For most of 2022 I had my mind set on running 100 miles, but it didn’t happen.
The year began with so much promise. I enjoyed so many wonderful winter miles on the trails of Noanet and Hale Reservation. I had a solid 30-mile effort through the snow and frigid temperatures at the TARCtic Frozen Yeti in February and then earned my fourth finish of the Trail Animals’ classic “Don’t Run Boston” 50K in April, but then everything pretty much stopped. My base was good – by my standards, anyway – and I still wanted to run a 100-miler, but it just … never happened.
There were scheduling conflicts that made Virgil Crest or the Hawk not possible. Ghost Train had a massive wait list. The excuses piled up and the clock eventually ran out on me. By the time I considered Midstate Massive I’d missed too much time to prepare for the climbing or to study the course. Excuse, excuse, excuse.
The Hamsterwheel in November became my fallback option for a big mileage effort, and I managed 64 miles in about 18 ½ hours before pulling the plug on the 30-hour race. I enjoyed every bit of it, but hadn’t put in the work necessary to deserve to get to 100 miles. Even if I did manage to go the distance, I knew the only thing I would’ve deserved as an injury due to lack of preparation.
I’m thankful that the Hamsterwheel provided such a positive experience to close out the season. It was my biggest effort in a single push in several years, which provided quite a bit of satisfaction. It also reignited the curiosity to go farther, as well as the desire to put in the work to make that possible.
Which brings me to 2023.
After running 1,363 miles last year and wanting to run a 100-miler but not putting in sufficient work or getting around to signing up in time, it’s time to learn from those shortcomings and make 2023 a memorable year.
It’s 19 days into the new year and I’ve already hit the 100-mile mark for total miles with two 40-plus-mile weeks in the past three. I’ve had several double-digit days during the past few months and enter the year with a better base than I’ve enjoyed in quite a while. In two weeks I’ll get my first opportunity to put that base to the test.
This year will begin just as it did a year ago with the TARCtic Frozen Yeti in early February. I’m once again signed up for the 30-hour option. I have no real goals other than to run smart, manage my nutrition, and do the little things right to set the tone for the year. After the Frozen Yeti, the schedule remains the same with my fifth time running “Don’t Run Boston” in April.
After that, it’s time to chase some big dreams. I’m second on the wait list for the 100.7-mile race at the Notchview Ultra in July. I’ll also be signing up for the 30-hour at Ghost Train in October when registration opens on Sunday. That will give me one or two shots at 100 miles, depending on how the wait list shakes out.
If 2022 was about missed opportunities and dreams unfulfilled, then 2023 is the year to make things right.