6 weeks into the new year and my race plans are starting to come together for the year. I've tried to force myself not to commit to anything else in the first half of the year, however.
This weekend is the Austin Half Marathon, a race I haven't run since it was my very first race in 2008. Since then I've run the Austin Marathon five years in a row, so I knew that 2014 would be a good break from the full course and instead go back to where I fell in love with running and racing. It's not an "A" race, meaning I won't be attempting a PR. Austin is not an easy course, and I have not been training to run a sub 8:30 pace half. I'd still like to do well and to feel good, so I'll run hard regardless. Then I get to cheer on my Round Rock Fit runners at Mile 26 of the full course. Some of them are running their very first full marathon and for the first time since I started coaching, I'm going to be there cheering for them as they finish up that last mile.
Next month is my fifth year running in the Texas Independence Relay, and that race will serve as training for my April marathon in San Luis Obispo. It's a lot of tough running coming up, and my focus really needs to be on keeping my endurance up and staying in marathon shape.
I've gotten back on my bike and back in the pool, although with hesitation. I've only swam twice since October, and am happy to say I don't think I lost too much of my form, although my speed (of which I had little) has suffered. It will take time to get my comfort back, but I'll slowly peck away at it. This past Saturday I did my first outdoor ride in a very long time and I forgot how tough hills can be in cycling! It was a good ride, but slow and fairly difficult. I'm going to continue to try to incorporate rides into my schedule in the next few months.
I will not be doing long distance over the summer like I did last summer. I need the break during the hottest months. Instead I'll be getting on my bike more and keeping the runs under 90 minutes. There won't be any crazy 30K trail runs in my racing schedule this year!
A triathlon is still in the cards, but I haven't picked exactly which ones I will do. And I won't make that decision until April or May. I need to focus on my upcoming races, especially my marathon, and I need to get more comfortable being back on my bike and in the pool before I decide what race is right for me. I can't have the distraction of committing to a triathlon in my head just yet. A lot of people want to know what races I'm going to do and I simply can't answer that question yet.
The only late year race I had in my plans was running the BCS half marathon again in December. I had so much fun running it in 2013 that I couldn't resist the early registration price and signed up. I will be committing to running the Houston marathon again for January 2015 and early registration for that is in May (I'm thrilled my qualifying time from January 2013 is still valid!). But otherwise, I planned to put the breaks on any race registrations.
My friend Tricia asked me to join a relay team.
Not just ANY relay...a TRAIL RELAY. In October. In Texas Hill Country.
A SPONSORED trail relay in October in Texas Hill Country. That's right...I'd be part of a team sponsored by Nuun.
How could I say no to that? Tricia is one of my best friends, I know she'll put together a great team, and relays are my favorite kinds of races. The answer was an almost immediate yes.
The more I read about this race, the more excited I get. Three different trail loops of differing terrain and distances that every team member runs, a central Ragnar Village location where we hang out, camp, and have fun. Right now we have 5 of our 8 members picked and I love each and every one of the women on the team.
I really REALLY won't be committing to anything else until April!
So stop asking.