So following the Stephen Covy approach with dealing with the "Big Rocks" first and then fill in with lesser important things . . . here are my two "Big Rocks."
Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail
One thing that has been on my list for years and years and years is to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail! Back when I was in high school I first learned about the trail and hike a little of it and it was love at first sight! In college I helped maintain a trail section and enjoyed that. Quite frankly I read everything I can find about the AT and always have.
In the past I just wanted to make my thru-hike an un-hurried adventure taking 4-6 months. Literally stopping when I wanted to stop. No rushing. No schedule. Just enjoy the hike. But now I'm re-thinking this some. I might just try and see how fast I can do it! Not sure . . . but thru-hiking the AT is one of the highest priority goals I have.
The Last Annual Volunteer State Road Race
The next goal that I've set is to complete The Last Annual Volunteer State Road Race held in July of each year (yes . . . every year is "The Last Annual . . ."). This is quite a challenge. The race is 314 miles, starting in Missouri, crossing the Mississippi River and entering Kentucky for about 10 miles. Then, you cross into Tennessee and go diagonally southeast. Tennessee is a loooong state! Cross over into Alabama for a short while and finish up in Georgia! You have 10 day to finish which equals a 50k each day. Sounds easy. Try it! Oh . . . and I forgot . . . there is no aid provided! You are on you own! You simply can't imagine how much no aid and no crew add to the difficulty!
I was scheduled for Vol State this year . . . but had to pull out due to my foot issue. My training had been going extremely well up to my accident and it was my focus race of 2013. This is simply unfinished business.
My problem is these two things are the two big things on my list but realistically I don't think I could do both in the same year. If I did the AT thru-hike I would probably start in April or May. Not sure just how long it would realistically. The AT distance is constantly changing as trail relocations take place but it is about 2,180 miles or so. If you could average 20 miles a day that would take 109 days so if I started May1st I would finish around mid-August. So Vol State would be out until 2015. And if I decide to do Vol State, there really isn't time to do the thru-hike.
So basically I need to decide between these two goals. I'm not getting any younger!
Then there are lots of things of lessor importance. All the "Little Rocks." These are not in any special order . . .
- Leadville Marathon . . . one of two marathon DNFs. This one bugs me. For some reason I have no desire to try the Leadville 100. Probably couldn't make the time cut-offs anyway!
- Big Sur Marathon . . . just sounds beautiful. Period.
- Keys 100 . . . really have no idea why this is on the list. It's just too hot to run in the Keys in the summer! And I hate the heat! But I've never been to Key West!!
- Run Across VA . . . this isn't a race really. But I would love to run US 58 starting at Cumberland Gap and end at the beach in Norfolk. 520 miles of beauty and hell! I toyed with trying to make this into race but I believe it is just too long. But it would be an awesome challenge!
- Run a 23 minute 5k . . . not sure why this is included . . . but it is something I've considered trying to do. My PR at 5k is 20:01 and I was about 40 years old at the time. Lot's has changed since then!!