It's now the end of July so it's high time that I finalize these plans. Here it is:
August- probably nothing. Still hot and humid.
Sept.8- Monkey C 5K (local) or Sept. 15- Talladega 5K
Sept. 22- Rock n' Roll Denver half
Oct. 21- Rock n' Roll St. Louis half or Detroit Free Press half
Nov. 3- Vulcan 10K (local) or Senior Bowl 10K (Mobile)
Nov.17- Turkey Burner 5K (Monty)
Dec.- probably nothing.
I want 2 shots in the 5K since I've only raced the distance once so far this year. September in Alabama could still be warmer than ideal. 90 degree days are not unusual but fortunately, mornings are cooler and low temps are often down to the mid 60s and the humidity has died down as well. Monkey C was competitive last year but since it's in Homewood, there will be a few hills but nothing too significant. It seems like it COULD be a PR course. Talladega is an interesting option as well. That event is at the actual NASCAR speedway as a companion event to the half marathon. It will be pancake flat and likely a bit cooler than the week before but competition will be light. I'd be surprised to see 3 runners below 19 and I may even have a shot at winning the whole thing. Talladega is slightly more than 1 hour from home so I would not have to stay in a hotel. I could race Monkey C then if I fail there, I have a shot at redemption the following week. The Turkey Burner is a race I've wanted to do for several years and will certainly NOT be hot. I don't know the course but the surrounding area is flat and I know it well because it starts at my old gym (Metro Fitness), where I have some good memories.
As for the 10K, I don't have a lot of options. My best chances are in the Spring here in the South and I went 0 for 3. There's one up in the Nashville area over Labor Day but that would be too much travel and it's probably hilly. The only other available weekend is the first week in November, which is probably the busiest race weekend of the year. Vulcan is fairly hilly and probably 20-30 seconds slower than Mobile. I'd prefer to stay local but if I have not broken 40 in a time trial and think I need a super fast course to do it, I will make the trip. If I'm not in shape for a sub-40 attempt, I'll run Vulcan and hope for an official PR (40:55) or at the very least a CR (41:43).
As for the half marathon, THE goal has already been accomplished and these ones are more for fun. If I finish both events, I will be up to 15 states or 60% of the way to my quest for 25 in the Half2Run challenge. I know I can't PR in Denver and figure that I've got to add about 3 minutes for the mile high elevation. Detroit seems like a really cool event. The course takes you through an underwater tunnel into Canada and back to the USA for the finish. Despite being in Canada for all of 30 minutes, I will need a passport. I just mailed the application yesterday and do not anticipate any problems (I've never been convicted of a crime) but if for whatever reason, I don't have my passport, St. Louis is the back up option. Detroit is a much faster course and likely a better overall event. Some people might put an asterisk beside my 3M time because it's net downhill and I want another sub-1:30. The only advantage of St. Louis is that I will not have to fly to get there and the drive is not too bad. My buddy Nick will probably be joining me for both races.