Tis the season for putting away things that are better left behind in 2017 and looking to the horizon to plan what could be for 2018. It may surprise people who know me, but due to a lot of family “things” over the last few years, I have rarely approached the New Year with droves of optimism. In fact, our family received another “bomb shell of worry” for Christmas this year that would make you think I would be approaching 2018 with the same measure of apathy of optimism as past years. But oddly enough, this year does feel different. This year feels like I’ve finally found that measure of maturity required to truly accept the grace associated with the “Serenity Prayer” . . . “Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.”
So what is different this year?
If I am being completely honest, it is my running tribe that has made me excited. I blame them for an audacity of enthusiasm in the New Year that has hitherto been lacking. Many of the folks in my running group, the Mad Cows, have set bold goals for the New Year. Many of them blame me for their “bad choices”. I tell them that they need better friends. We have folks who have gone from never running trails to signing up to run a race on the side of the mountain, at night, in the cold. We have folks who started running 1.5 years ago and are now signed up to run an ultra marathon . . .or maybe two. We have folks that made their goal to run a marathon in 2018 and then somehow ended up registered for a 50 miler. My running tribe has invited me to be part of an exciting journey to run the Black Toe 12 hr Trail Race, the Strolling Jim 41.2 miler/marathon, and the sweetest one of all, the Tunnel Hill 50 miler.
So now that I have talked about the goals of our running tribe, what are the ultra running couples’ goals for 2018? Our goals for this year are to stay in the moment and focus on enjoying each experience or alternatively, learning from each struggle. We will not try to overlook or escape the experience by wishing it over or looking to a finish line that does not exist until we complete the run. Our goals are to do what lifts us and during our journey, to do what lifts others. So here are the race goals for 2018:
- Black Toe Trail Race – 12 hour – We want to stay committed to the full 12 hours rather than get bored or tired and stop early.
- Strolling Jim 41.2 miler – Our perpetual goal is to run the course in under 7 hours and earn the coveted “red shirt”
- The NRC Dark Sky 50 miler – We have run 50 mile races but never one on a technical trail . . . and this race is a week after “the Jim” so the physical and mental challenge will be high
- 100K – We have never run a 100K race. We have run longer than 100K but never signed up for a 100K trail race.
- The Barkley Fall Classic – This is some serious crazy. We want to complete this prelude to the Barkley at Frozen Head State park. We want to battle thorns and climbs and face the very real possibility of defeat. We want to test ourselves. We want the Croix de Barque.
- Tunnel Hill 50 miler – We are looking to run the course in under 9 hours and bear witness to the Mad Cows who will be experiencing the distance for the first time.
- El Camino de Lavaca – 225 mile Pilgrimage – We want to travel 225 miles in 10 days in a Texas “winter” with nothing but our trusty running shoes, our hydration packs, and each other. If we can succeed, in 2019 – Vol State 500K, we are coming for you.
And then there are the “other” running goals that are even more important than adding to our race resume:
- We want to do everything possible to help our running tribe meet their goals in 2018.
- We want to run with new runners and meet with new running groups in our local community.
- We want to have fun. So simple and yet somehow we as humans often find a way to lose sight of the idea of fun and muck things up.
So with that, Happy New Year dear reader. We hope you plan audacious goals in 2018 and that you do “what lifts you” and on your journey, do what lifts others.