Tentative 2012 Schedule

I was going to hold off on posting this for a bit, but I'm sick in bed, so I've got some time on my hands.  (I haven't been sick since early May, so I'm glad I was able to fend things off this long— good timing too during a recovery week.)  I'm currently planning on the following races in 2012:
  • Tallahassee Marathon (2/5) - Tuneup for Albany, should be a good opportunity to get a quality effort in during my marathon Specific Phase.  I would normally do a hard 24 miler, but I think it's fairly likely that the weather in Chicago will be ridiculous in February, so off to Tallahassee it is!
  • U.S. Cross Country Championships (2/11) - I've always wanted to race US Cross; hard to pass up when it's so close, should be a lot of fun.
  • Albany Marathon (3/3) - Peak marathon, hoping to PR and perhaps get into the two-teens.
  • Chicago Lakefront 50k (3/31) - I'm taking some down time after Albany, so this will be a first race/long run back.  Not planning on going after Dave Dunham's ridiculous record or anything like that.
  • American River 50 Mile (4/7) - First hard effort of my spring/summer ultra season.  Really looking forward to checking out this classic race.  I think it suits me well.
  • Ice Age 50 Mile (5/14) - Really excited about this; local race for me (more or less), and as part of the Montrail Ultra Cup this year and a qualifier for Western States, there's likely to be some great competition.
  • Mount Washington (U.S. Mountain Running Championships) (6/16) - Going to go mix it up on the course with "only one hill," try to make the Worlds team.  Hopefully this race draws a competitive field (see Rickey Gates' call to arms).
  • Knee Knacker 50k (7/14) - Subject to lottery, would be nice to head up to Vancouver.  I hear it's pretty technical.
  • White River 50 Mile (7/28) - Another competitive 50 mile, keep 'em coming.
  • TransRockies Stage Run (8/14 - 8/19) - This race seems incredibly awesome and I really want to do it.  However, my participation will be subject to both having a running partner (may have something in the works) and finding a comp! :)
  • New York City Marathon (11/4) - Peak marathon for the season.  I'm hoping to really rock a long Fundamental Phase (while running all the above ultra and/or mountain races) and then hit a focused Specific Phase for NYC.
I'm sure there will be some other low-key races (shorter distances) mixed in from time to time, maybe the Shamrock Shuffle, Southwest Half Marathon in Palos, and Soldier Field 10 Miler to name a few.  The other big ultra that I would really like to go back to is the UROC 100k.  In its second year, the race should only get better.  The prize money has doubled, and with recruiting efforts being launched from a year out, hopefully UROC will draw an even better (and international) field in 2012.  My concern is that it's six weeks out from NYC.  I don't doubt that I would recover in time for the race itself—my concern is that I would miss too much time (recovering) during the crucial part of my Specific Phase.  I'll keep it in mind, but it really depends on how my body is reacting to ultras earlier in the year and if I'm showing Wardian-like recovery abilities.

"All I want to do is drink beer and train like an animal."
     —Rod Dixon