Prompted by an internet blogging "tag" to divulge my 2009 racing plans, I return to posting. Although I haven't done any recent racing, I did finish out the year with a couple of crewing roles for friends at races in the Bay Area. These events gave me a newfound appreciation that I hope to carry forward when people are crewing for me in the future. Furthermore, both Erik's and Kyle's performances were inspiring for the kind of racing I hope to be doing in the coming year.
I'm heading into 2009 with a thought to learning some lessons from my (lack of a real) 2008 racing season. Basically, I hope to focus on a few key races where I have a good, long, gradual build-up in training for each one instead of constantly always cramming trying to get in shape. Hopefully, with a few less miles and some smarter decisions on my part, I will be more consistently healthy. In 2008 I ran 5162 miles, which was only about a dozen miles less than the year before, but I was, yet again, almost completely out of running for four of the 12 months of the year. That has to change.
Because of the possibilities of injuries and other life circumstances, I've only 100% committed financially and mentally to one race so far this year: the Western States 100. Barring any natural disasters (and injury) that should be one heckuva fun day of racing. Plenty of prognostication has already occurred elsewhere on the Internets regarding that event, so I won't go much further than to say I will be completely focused on running as well as possible there this year.
Other semi-focus races I am considering are either the Leona Divide 50 or the Zane Grey 50 in April. The main determining factor there will be whether I will have moved back to Colorado by April or not. Running and working in Ashland is pretty hard to beat, especially this time of year when most of Colorado is suffering through snow and cold temperatures. Right now there is more than 3000' of snow-free, singletrack vertical out my front door (woodchip paths within about 2 minutes of jogging) and the daily highs are typically in the 40s or even 50s. However, I love Colorado and once the weather mellows out a bit there, I know I'll be itching to get back to the higher altitudes.
I would also love to return to the Leadville 100 again this year. I still feel that faster times are still waiting to be had there, and hopefully a return to Colorado for graduate school in the fall will make Leadville a logical race choice (assuming post-WS recovery goes well).
Other than that, I'm really just going to play it by ear. In the meantime, I'm going to keep enjoying all that southern Oregon has to offer.