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Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts

Monday, July 19, 2021

2021 Goals Status Check: Big's or bust



It’s July and we’re past the midpoint of 2021. We’ve just been informed via our social media feeds that the moon is wobbling and that it will cause more extreme and more frequent coastal flooding in the year 2030, but other than that 2021 is going relatively well. I’ve already checked two boxes on my running goals list for this year and they were the two targets that I most wanted to complete successfully. Those two goals were (1) to test myself and see what I am capable of at a 24 hour timed event and (2) to PR my greatest distance run. Two remaining goals are more measures of progress on a long term project (run every single street of Egg Harbor Township) and overall fitness (12 minute aerobic fitness test). The final goal (FKT attempt) was and is still more dependent on what race opportunities present themselves and what kind of crew support I can manage to wrangle together.

I’m pretty happy and proud of having already accomplished my primary running goals this year. Overall, my 24 hour race (Adventure Trail Run) went really well. I didn’t hit my goal of setting a new course record, but I did go home with a first place overall finish with about 103 miles. Taking another crack at it next year is something I’m definitely considering. I PR’d my greatest distance ever run at the inaugural Keystone Backyard Ultra with about 129 miles. My previous longest was 106 miles. This was the kind of mileage increase I was hoping to do last year when I only bettered my longest distance by about 2 miles.


My long term project of running Every Single Street of Egg Harbor Township just hasn’t appealed to me much recently. Lately, every time I intend to do a long run to make some progress on it, I get as far as looking at my progress map and then just deciding I would rather do my long run on trails instead of what I know are busy roads. Maybe I’ll go back to it at some point, but for now that project is more or less in a holding pattern.

I’ll definitely complete my attempt at the 12 minute aerobic fitness test. After all, it only takes 12 minutes. I wish I would have done one earlier in the year so I could do it a couple more times throughout the year to see if I’m making progress or regressing. Maybe that will be a goal for next year.

With my top goals completed and my other goals not requiring a great deal of time, the question of what to do for the rest of the year arises. I think I have the answer, which is to work towards my more long term goal of running at Big’s Backyard in Tennessee. In order to do that, I basically have to build my long distance running resume by running backyard races. So that is my plan for the remainder of the year: find a backyard race that works with my schedule and train hard to go as far as I can there. And that’s it. To sum up my current major running goal is as simple as the the words: "Big's or bust".


Scott Snell
July 19, 2021

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2021 Goals


Now that the New Year’s Eve celebrations are over I thought it would be a good time to get my running goals for 2021 in writing and try to add some structure to my plans for this year. My goal setting this year may look mostly like a repeat of last year’s. Which as you will probably guess is due to several goals involving races that were postponed due to race cancellations in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. So my number one goal from last year, to test my limit at a 24 hour race, will carry over and be my number one goal this year at the rescheduled 24 hour event I intended to run last year. And again, I hope to improve my longest distance PR (goal #2) at this event. I actually achieved the distance PR goal last year increasing my longest distance run from 104 miles to 106 miles while setting the Batona Trail out and back FKT. However, I hoped to increase that PR more than just 2 miles last year so I will attempt to better that PR again this year at the rescheduled 24 hour event. Silver lining, I get the opportunity to better my distance PR two years in a row!

Maybe I’m being over cautious, but as of now those are my only running goals that require an actual event. After nearly all of last year’s events were cancelled and the uncertainty of what will happen this year, I don’t want to have to depend on race events to accomplish my running goals.



My only other running goals this year are to attempt another FKT and to progress my project to run every single street (ESS) of Egg Harbor Township. For the ESS project, I don’t expect or plan to finish this year. If I can surpass 75% complete (currently just under 50%) I’ll be happy with that progress. And if you’ve been following as I’ve been working on this goal for the last year, the answer is no, I do not plan to start driving to more convenient starting locations to finish more quickly.


My FKT plans are a bit uncertain and more fluid than my other goals. Which route(s) I attempt depends somewhat on what kind of help I can line up and what races happen. The routes I’m considering in no particular order are A) NJ Appalachian Trail out and back (140 miles), B) Iowa state crossing (277 miles), C) Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath (65 miles), D) Henry Hudson Trail out and back (52 miles), and E) Batona Trail out and back X 2 (212 miles). Which routes I go for all really depends on what race opportunities present themselves this year and what kind of crew help I can muster up. 


In addition, I have one other fitness assessment training goal this year: to take Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s 12 Minute Test of aerobic fitness. I stumbled onto this while thumbing through a bit of a dated (1978) Runner’s World training diary that my supervisor passed on to me. I think I should be able to reach the “Excellent” category for my age group, but I want to test it to make sure.



Lastly, and I wouldn’t say it’s really a goal but more of a plan, I intend to register for a few virtual races as well. I’ll mostly be using these as motivation to push through training runs while working towards my larger running goals. I already registered for my first virtual race, the Detroit Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k on 4/17/2021. If virtual races are your thing and you like chocolate, use code “BRHC20” when you register to receive a free running hat!




Scott Snell

January 6, 2021


Disclaimer: I received an entry the the Detroit Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!






Sunday, December 29, 2019

2020 Running Goals


My top nine photos of 2019 from Instagram.

Shortly after finishing the Hyner View Trail Challenge 50k last year, I made the decision to change up my race selections for 2020. It wasn’t because of how Hyner went or because I don’t want to run Hyner again. I love the Hyner 50k and definitely want to run it again, but the catch for me is that once I’m registered for Hyner I end up following the inevitable path of running the entire PA Triple Crown Series. I figure if I’m doing Hyner, I might as well run Worlds End 100k and Eastern States 100 as well. I decided the best way to avoid getting caught in that trap and change up my race schedule was to not register for Hyner 50k. I have nothing against any of those three races. It’s just that after three consecutive years of my race schedule revolving around the three same “A” races, I felt it was time for a change.

For 2020 I want to make my “A” race a 24 hour timed event. A 24 hour event has been on my to do list for a few years now, but never a high priority, so it never happened (hence one of my favorite quotes below). I hope to change that this year and see what I’m capable of achieving in a 24 hour race. If things go well at whatever 24 hour event I decide to run, I should be able to finally achieve a second running goal that has eluded me for the last two years: to PR my longest distance in a single run. I’m hoping that if I choose a 24 hour event with an easy course I will be able to average at least 12 minute miles or 5 mph for a total of 120 miles at the end of 24 hours. This will easily be my longest distance run as my current longest distance is finishing the Tesla Hertz 100 miler which was actually about 104.8 miles. 




An additional goal for this year is to run another “last person standing” event. After running my first two events (Run Ragged) of that type last year and for the most part enjoying them while doing pretty well, I want to run some more of these types of events. Ultimately, I hope to get a chance to run at the original last person standing race, Laz’s Big’s Backyard. I realize it may not happen at all considering the growing popularity of those types of races, but I figure if I run races that build my running resume geared towards last person races it will better my odds to hopefully run at Big’s some day. Running Big’s Backyard definitely isn’t strictly a 2020 goal, but more of a long term goal to work towards year after year until it happens. In my opinion, it’s good to have the late game goals working in the background while having the short term goals mixed in to keep things interesting.



A non race related goal for 2020 is to run all the streets of my hometown, Egg Harbor Township, NJ. This goal was directly inspired by Rickey Gates’ project to run every single street in San Francisco. I started on this goal at the end of October this year with the intention of making it a longer term goal and hopefully completing it before the end of 2020. I’ve posted a couple blog posts specifically about this goal and plan to update with posts throughout the year as I make progress. You can get more details and background about the project from those posts (here and here), but the overall concept is just as the project name suggests, to run every single street of the town.

Another somewhat running related goal I have for this year is one just for fun: to run a Twinkie Weiner Sandwich Mile to celebrate the movie UHF. My plan is to do this the same way as I do the Annual Hot Dog Run every year, just with Twinkie weiner sandwiches in place of the hot dogs. If you’re not familiar with the Annual Hot Dog Run, just think beer mile with beer replaced by hot dogs. If you’re not familiar with UHF, go watch it. I plan to do this run either July 21st to celebrate the UHF release date or June 2nd in honor of Channel 62 (6-2), the focal point of the plot of the movie. If you have an opinion on which date is more appropriate, please vote!


My final running related goal for the year isn’t about any race I want to run or hitting a new running time or distance PR. It is to volunteer at a local race with my son and any of the other members of his scout troop that want to come along to help out. This is an idea/project that I had a while back, but have never acted on. I put it off for some time because I thought that he was a little young and having him and a few of his scouting friends volunteering at an aid station would be more of a hindrance than a help to the runners and the other aid station volunteers. I feel like he’s matured enough in the past few years to be able to handle some of the aid station tasks and at least help out and encourage some runners for a portion of a race if I stay with him to provide some guidance. I hope it happens and goes well as I see this as being a great fit for service projects for scout troops. The scouts get to help others stay fit and enjoy the outdoors responsibly while also contributing to another community (trail runners) that values the outdoors and our shared public natural areas. If you’ve brought kids to volunteer at a race, I’d love to hear about how it went for you and would greatly appreciate any kind of tips and advice you can provide that would have improved the experience.

2020, sure to be another great year as a BibRave Pro!


2020 Goals

  • Run at least one 24 hour event
  • PR longest distance in a single run (>104.8 miles)
  • Complete my "Run Every Street" of Egg Harbor Township project
  • Run at least one “last person standing” event
  • Volunteer at a local race with my son