Friday, August 9, 2013

Howl at the Moon Pre Race Thoughts & Goals

FINALLY, it's here.  Well, almost.  This morning I'm packing up with 2 friends & heading to Danville, IL to run my 4th Howl at the Moon on Saturday.  Howl has become my absolute favorite race.  Ever!  You are welcome to look back at previous race recaps, but I'll give you a real basic synopsis of how I've done each year.

In 2010 I completed my first Howl.  Prior to that I had only raced a half marathon and my longest training run was 18 miles.  I knew....just knew that I was capable of so much more.  Don't know how to explain that, it had been brewing in me for a few years.  It made no sense because I had no experience & no training to back that up, but I believed in myself, ran anyway & completed 34 miles.  I was such a newbie & made so many mistakes, but I considered the race a complete success & it started me on a new journey of running & racing longer distances.  I returned in 2011, fixed a few mistakes & completed 38 miles.  I was still making some mistakes, but didn't see that then.  I was still satisfied to have completed more miles than the previous year.  Having more experience under my belt I still believed I was capable of more.  Back again in 2012 & I had a completely awesome race.  Made some big changes in things I did & completed 46 miles.  I felt so great I could have kept going.  I only stopped running because the 8 hours was up.  As great as that was I still walked away knowing/believing that I can do more.

Here I am at 2013.  I still believe I can do more.  However this year, more specifically that last 4 months, I have been plagued with injury & pain.  I seriously can't think of the last time I went a day without any pain.  Not sure the last time I had a run that felt great, easy and natural.  The last month or so it's all been forced miles & training.  I don't like that.  If it wasn't for Howl I would have stopped weeks ago.  Having said that, after Howl I am going to do some serious assessment.  Yes *gulp* it might be time to step back & stop.  I'll cross that bridge when it's time to come to it.  For now I'm still on this side of the river and the next couple of days will be traveling over it.  I'd be lying if I said I'm all pumped and ready to take on this year's Howl.  It's here whether or not I want it to be and here are my goals for How at the Moon 2013.

 My I FINISHED goal:
To start. To finish.  To keep moving the entire day.  aka: Finish Feeling Fine & having Fun.  This is not my first ultra or Howl at the Moon.  Since this is a timed event & not a set distance I want to keep moving the whole day.  If I have to walk then I will. However, in the event that something were to go wrong I at least want this goal to be reached.

My I CAN goal:
Finish at least the same number of miles that I completed last year (46).  In the event of having serious physical problems I'd like to finish no lower than my previous low (34).  I've done these miles before and the first year I was pretty injured too, but ran anyway.  I know my body is capable of at least this.

My I LOVE IT goal:
To finish 50 miles.  From the second I finished last year this has been my goal.  It's all I've talked about.  I even started telling people that I'm running a 50 mile race this weekend.  Mostly  because it's easier than launching into a big explanation of what a timed ultra entails, but also because this has been my goal for a long time.

My I DREAM IT goal:
To finish more than 50 miles.  If the clock is still ticking and I've reached my 50 miles I plan to keep on going.  Maybe I'll even be the overall female.  Last year I was 5th.  A lot of us finished with in just a few miles of each other, I wasn't that far off. 

I'm such a talker I could talk your ear off about this race.  Non-stop.  But it's now past 1 a.m. & I really need to get some sleep before we leave Howl.  We are traveling over to the race & setting up camp.  Leaving plenty early to take our time & relax.  Race excitement has started to kick in....hence me being up so late.  I have a few more touches on my preparation & then I'm heading to bed.

I'll update the blog as soon as I can.  If you want faster updates, check my other sources of social media.  You can find links to those on my main page.


  1. Good luck on your run. I know you have struggled with pains and ailments (don't like to use the word injuries). In my 35 years of running and racing I have experienced times of hurt and pain especially as a big race approaches. Also know that when the race starts the pain is gone. You have the right idea of sitting numerous goals. Hope you make 50 miles...comfortably.Your writing renews my drive to do a 50 miler. Blessings to you.

  2. Good luck!!! I can't wait to read all about it - you are strong and I know that mentally you can do this - I hope your body lets you push as hard as you want to!!!