When most people set New Years resolutions they set goals like “eat healthier”, “lose 5lbs” or “exercise more often”. While quite vague, these goals also lack a certain element of excitement to me.
My resolutions take a different shape, in the form of various adventures and races I’d like to accomplish before the year’s end. I’ve compiled a list of my 2018 bucketlist goals and I’d love to hear about yours too! Please post links to any events or adventures in the comments section below.
Zion trail half marathon:
April 20th, 2018
I’ve got a bone to pick with this race. I completed the run back in 2015 when the storm of a century blew in the night before the event and was forced to trudge through ankle deep, thick, heavy mud and an anticlimactic course. The route was changed last minute due to the poor conditions and so we were unable to experience the adventurous terrain and views as advertised. The original course included a 1500 foot steep and rocky ascent complete with a section where a rope was included, right down my alley!
I finished in 4th place just seconds behind a women that I was neck to neck with for the last mile. I want to go back this year with an improved strategy, experience the full course and go for a top finish!
My race report last year HERE.
Taking my son up his first 14er!
I did my first 14er when I was about 9 years old. My dad took us up Mount Sherman, a great peak for beginners and kids as it is never too steep nor technical. My 6 year old Wyatt has been on many adventures with us (including several 14ers in womb), has done several 5k’s and kids trail races and is excited and ready to train to summit this same peak over the summer. We will take the West Slopes from Iowa Gulch route which is an easy class 2 with just over 2000 feet elevation gain over 4.5 miles. I can’t wait to share this amazing experience with him!
Boulder, Colorado is where I discovered my love for trail running. In previous posts you can read about my many misadventures spending countless hours exploring the myriad of trails, more times than not getting lost while learning how to navigate and master steep terrain and long technical climbs and descents.
Lake Dillon SUP triathlon:
July 14th, 2018
I did my first “off-road SUP triathlon” this past July. The event entrails a 2 mile standup paddle board across lake Dillon, 12k mountain bike and 3.5 mile trail run. The course is simply gorgeous with views of the surrounding snow capped peaks and fields of vibrant wildflowers.
I surprised myself with a 10th place finish overall for women (although I had a frustrating start after being boxed in at the back of the SUP section- note to anyone planning on doing a race like this, start in the front row!) and slugged through the 5k after not running for over 4 weeks due to a stress reaction in my calcaneous. This race was something of a bucket list item and now I’m hooked! I am shooting for a top 5 finish this year and hopefully some multi-day SUP adventures and longer races as well.
Learn more HERE
I’ve completed many Colorado 14ers but this one has always eluded me. It is considered one of the tougher peaks on the list and takes much more time as it is longer, more strenuous and considerably more dangerous. The copy from the official National Parks website sums it up pretty well “In the summertime, when conditions allow, thousands climb to Longs’ summit via the Keyhole Route. The Keyhole Route is not a hike. It is a climb that crosses enormous sheer vertical rock faces, often with falling rocks, requiring scrambling, where an unroped fall would likely be fatal. The route has narrow ledges, loose rock, and steep cliffs.”
More about Longs Peak
Grand Canyon “Rim to Rim to Rim”:
I backpacked down the Grand Canyon with my family when I was just 12 and it was the experience of a lifetime. We stayed in the lodge in the Indian reservation at the bottom for several days, exploring the area, taking day hikes down to the Colorado river and to play in the aqua marine waters of the Havasupai falls.
Sometime in November 2018, we are planning to do a self supported run from south rim, up the north side of the canyon and back again. This would also be my first official ultra at full 46 miles and over 11,000 feet of elevation gain.
Cat Bradly, Salomon athlete and women’s winner of the 2017 Western states 100 mile endurance race recently joined our women’s winter trail running clinic and told us about some of her experiences during her attempts and eventual success of achieving the FKT (fastest known time) in November for this route.
I will definitely not be going for an FKT but I hope to knock this adventure off my list this year.
Run 1000 miles:
This is a slightly more conventional goal. A friend told me about her resolution last year to complete 1000 miles (running) over the year. This works out to just under 20 miles a week, an achievable goal but still enough to require some planning and provide some accountability. I believe consistency and discipline are keys to success and I hope to reach and surpass my 1000 goal in 2018. If you’d like to join me, check out the L2S March PI challenge (3.14 miles a day through the month of March)!
Imogene pass Run:
I knocked this event off my list back in 2011 however this popular high mountain race is a top priority for trail runners across the world so I thought it was a worthy add to the post. Registration opens in early June and it is rumored that if you aren’t quick you could lose the chance for a spot within minutes. Starting in Ouray, Colorado the scenery looks like something out of the Sound of Music. After the initial road out of town you begin climbing and don’t stop until you reach the top of the 13,114 foot pass, just over 7 miles in.
The last 10 miles are an exhilarating downhill on a dirt road into the town of Telluride where a cheering crowd and post run festival will await you. If this event has been on your radar I will share my top training tips I give to all of my athletes: Focus on improving your power hiking and do a handful of long downhill runs to prepare your structural system for the sustained pounding. Check out my post with tips and recommendations for long climbs to get some ideas of great places to train locally.
Learn more about the Imogene Pass run HERE.
~ Lauren Jones
L2S founder and adventure coach
L2S organizes training programs and outdoor adventures for Colorado women. We just launched our 2018 “Race team”! Join us to train for and complete some of the above events and adventures with us this year! Learn more about becoming a member and our programs now HERE.