My goals over the next month are all over the place and pretty conflicted.
First, I need to recover after a couple of months of racing. This time of year usually concludes a "season" for me since I like to plan races for the cold months. I'm a believer in a couple of weeks of rest a couple of times a year. It certainly helps recharge the batteries and lets the body heal up. Alberto Salazar and Ryan Hall have recently both been in my ear about this (well, through the great Competitor Radio podcasts). Congrats to Ryan for running an insane 2:04:58 at Boston, by the way. They have both talked about how important rest is and how few athletes do it. But that is because it really is so hard to do once running becomes habit and fun. So I'm trying to take it easy for a few weeks.
Second, I need to make sure I'm in shape enough to do the Atlanta to Athens MS Ride. I'll be doing this 180 mile ride over two days for Team Allison. My wife, Allison, was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago so we've put together a killer team (including Allison) to ride to Athens and back. It's gonna be a long couple of days in the saddle but we've already raised $5,000 for MS! So I've been riding a bit to get ready for that which is good to mix it up.
Third, I'm still pretty motivated to run and race. One of the best parts about ultrarunning is looking through the list of races. It's kinda like looking through the catalogs before Christmas to put together your wish list. Well my wishlist is pretty long at the moment. I want to do some 50k and 50 mile races while also doing some low key adventures. Trying to string those together is no easy task. The Chattanooga stage race or the Speedgoat 50k are early season potentials at this point if I can get in shape enough.
Speaking of being motivated, I cheated my rest period and ran in Tacoma, WA, last week at Point Defiance park. This is one of the best road runs in the US in my opinion. It's absolutely beautiful in so many ways...from the Pueget Sound views to the flora with it's ancient trees and massive ferns to the wildlife. The distinct pacific northwest forest smell hits you immediately. This five mile loop has nice easy climbs and soft shoulders. They also have nice trails to run although short. If you're in the area check it out.
Lastly, I have a nagging knee injury that I need to let heal. This one is lingering from a fall onto a rock in one of the last Conasauga River crossings that we did while backpacking a few weeks ago. Carrying a forty pound pack, a tired little girl, and a boxer freaked out over the swift river turned out to be too much and brought me down on the last ford. Hopefully this will get better soon.
So the past couple of weeks have been a mixed bag as far a recovery is concerned but looking forward to the MS Ride and beyond.