Last weekend I went to my college alma mater. While there, Friday night the friend with whom I was staying decided to call up another friend who also was visiting to play basketball. We ended up at the college gym: a total of six men ranging in ages from 20 to 40, playing two games of three-on-three.
Over the course of the night and the next two days, I arrived at a few conclusions. First, I am not as young as I once was. Second, I am not as competitive or as driven as some of those with whom I was playing. Third, and in keeping with the theme of Feetfirst Friday, I am not in good enough shape to hike/run a 15-mile trail hike in what was then three weeks, what is now two weeks.
This winter I allowed a few things to conspire against me:
- The weather, which was up and down, warmer and then colder, you could gauge my enthusiasm or lack thereof like a thermometer
- Circumstances, car problems, finances — mentally, I was, and still to some extent am, drained
- Becoming accustomed to the lack of motivation from those previous two events, becoming stuck in a groove and not a good one either
So now it is April 11, and I am rethinking my running goals (again). I restarted running in 2004 after nearly a 15-year layoff. In late 2005, I set a goal of running in a marathon by the time I was 40. In late 2007, I achieved the equivalence of running a marathon, when I completed a 24.9 mile trail hike called the Bald Eagle Mountain Megatransect. While 1.3 miles short in actual distance, it was more than equal to the distance in terms of the physical and mental effort exerted. That story can be found here. Now it is time to set new goals: short-term, medium-term and long-term.
Short-term: Run in a couple of 5- and 10Ks, namely three: the 24th Annual Guthrie Gallop (10K) in Sayre, Pa. on May 10; the Bob Bridgman Memorial Run (5K) in Mansfield, Pa. on Memorial Day and the Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival Foot Race (10K) on June 21.
Medium term: Find some trail races from June until October to prepare for my long-term goal for this year.
Long-term (at least for this year): Run in another Bald Eagle Mountain Megatransect on Oct. 4, with more running this time than the first time when I hiked much of the course.
Long-term (for the future): I really haven’t thought that far ahead. I mean, yes, I’d like to continue the Megatransect for…well…indefinitely, but beyond that, I don’t know. Maybe the Escarpment, a 30K (18.6 miles) trail run in New York State that has total elevation gains of nearly 10,000 feet. The Megatransect, in comparison, had total elevation gains of nearly 5,000 feet.
Of course, now that I have reset my goals comes the next step: Setting up a plan to get there and then sticking with that. The subject of my next Feetfirst Friday.