Now that we’re fairly settled into the new year, snow is (hopefully) falling for most of you, and we’ve gotten past the “resolution rush”, now is a great time to start thinking about, or remind ourselves of, what we want to accomplish in 2018.
For a little bit of inspiration, we’ve turned to our incredible Atlas Athletes, who are sharing their stories, their motivations, and their goals this year.
I use snowshoe running to get in shape for my summer of mountain/trail running! If I get the opportunity to travel to Snowshoe Nationals, my goal will be to make the National Snowshoe Team by placing in the top 5 and also finish as the 1st master’s runner.
As for my summer racing goals, they are a work in progress. My two main focuses right now are the Mt. Washington Road Race & trying to make the US Long Distance Mountain Running team to compete at the Long Distance World Championships in Poland in June. If selected, my goal will be to place in the top 10.
My goals for Mt. Washington are:
1) Finish in the top 3 women.
2) Run a post-baby PR.
3) Break the Master’s record.
To obtain these goals, I am currently working on weaning Zeke, getting him to sleep through the night and build a huge aerobic base. Lack of sleep definitely affects one’s training. We moved to Summit County this past summer. I live near Keystone resort which allows uphill running/snowshoe access. I’ve been using this “hill” to build my strength and endurance. My goal is to run up the mountain at least 3 times a week!
Other goals I have for this summer,
1) Compete in at least one new race.
2) I’d also like to compete in one new or longer distance race this fall.
A few general tips I have for goal setting:
1) Be specific and make your goals measurable.
2) Be realistic with where you are at right now and set smaller goals to help you reach your ultimate goals.
3) Use your goals as motivation on the days you struggle to get out of bed or out the door.
4) Enjoy the process/journey of training for your goals regardless of the outcome.
5) Be grateful for the gift of health!
My entire focus for this year is being able to show up at the start line in Silverton Colorado for the Hard Rock 100. I am fortunate to get a second chance at a race I’ve been gunning for for years. It certainly will not be a podium finish. I made it in last year and tore my ACL and Meniscus in a training race. It’s been a difficult journey back. It’s a hard injury to come back from at any age and even more so at my age. I struggle with doubt and uncertainty but mostly the unknown. I hope I am doing what I should be doing. I’ll be pushing to the max when technically I should ” just about be back to normal” I question when to push when to rest. I lack trust in my body which is a new sensation and scary. I am tentative which I deplore, but this is a new journey and goal is to continue to learn and grow and finish!!
My goals for 2018 all focus around training smarter. As an injury-prone athlete, I want to make the most of each run and minimize the risk factors leading towards overuse injuries. In order to train smarter, I have significantly decreased my mileage during the winter. This allows for harder, more goal-oriented workouts, more time and energy for snowshoeing, and several cross-training classes a week to equalize any muscle imbalances. Once marathon training rolls around in the spring, I will slowly amp up mileage with the added benefit of a solid base of speed and strength. I think making it through a training season without injury is 75% of the battle in reaching your goals. If I can make it to the start line uninjured, my other goals will follow.
Over the past few years my goals have moved somewhat away from my personal experiences in the outdoors, and closer to a desire to find as many ways as possible to help others experience the pleasure and nourishment from moving their bodies through wild and scenic places. This winter I have begun to work more closely with a group of kids here in Juneau, Alaska who are trying out for the upcoming Arctic Winter Games snowshoe events. For the remainder of this winter, and for years to come I hope to be able to continue to work with others to teach them any skills, tips, and experiences that I have gathered along the way in my athletic career. These experiences working with others have become the most satisfying part of being an athlete, and the thing I most look forward to going forward.
Personally, I am not motivated by a single race, event or activity on a fixed day or even over a specific period of time, as my main goal for my athletic pursuits is to continue to become a better all around endurance athlete through diversity in a variety of sports and more integration into my everyday life. That’s not to say that I don’t want to race or compete, I certainly like to push myself, my focus is just more on competing within and finding new ways to improve and enjoy the outdoors in unique ways through multi-sport endeavors. An example that comes to mind from the past was about 7 years ago, when I couldn’t even legitimately swim a single freestyle lap in the pool, and now I occasionally, and confidently, participate in 2+ mile open water swim events for fun. I’m also attempting to pickup skate skiing this winter, which seems much harder than the classic skiing I’m used to from the couple times I’ve been out briefly, but the lack of snow this year has not been very helpful in supporting that effort.
Most front of mind for me in the coming months and year, is to mitigate running related injuries by continuing to integrate more strength and mobility work, and being smarter about identifying potential issues and addressing them before it’s too late.
Additionally, I’d like to do more on the bikes this coming year, including a gravel event (signed up for one in April), a CX race and generally just becoming a better mountain biker, and maybe trying to do some climbing and bouldering outside of the gym. Beyond the athletic related pursuits, I hope to travel and camp more this coming year and spend more casual time on the water (fly fishing and paddling); ideally also integrating some travel, adventure and racing across the various pursuits, whether it’s on the snowshoes, trail running or on the bikes, just getting outdoors and having self-propelled fun.
At 43, I am not sure I am going to get much faster then the times I ran in early to mid thirties! So this year I will lead a healthier life, give back more and be grateful for each day that I have. My sister had a unexpected double lung transplant this past June which put ideals for our family back in perspective. Instead of getting frustrated that maybe I didn’t get enough workouts in, or woke up not feeling well the day of the race, I will try and not complain about silly little things and think about someone who really has a problem, like just being able to breathe. Sometimes its better to not focus on a time or a place in a race but be grateful to physically be able to compete.
My New Years resolutions are filled with fitness goals and new challenges, and 2018 is no exception! I plan to enter a fitness body competition, fine tune my diet as my needs are always changing as I age, and travel to more snowshoe races this winter. We love to race as a family and I’m proud that our 7 year old and twin 11 year olds can run a 5k snowshoe race no matter how difficult the course or how nasty the weather. It’s the perfect family day with exercise and well deserved treats after. Besides hot chocolate and pastries. Some races serve homemade soup! And I love the sound of “McMahan” being called to the podium 5 times.
Below are some of my goals for 2018:
1) Compete in US Skyrunning races: I love mountain running and have found this to be my strength over the years. I live in the mountains and do almost all of my training in the mountains, so this year I am more focused on racing to my strengths. Skyrunning events take place at high altitude with high elevation gain. In the past I’ve raced with no specific plan in mind, but this year I am really focused on racing challenging courses which get me really excited – not just choosing races for the sake of racing. Doing mountain racing also allows me to really use snowshoeing in the winter to my advantage. With snowshoeing, I can still get out on the trails in the winter and work on my uphill strength.
2) Complete the TransSelkirks Stage Race in Canada. My absolute favorite format of racing is Stage Racing in the mountains I have been lucky enough to compete in the TransRockies 6 Day Run twice, so I am really excited to head to Canada to the Canadian Rockies for their 5 day run.
3) Gain UTMB points to eventually compete in the CCC. This is a race that covers challenging mountain terrain through France and Switzerland. To gain entry, you must complete qualifying races worth certain point amounts.
4) Professionally, my husband and I just purchased a gym in Big Bear Lake, CA – one of my favorite places in the world! I feel such a connection with the mountains and town there and it has been a dream of ours for years to purchase an existing gym there. We plan to make the gym a big success! I have a big goal to start a trail run and snowshoe series in Big Bear!