Now that my preseason training is winding down, it's time to start thinking about possible upcoming events. All of this is Lord willing.
I've got 2 half marathons 2 weeks apart. I wish I had more of a gap but that's just the way the schedule was made. I would never attempt 2 full marathons 2 weeks apart but in a half, I can basically recover fully in a day or two so I expect to be good to go.
2/13- Birmingham Mercedes half. I signed up for the full last year but the Achilles injury took me out. No way that I'm missing my home race 2 years in a row.
2/26- Chattanooga Scenic City half. I've wanted to do this one for quite some time. Since the Snickers Energy Bar full is out (not in PR shape), this is in. Chattanooga is one of my favorite cities and if I could not live in Birmingham, this would be my next choice.
Both courses are rated "moderately difficult" so I don't expect a PR in either of them but with the way I am improving as of late, I can certainly expect my performance to be respectable. I predict 1:36-1:38 with a dream of 1:35 in both.
Shortly after Chattanooga, it will be Springtime in Alabama and the focus of my training will shift to speed work. I've run a 400 under 62 seconds solo 4 times in the last 2 years and I'm proud of that but I want that 59.9 this year. At the age of 30, that window is closing fast. If I can't do by 2012, it may become impossible thereafter. For the first time since high school, I will make short intervals a regular part of my training routine. I will continue with tempos and weekend long runs to stay in shape for the longer distances. I expect that my weekly mileage from March-May will be near 40, which may not be ideal for a half marathon but should be sufficient for a strong performance.
Spring race possibilities:
Silver Comet 10K on 3/12- I've all but decided to do this one with Nick in Atlanta. It is a PR course but will I be in PR shape in 6 weeks? I am unsure.
Rumpshaker 5K on 3/27- Possible PR course with good competition before the weather gets too warm. By this point, I may be burned out on racing every other weekend so this one remains is the "maybe" category.
In April, I will only run 1 race and my choice will be determined by the shape I am in at the time.
There's a big 10K on a pancake flat course in New Orleans but I won't travel 4.5 hours for a 10K unless I can expect a PR. If I'm not in the best shape, I'll run a local 15 K on a killer course as a fun run.
In May, my focus will be the Couer d'Alene half marathon (5/28) in Idaho as part of another goal, which is visiting all 50 states. This trip will complete the lower 48. I'm going even if I am injured and can't run. There is a good local 5K 2 weeks earlier which is a possibility.
Summer will be fairly laid back especially if we get extreme heat and humidity. 90 degree weather with high humidity is killer for long distances and can even hurt you in distances as short as the 400. That's why I want to get those fast times in the Spring.
There are 3 5Ks which could be a PR course if the weather is decent.
In the fall, I will be back up to 50 MPW and in half marathon mode. My decision for big races will be determined by my condition. I'm willing to travel up to 9 hours for a flat PR course but if I'm not in PR shape, I'll stay closer to home and race hilly courses for fun runs.
The final outcome on the medical front should be evident by late Spring-early Summer.