Welcome to Part 2 in our series designed to motivate and inspire you in 2019.
Next up: How to Prepare for an FKT.
It’s the start of a new year. As runners we’re busy conceiving new goals and challenges to motivate us in training and racing. Targeting and preparing for specific events will certainly occupy a percentage of your training but what about designing a personal challenge right where you live? Our own backyards offer the opportunity to create experiences that might also serve as great training for a specific event.
Here are five points to consider when looking local for a challenge to add in 2019.
What inspires you? Hopefully you love where you live and you picked the area for how it makes you feel. Even if that is not the case, there is inspiration all around us. Dig into the area and explore what you love to look at. A lake? A hillside? A mountaintop? A route through town? And think, how can I get there?
Once it’s found ask yourself: “what can you do with that inspiration?” Run around a lake? Up a mountain? To a destination? For example, to make a long winter training run more enjoyable I ran from my door to my parents all on trail this winter. This ended up being an awesome adventure that didn’t require a ton of planning.
Please note, I love spreadsheets, lists and maps. I visualize by expressing details in different colored cells and drawing lines on maps. I love calculating possible time splits and estimating mileages. I try to detail out specifics on what I prefer to wear, eat and use while running, but admit I provide extra options to accommodate the “what ifs.” Writing this out ahead of time in a digestible format makes the day of the adventure run much smoother. There is the reality that the whole plan could change dramatically, but there is a guideline and goal to at least start from and aim for.
Enlist a team
As solo of a sport as running can be, I’ve found a way to create teamwork around it. Running with a partner and/or enlisting a crew adds energy to the whole experience. Who you enlist is super important because the positivity of their energy (or negativity) will factor in to your adventure. Finding people that understand the mission, are in tune with what you hope to put into and get out of it and are flexible to roll with time shifts, weather or other obstacles that could arise are precious assets to your experience.
Capture the moments
Take photos. Create videos. Record voice notes. Share your experience through social media channels if that is something you are in to. Mark this adventure in time so that you can look back, recall some of the stories and revel in the work and experiences.
Doing these things along the way will help you create pause and in-the-moment reflection. There is a reason you decided to take a certain picture, mark the moment in your brain as well just before or after capturing the snap. Remember, the longer the adventure, the fuzzier memories will be (especially if you move through the night and miss precious sleep) so it’s best to have moments captured to help with your recall.
However the adventure ends up – goal achieved or not quite – be sure to celebrate. Take your crew out for a meal, share stories, print photos, gather everyone involved together a couple of days later to laugh and remember. Celebration can be overlooked as an important step in anything we do (work or play). Taking time to celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishment in whatever form rounds out the experience and makes it whole.
Krissy Moehl ran her first ultra trail run at 22 years old. In her 18-year career, she has run more than 100 races. She has 60 female wins and 2 outright wins. She grew up in the sport and continues to build her life as an ultramarathon runner, coach, motivational speaker, race director and author. Her first book, Running Your First Ultra was published December 2015.