Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

My 2013 Endurance Goals

It’s easy to avoid committing to something when it only exists as a series of passing conversations with friends. Over the years, I’ve had the best intentions to complete quite a few things, but they’ve never gotten much further than a passing comment or an adrenaline-fueled pronouncement. Now, this is not to say that I haven’t kept myself busy, because I certainly don’t have any empty time just lying around waiting to be picked up by another great adventure. However, I’ve shared before that my race goals for 2013 have been a bit up in the air following the Little Rock Marathon, and I knew I needed to get things set in stone before the heat of the summer set in. Otherwise, the reasons to avoid the heat would begin to overwhelm my desire to run. As such, I am considering this my official “no turning back” endurance announcement.

My first commitment is returning to the scene of the crime for RAGBRAI 2013. You may be wondering how often I’ve gotten out on the bike this year, what with all the running miles I’ve been logging (I’m sitting at around 1100 right now). The answer is…none. Well, I suppose I can count the handful of rides I’ve done on the trainer in the basement, but that’s about it. That’s why I’ve decided to pick one day of RAGBRAI (Tuesday, July 23rd) and run the route instead. This particular leg weighs in at about 50 miles, and is close enough to home that I won’t have any of the travel and lodging concerns that typically come with a longer race. I’ll be running from Perry, IA to Des Moines, IA.


While riding RAGBRAI last year, I saw several folks throughout the week that were running portions of the course, and I was extremely impressed to say the least. Over the past year, my passion for endurance races, ultra-marathons, and other crazy running adventures has exploded, so this seemed like a logical challenge! At some point in the future, it would be amazing to attempt to run the entire RAGBRAI course, but I’m not quite there yet. It’s never actually been successfully done in the 40 year history of RAGBRAI, but there is an amazing guy attempting it this year, and I wish him the best of luck. Hopefully I’ll even see him out there on the road. By running, I’m guaranteed to see pretty much the full scope of riders, and I’m sure to have some great interactions with people throughout the day, which I’m really looking forward to as well. In addition, it’s the closest leg to home, so many of my friends will be riding as well, so I’m sure to run into them.

ragbrai spandex (flat small)3

Interestingly enough, this happens to be the same week that I’ll be traveling with the beautiful epicurean to Maine to run the Great Cranberry Island Ultra. Not only will this be an amazing and challenging week of running, but it will be a good training benchmark as I prepare for an even more significance 2013 endurance goal. After my first 50 mile race last fall, I was completely hooked on ultra distances and wanted to continue pushing my body. Running a 100k race seemed like the next logical step. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a race that worked with my fall schedule and didn’t involve a significant financial commitment. However, we were already planning a trip to Phoenix during the holiday season again this year, so I thought I’d scan the race schedules and see if anything was being held while we were there.


As luck would have it, I found a race. At this point, I should mention that I’m pretty good at rationalizing just about any decision I have my heart set on making. So, although I had initially been looking at 100k races, I knew I had found the perfect fit when I saw the Across the Years  6 day & 24, 48, & 72 hr Footrace. Now, I don’t have any experience with timed races, but this truly seemed like too amazing of an experience to pass up. Although I wish my body was capable of running for 6 straight days, I was immediately drawn to the 24-hour option. After doing the math, running for 24 hours straight seemed to be the training equivalent of a 100-mile race. This is certainly a jump past the 100k mark I had initially set, but I have six months to train, and already have an excellent base to build on. The race itself is going to be as much mental as it is physical, and that challenge excites me even more. I’ll be spending 24 hours running a 1 mile loop over and over again…perhaps Einstein’s definition of insanity is coming to mind at this point?


I’ve finalized my training plan and began week 1 this week, leading to the December 28th race. I am certainly not naive enough to think that this is going to be an easy task, or that I have plenty of time. I know that I will need to focus on my training and nutrition as much, if not more, than I ever have before. Ultimately, that’s what excites me about both of these challenges. My mind thrives on being pushed to extremes and testing what I’m capable of, and the next 6 months are going to do just that. I’ll be experimenting with a lot of different nutrition and gear options, so you can look forward to those reports as well.

It's nice to have company when you are running for 24 hours, right?

It’s nice to have company when you are running for 24 hours, right?

So, I am putting these goals down in writing not because I have any interest in a pat on the back, but to make them real. Each of us has goals we want to achieve and things we’d like to accomplish that we maybe think are just out of reach. However, unless you really stretch yourself, you’ll never know! Feel free to share your goal…put it down in writing…make it real!

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19 thoughts on “My 2013 Endurance Goals

  1. I love reading about your adventures Adam. As you know, I’m training for The Fire on the Mountain 50K in October and The JFK 50M in November. So, I’m trying to figure out what nutrition is needed since this is going to be much different than a regular road race. Futher, I just purchased the Ultraspire Surge hydration system and I’m looking forward to running with it. Next up, GPS watch shopping. I hate to spend all the money on a GPS watch but I’m just about ready to take the bull by the horns and do it. More to follow and keep informing us of you adventures!

    • Very nice…JFK is on my list for the future- I’ve read a lot of great things about that race! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the Ultraspire- hydration options have been on my mind lately as well. I just picked up the Nathan HPL #028 race vest for more nutrition storage mid-run, so I’ll be testing that out. It’s definitely hard pulling the trigger but worth the investment. Which watch are you looking at buying?

      • I’m thinking of going back to the basics with either the Garmin 110 or Garmin 210. I’m tired of the issues I’m having with the more expensive Garmin 405.

      • Understandable…I would look at the battery life and make sure it will hold up for what you want. I’ve loved the 910 thus far- definitely a 180 degree change from the issues of the 405.

  2. You are an inspiration!! I’m excited to see, hear and read the progress over the next 6 months!!

  3. Kristen on said:

    Holy, WOW! I think I’ll stick to 26.2 as my long distance for now, but I also love reading about your adventures and look forward to seeing you in Maine! 🙂

  4. Very exciting to read about!! I’m also sticking to 26.2 as my endurance event but think that finding and pushing one’s physical limits is an exciting endevor! Best wishes!!

  5. So, now it’s in print you’re committed – in more ways than one. The Cranberry 50K sounds wonderful – especially the Lobster Dinner.

  6. I happened to miss the fact that you are planning to join us for Market to Market NE in October.

  7. Andy Keller on said:

    I think your idea to run a leg is awesome, i read about that 27 year old running the whole thing. I like that stuff, good luck! I have found some great things to pack with me as I don’t run! But me and my bike are close. This year I was lucky to find a book on RAGBRAI by Brian Bruns, it’s hilarious and takes the edge off of what really is a daunting task for me! It’s a great read though, Enjoy your bike/run!

    • RAGBRAI is definitely a daunting task. I read about the guy running the whole thing as well- insane and amazing! Perhaps someday I’ll be at that level, but I’m really looking forward to the run this year. Thanks for stopping by!

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