutions has seemed to help:

First, I signed up with a coach. I did well in 2014 and remained disciplined and consistent. But, I felt it was time to invest in my ultrarunning career and move from pure determination to a bit more finesse. The assurance and confidence I am gaining with my coach has helped ease the jitters and keeps me focused.

Second, I resolve to take advantage of being a trail runner whenever I can. I learned this from my buddy, Charlie. So, now if I find myself near a trailhead due to work I bring my running gear along and enjoy some extra mid-week mountain trail time. I even have a monthly running check-in meeting with my boss!

Third, I realized it will take more than just running to gain strength. I schedule in a weekly yoga session, a couple of drill/plyos sessions, and even an occasional bike ride or hike.

What has helped you so far this year stay focused and in the present?

Photo source: Vo von Sehlen, The Runner's Edge
 Photo: Ian Sharman.