2018: A Year of Focus

This is the obligatory, “It has been a while, but I am back” blog post.

Last year, I fell off in keeping up this site and contributing to The Endurist — my side project with Sara.

I enjoy reading the regularly updated blogs, such as Writer on Writing by Peter Clines and Macdrifter from Gabe Weatherhead. I was recently going through their archives and found myself wishing I had maintained this site a little better.

So here it is.

To better maintain my motivation, I am going to post about any topics that interest me. A lot of it will still focus on running, but there will also be other stuff. The big-ticket running items will end up over on The Endurist.

To kick it off, here are my 2018 goals.

Running Goals

In 2017, I finished the UROC 100k, Bryce Canyon 100M, Tahoe 200M, and the Pinhoti 100M. It would be difficult to say that wasn’t a good year of running, but I finished the year feeling like I hadn’t performed entirely to my expectations.

In hindsight, I had been a little too ambitious in our race planning; in 2017 the races were just to close together and mentally I lost my edge after Tahoe.

I want 2018 to be different.

Sara and I were both lucky enough to get pulled in the Western States 100 lottery — the odds of which were about .0000001%.

This race has been a dream of mine since I first read about it ten years ago. It sounds cheesy, but I am not willing to let this opportunity go to waste. I plan to put everything I have into having a good day at the WS100. I can’t promise a personal best time, but I can guarantee I’ll do everything possible to have that good day.

The first step to that involves revamping my training,

I feel like I have been in a training rut the last two years and that I haven’t had a “fast” year since 2015. I also admit that I tend to overtrain when I get excited about a race.

With both of those in mind, I decided to mix things up and find a coach to help me dial in my training and prepare for the big one. After watching my progress for a few weeks, Sara decided to sign on as well.

We have been working with our coach for a month, and it has been a positive experience. It is odd having someone else control my workouts, but I have done more speed work and ran more hills than I have since high school cross country.

[We’ll post more about our coaching experience in a few more weeks.]

After we finish WS100, we will be heading for the Moab 240. Sara and I have run every step of the Bigfoot 200 and the Tahoe 200 together (except when she left me to die for one mile at Bigfoot), and I cannot wait to finish the last of Destination Trail’s 200-mile races together.

Writing Goals

This goal has been a broken record for me over the last decade. A few months out of each year I start trying to write more, and then I taper off … and get distracted … and then I stop writing altogether.

This year I have set a word count goal of 200,000 words. Looking at the number is intimidating, but it breaks down to 548 words a day. This seems pretty reasonable for someone who has moderation issues. It is also is a low enough number that theoretically if I miss a few days a month, I can quickly catch back up.

I am trying to treat writing the way I treat running. I now have a goal each day. I wake up and know that the question isn’t if, but when I will write. When I finish, I log my words in an Excel spreadsheet that I found online to help stay honest.

As for what I am writing about, I have no fucking clue.

But that is the point. In addition to this blog and The Endurist, I dabble in fiction. I hope that having a consistent massive writing goal will force me to find a story and develop some structure.

Live Like a Clock

There is a concept in John L. Parker’s Again to Carthage that speaks to consistency.

The idea is that you do the same thing at the same time every day and through that repetition, you will excel. While I may not live exactly like a clock this year, I will strive to be more consistent and establish a constant rhythm with my life that allows me to accomplish my goals.

And in the meantime, this post puts me at 7,919 words and 130 miles into my 2018 goals.

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