Sunday, November 20, 2011

Planning Ahead

I have to confess, I have some mixed emotions about all this race planning going on right now. My race planning, that is. I find it almost as exhausting as, you know ... racing!

I actually have a couple of spring races that I've already ponied up the cash for, so I started putting together a training calendar. Part of that process entails penciling in other race possibilities. But you know what's really crowding my calendar space?

Opening registration dates!

With races selling out so quickly these days, runners have to choose races well in advance of their registrations opening, then be sure to sign up right away.

And it's not even just those dates. It's also opening (and closing) lottery dates, plus the dates of the actual lotteries. It's simply way too much to keep track of for a girl who operates strictly on Tahoe Time. It's slightly anxiety-inducing.

Although I still haven't decided about lotteries and races, (Scott has a nice list of upcoming lotteries, if you're wondering what races I'm talking about.) I've discovered that two races I do want to enter open their registration on the exact same day. At the exact same minute. Both races will sell out fairly quickly, although exactly how fast is anyone's guess, and both open their registration at midnight on New Year's Eve. 

Really? Is that what most ultrarunners do on New Years? Stay home and hover over their computers at midnight? Or perhaps you all have smart phones, and you just sign up for races while doing shots on the dance floor with the crowd. I don't know. But I'm a little concerned about this situation.

Yes, I'm looking at you, Pocatello and TRT!

On the other hand, I do enjoy dreaming, and planning is part of that process. Scheduling all these things brings some of the same discipline and order to my life that running itself does. It tames just a bit of the chaos.

Seeing a race on the calendar, even if it's still just a possibility, inspires my training. When I'm crawling, cross country, up some steep mountainside, I think about exactly which races that training will benefit. I get excited. I have purpose. I run faster.

I grin with wicked delight.

"Good Things on the Horizon" - A scene from today's long run.

What races and lotteries are on your wish list this year?


  1. Exciting! Geof and I were just discussing this last night. We were hoping for a go at TRT, but it's the same weekend as a friend's wedding :( So, back to the drawing board...San Diego, Kettle 100, Wasatch (for G, not me!), or perhaps another run around the Rio course. Decisions, decisions! Will definitely plan to run Ice Age again in 2012 and some other shorties to keep the legs ready :)

  2. Love the photos in this post. Love love love.

  3. I can't wait to see your finalized race schedule. Also, I agree with Steve, the photos are freaking fantastic!

  4. Ah, at least you can dream and plan...

  5. Paige - Bummed you won't make it to TRT! Hopefully our paths will cross at some point this year.

    Steve - Thanks! They were taken by my friend Jenelle on our run yesterday. (See aforementioned steep, cross country, mountain crawling.) The visibility kept changing all day with a storm that was passing through - sometimes we couldn't see a thing, and sometimes we had views like those.

    Meghan - Thanks, I'm having fun putting it together. Hoping to see some of the same races on both our schedules! :)

    Olga - Oh, are you injured still? I thought after the Grand Canyon things sounded better. But don't let it stop you from dreaming!