Yearly Focus

2021 Focus: Half Year Update

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me.
With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention.

I detailed my 2021 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year update as well. Here is how I’m progressing.

2021 Theme: Together

2021 Challenge: Setup A Contact Reminder System

After beta testing one application to help with this, I have identified a second app I want to try out.

2021 Habit: Weekly Reach Out

I was 11 for 13 in Q2 on reaching out to someone weekly. Some of the connections have just been email or chat threads, a few have turned into runs together and a few have been an in-person hangout, now that we can do that again.

2021 Exemplar: Brené Brown

After watching both of Brené’s TED talks, I grabbed one of her books and have been reading through that.

Her writing is certainly about relation, but not as much about relationships. The central theme of her career seems to be that people are wired to connect but we let all sorts of things, like shame, get in the way of that. I think that is interesting to learn about and will likely help me have better relationships, but it doesn’t give me much to think about in terms of what relationships are and how to structure them. I’ll perhaps have to look elsewhere for that.

2021 Bucket List Item: Run the Cascade Crest 100 in Under 24 hours

I’m now officially signed up for the Cascade Crest 100 and about six weeks away from race day.

I’ve been training a bunch, ramping up to 100 miles weeks that combine 3 runs for ~40-50 miles with another 50-60 miles of walking at my treadmill desk. My VDOT is likely around 55 right now – my watch thinks I can run a sub-3 marathon, but I’m likely more optimized for a longer distance, with all of the walking I’ve done.

So far my longest run is ~38 miles – but I’ve done a few in the 30s, including the Gulch Countdown Race. I plan to kick the tires next week with a ~28 mile trail run, going for an FKT. Through the first 5 months of the year I did no running on trails but lately I’ve gotten out a few more times and am starting to get my trail legs under me a bit more. I’m going to be cutting it pretty close here in terms of how little training I’m doing, but I think I can finish before the 34 hour cutoff and have a decent shot at 24 hours.

In preparation for the race, last week I got out and scoped out some of the course. There was one critical turn I’m glad I saw and now I feel pretty comfortable with what the trail conditions will be like. I have a few more sections I want to check out before the race, but overall I’m feeling comfortable about what I’m going to face.

Finally, I’ve been getting a bit of new gear to prepare me for the race. Some new items that I’ve worn out; shoes, socks, shorts, etc. The exciting new things is a new headlamp. My old ~50-100 lumen flashlight was great on previous 24 hour events where I was shuffling along, but I found on the rocky trails of the PCT, it didn’t give me enough light to move at the speed I wanted. I recently got two options, one at 750 lumens and the other at 1,400 to see how I like them.