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Published December 27, 2010, 12:00 AM

Wagner: Past races a foundation for goals of new year

As we finish out the final week of 2010, it’s hard to avoid thinking about the past year. Or setting goals for the coming one.

As we finish out the final week of 2010, it’s hard to avoid thinking about the past year.

Or setting goals for the coming one.

Quite honestly, I don’t usually take much time to dwell on the past.

My running is case in point: Three marathons in 2010 produced personal bests, but the euphoria from those efforts quickly faded as I planned for the next one.

Those marathons are building the foundation for future races as I’m convinced the best is yet to come.

Regardless of finishing times, though, 2011 is destined to bring adventure. And it’s that prospect that tops my list of priorities this coming year.

My plans include a relay race in Florida and a marathon in California within the next six weeks. Beyond those journeys, though, my thoughts turn to broadening my running experiences.

Part of me wants to join the Marathon Maniacs club (the minimum qualification is completing two marathons in 16 days or three within 90 days).

And I’d like to run my first ultramarathon, perhaps a spring 50K trail event.

Within the past few days, I’ve also considered the benefit of running many of the region’s shorter races, much like my first summer as a runner. Increasingly, I’m subscribing to the mindset that running shorter races will result in faster marathon times if one’s base endurance is maintained. Finding the balance is the tricky part of the equation.

The coming year offers many new challenges, yet my sights are set on goals other than time. Instead, they are set on adventures: running with friends, competing in specific races and seeking out new roads and trails.

Helpful links

Since we’re heading into the New Year, this seems a good time to share a few helpful online links:

- If you’ve ever wanted to figure out your pace on a treadmill without doing a bunch of math, check out this website: http://www.hillrunner.com/training/tmillchart.php. It also provides the effect of incline on your pace.

- Want to try your hand at making an energy gel? Try one of the recipes at: http://www.active.com/mountainbiking/Articles/Make_Your_Own_Homemade_Energy_Gel.htm?page=2. A co-worker passed it along, and tried it, with positive reviews.

Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached at (701) 241-5542 or swagner@forumcomm.com.