My next BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) + Boston training thoughts

Looking back, my running journey has followed a fairly linear trajectory. I’ve constantly been shooting for goal races that are longer or goal paces that are faster than what I’ve done before. After 7 half marathons I ran my first full marathon. I pretty quickly decided that I had more in me and that I wanted to quality for Boston, which I did this past May. This fall I focused on shorter races, setting PRs in the 5k, 10k, and hopefully the half marathon in just a few short weeks!

With Boston training kicking off around Christmas, I’ve been itching to set myself another big goal. Boston is a bit of a tricky animal to plan around–the course is really challenging and the weather is unreliable. Basically, as much as I would love it, it’s not the best course to re-qualify for the 2019 race. I’m also going to be away for three weeks of training when we are on our honeymoon in New Zealand (!!!). So, basically, my thoughts for Boston are as follows:

  • Train for a PR (3:25), while letting myself relax and not worry about missed runs while we’re on our honeymoon.
  • If it’s a perfect day weather-wise, I’ll shoot for a PR and BQ time.
  • If my training isn’t what I had hoped and/or the weather stinks, I’ll toss my watch and run the thing as a victory lap–complete with lots of high 5s, hugs, tears, and smiles.

Given that I probably won’t be able to ace my training and/or get a perfect, weather day, I wanted to have something else on the horizon that I could aim for as my next BHAG. Cue my impulsive registration for… my first 50k!! Thanks to a well-timed email discount, I jumped the gun and registered for the Pinelands 50k in Maine. This race appealed to me for several reasons:Pineland Trail Running Festival 2018

  • It’s 6 weeks after Boston, meaning I’ll have plenty of time to recover but (hopefully) not enough to lose my fitness.
  • It’s on the way to my family’s cabin, so I have an easy place to chill before/recover after.
  • The course isn’t technical–according to the website, “trails are level, wide (12′), and non-technical with no roots or rocks, but very hilly. Although there are no major climbs the rolling terrain is unrelenting.” Good thing I’ll be training on the Newton hills all winter!!
Image result for big hairy audacious goal

I’m working on recruiting a few friends to come and run it with me, which will be super duper fun and helpful (woo Danielle for already registering!!) I do have some outstanding questions, mainly along the lines of:

  • Do I want to hire a coach again?
  • How will I make the transition between Boston and this race?
  • What gear do I need/want?
  • Can I actually run more than 26.2 miles?
  • How the heck long will this race take me?
  • How do I fuel for 30 miles??

Etc, etc, etc… 😉 Mostly I’m just really excited to see what it’s like to run a race where it’s really more about completing the distance than it is about pushing the pace super hard. Ultra people/trail runners–give me all the tips!! Total newbie here and I can use any advice I can get!!