I am a bit of a race junkie. I love races. I love the atmosphere. I love the competition. I love the nerves and the charge of adrenaline right before the gun goes off. I love the push to the finish. In 2011 I raced a lot, too much. Even though I PR’d in every distance my racing wasn’t focused or purposeful. As a result my main goal: my marathon, suffered. This year my goal is to run a 3:30 marathon, so the racing I do (more like don’t do) needs to support that goal. I have yet to pick a marathon, when I do it will probably be a summer and/or fall marathon. For the spring I’ve picked small, local races that are an easy driving distance from where we live so that if we decide to go as a family it is doable and if I decide to go alone I’m not gone too long. Here are the races I’ll be running this spring:
The Race: This is a very small race put on my one of the running clubs in NH. It is the last race in a four-race series. The race bills itself as “low-key” (the race registration is only $5!), on a fast, flat course.
The Purpose: My goal in running this race is to test my fitness and gain a starting point from which I can create a training plan. I will take my finish time and plug it into the McMillan pace calculator and use those paces as the guide for my training. I had originally signed up for a 5K on February 10th but did not run because it was two days after Jack’s first surgery and he was still in rough shape. I tried to run a 5K on the treadmill as a substitue and did it in 23:33. I was pleased with the results (my original goal was to run 23:xx), but feel like that run was not the most accurate indicator of my current fitness. My long run pace this past weekend seems to confirm that I might be in slightly better shape than a 23:33 5K.
The Race: Another local fun run. This race is one I’ve been doing for years. The course has a lot of little hills, but is relatively easy. There is also a playground at the start and a nice warm gymnasium if it’s raining. Good for the family, if they all come.
The Purpose: This 5K will be a month after my first 5K and will be an interesting indicator of any gains in fitness. I will have four weeks of pace-specific training under my belt at that point and perhaps be back on the track with my running club (pending any freak April snow storms…we get those in New Hampshire). With this 5K time I can fine tune my training plan.
The Race: One of my favorite half-marathons! This hilly, scenic course that runs along New Hampshire’s biggest lake. There is a lengthy hill climb from mile 3-7 and then rolling hills on the back half of this out and back. It’s as challenging as it is beautiful. This race is nearby, which means a short drive to and from and my mom is working the race as a volunteer.
The Purpose: My goal for this race is to break 1:40. I ran my PR of 1:45 on this course two years ago. A 1:40 half marathon time would be a relatively good indicator of whether or not I’m ready or able to run a 3:30 marathon. To break 1:40 in this race will be a challenge. My training in March and April will include some serious hill workouts to make this possible.
My goal for this cycle is to train smarter and race less. I have no race plans beyond these three races…at least not yet;)
What are your spring racing plans?
If you’re local are you running any of these races? I’d love to meet you if you are!
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