Although this year felt like it was an ‘off’ year, I still managed to put up a lot of miles on foot. This will be my third highest mileage year ever with almost 1300 miles. Granted, a bunch of these were hiking miles, but it’s all still solid time on feet.
The year started out with a lot of 20-30 mile weeks, which is my normal during a down season. There were a few higher weeks, and a few lower ones, but overall I maintained a solid level of running fitness over the winter and spring. By the time I hit May I was ready to start doing a couple of races.
I started the year out with a virtual half-marathon for Bigger Than The Trail before hitting my first in-person race in a while, the Sugar Badger 50K. The Sugar Badger went incredibly well and I set a new 50K PR. Plus, I walked away without injury and I felt good. I’ve certainly reached a level where my base fitness level allows me to do a lot more than it used to.
Once summer hit it was time to get in a bunch of hiking miles, often with a backpack, to get ready for my attempted Superior Hiking Trail thru-hike. Although the hike didn’t go like I wanted it to, I’m excited to do more backpacking in the future. It certainly planted the bug in me to want to get out there more.
In mid-summer I did run one more race, the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon in Duluth. I had volunteered at this event many times, and it was about time I actually gave it a go. It was a really warm day and I went out too fast, but I was super glad that I got it done. It’s a wonderful race and I loved being a part of it.
After returning from my SHT attempt I went right back in to regular running and picked up where I left off, with average levels of maintenance miles to keep the fitness level up. Since my next race is a biking race, I’m just trying to keep things steady before I switch back over to training for my first big race of 2022 the Black Canyon 60K in February.
My plan is to set my sights on a 100K race for a goal race for the year. I like the 100K distance and I’m excited to try another one, now that I’ve got some 100 mile experience under my belt. I think I can do a lot better this time around.
It’s crazy to think that I’m starting my 13th year as a runner. It seems like only yesterday I was struggling to even complete a 5K. I’m looking forward to many more adventures to come!