2012 was the year of the Ironman. Every race that I ran in the first half of the year was to benefit my race on June 24 in Coeur D’Alene. I skipped several races in favor of long training days. Not to mention, there would be no way I could taper for a race and I’m not the type to run a race “for fun” (although I did do that after the Ironman). I like to use races to motivate myself to achieve goals that I set out for myself and since races are so expensive, I really don’t race that often. My non-running Facebook friends might beg to differ, but compared to a lot of serious runners/triathletes, 5-6 races a year is fairly light.
I really like to plan, so planning my race season is quite fun for me. And without a huge, unknown and LONG race looming over my head, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Triathlon has been put on the back-burner a bit now that I’ve declared a goal to qualify for Boston (and come to the realization that it may take a while…). At one point I was sure I’d race a 70.3 in 2013, but now I’m thinking I’ll most likely take on a few sprints and an Olympic. Running is the priority but luckily, there are a lot of running races out there.
With the help of our website, Marathon-Finder.com, some internet research in the form of “which races are the top Boston Qualifiers,” and a great love of chocolate, I’ve mapped out my first four months of 2013 races.
Surf City Marathon
Already planned, I’ll be racing the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA on February 3, which I signed up for before I even finished the Ironman because of a returning runner early bird discount that was too good to pass up. The plan at this point is to PR at this race. Once it gets closer, I’ll set a real time goal, but likely it won’t be a BQ time goal. I raced here last year and set a 12 1/2 minute PR and really enjoyed the course and the great race organization. Mike and I are the only ones I know signed up for this race, but I grew up in Huntington Beach so I know it’ll be a fun weekend.
San Diego Half Marathon
On March 10, I’ll be racing the San Diego Half Marathon. Last year was the race’s inaugural year and it boasted a finish inside of Petco Park (where the San Diego Padre’s play) as well as a scenic course through downtown. This year the finish line was moved but I still think it’ll be a great race. I only heard great things from people I know that raced it last year and I have been eyeing this race for some time. Several months ago they were selling early bird entries for $55 but since I wasn’t sure how my race schedule would pan out, I passed it up. I ended up paying $99 for this half marathon so I’m really hoping it’s worth my money!
San Diego Hot Chocolate 15k
This race may be the most highly anticipated of the year! Last year was also the inaugural year and although I heard some bad things about the logistics of the Washington DC race, everyone who raced the San Diego event said it was well run and a great time. I’ve never raced a 15k so it’ll be fun to try out a new distance. The best part is, at the finish line you are presented with a box with a cup of hot chocolate and a mini fondue with various things to dip in it. As a chocolate lover, this is about as good as it gets. Forget the beer garden, give me chocolate!
Besides the chocolate, I’m really looking forward to racing with some of my old running buddies! I sent an apparently very convincing e-mail to the group of girlfriends that I trained for and ran my first marathon with and nearly all of them signed up! Also a few coworkers are running and I am still recruiting more. It should be a great race!
This race is a result of all that research on marathon-finder.com I mentioned above. It’s flat, fast, cool and perfect for a BIG PR! It is still TBD If I will be ready for a BQ by April 28, but regardless, I hope that this will be a great race. Another bonus is that the finish line is on the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field where Prefontaine had his glory days. I’m hoping to channel some of his speed and use it to my advantage.
I’ve had this race on my radar but wasn’t sure about logistics or cost, not to mention I wasn’t sure I could convince anyone to make the trip with me. More details to come, but this will be a girls race weekend which I anticipate to include lots of carbs, girl talk and hopefully more than a couple post-race celebratory drinks.
As for May and beyond, that is going to be decided based on how Eugene goes. Regardless, I see another marathon or two in 2013 and most likely a couple of halves and triathlons. In comparison to how much I spent on the Ironman, these races seem like child’s play!
What races do you have lined up for 2013? Do you want to join me for any of the above? Let me know if you are already planning to race any of them!