It's winter here and will likely be winter-like for the next 6+ weeks (it doesn't matter if Puxatawny Phil sees his shadow or not, winter is always long here). Winter is by far my LEAST favorite time of year to run as I am just a cold weather wimp. Plus I honestly feel like I am more sensitive to the cold than the average person - and Phil will back me up on this. The blustering winds, icy sidewalks/running paths and cold temps just make it so hard to get out there and run but I have been trying to do my long run outside on the weekends.
But instead of dwelling on the less than favorite running conditions outside, I'm trying to do what I can to stay in shape and I'm starting to set my sights on my race plans for the spring, summer and fall! Race registration fees really add up fast so I am very selective about the races I do because I do not give myself a big budget for racing. I'm excited about the races I selected for this year, though! Here's what I've got planned for the year:
Hot Dash 10 Mile - I'll kick off my racing with a 10 mile race in my neighborhood on Saturday, March 7th. This race is being put on by the same organization that puts on the Twin Cities Marathon so I think it will be a great race. I signed up for this race for two reasons - 1) I thought it would motivate me to increase my long run distance in January/February so I would have a strong base going into the summer. 2) The race starts and finishes close to my neighborhood so I can walk to/from the start which is awesome! Registering for this race in the hopes that it would motivate me to do longer runs earlier in the year sort of back-fired because I am just such a wimp when it comes to cold weather running, so I might be a little under trained for this. I'll get through it but it certainly won't be a PR.
Get in Gear Half Marathon - I'll run my only half marathon race of the year on April 25th. The course for this race is awesome as it's along the Mississippi and it follows about 7 miles of the Twin Cities marathon course so it's a good preview for people that plan to run that race. And - I can take the light rail to the race which means I won't have to fight traffic or deal with the headache of parking which is always a bonus! I will not be trying to PR at this - I mostly want to have fun and enjoy the beautiful course!
YWCA Women's Triathlon - My friend Courtney inspired me to sign up for this race on August 16th. It will be my first tri so I am going into it with pretty low expectations for my time (I honestly don't even know what a "good" time would be). I mostly want to finish with a smile on my face. I'm a little nervous about training for this on top of training for my fall race (see below - I've got a big summer/fall ahead of me) but I will figure it out. I figure I can bike to/from run club 2 nights a week to get some extra miles in on the bike and I will do a longer bike ride on Sundays, and I am considering doing a 6 week tri swim course at the Y (on top of open water swims, of course). I am sure it will all come together and I'll have a great race day!
Twin Cities Marathon - Gulp. You read that right. On October 4th, I'll be running my 4th marathon. When I was diagnosed with RA, I thought I'd never run another marathon. But last year I did most of the marathon workouts and ran as far as 16 miles without any trouble so after talking it over with my Rheumatologist, I've decided to sign up for the TC marathon! I did promise my doctor that I would stop training if my joint pain returned so I will be careful and listen to my body. I don't know if I will run anymore marathons after this one, but I just want one last shot at this distance and when I decide to stop running marathons, I want to be the one making that choice versus having the choice made for me. John is flying in to run this marathon so I am excited to run it with him and show him my city! The Twin Cities marathon was the first marathon that I did way back in 2006 so I am excited to race it again.
So there you have it - 4 races that I am excited about! For the most part, I don't really have goals for any of them, aside from staying healthy and having fun. Of course I have a back of the mind goal for the marathon but I need to wait and see how my body handles training before I really set my heart on a particular time.
Do you have any racing plans for the year? If you aren't a runner, are you working towards any fitness goals this year?