My 1:39:xx half marathon is still out there, so the first task was to find a few good halfs amenable to a fast time. (BTW, can we all agree that when we're talking about half marathons, the plural is 'halfs,' not 'halves'? I don't know why, but somehow that feels like it makes more sense.) At the pre-CIM sleepover in December, there was much discussion about the March 25 Oakland Running Festival & several bloggers were already signed up for various distances, especially the half. It seems like people liked the course and that the race was well-run and -organized, so I signed up. This one will be an 'A' race since my goal is a sub-1:40 or at the very least a new PR.
To fill in the gap between now & then, I'm also tentatively planning to run the Bay Breeze 10K on February 18. This wouldn't be an 'A' race or a PR attempt, just a bit of a tune-up before the half marathon to gauge where my fitness is. (Because let's face it -- I've got some serious ground to make up after not running a single mile between December 5th and January 2nd.) Another plus is that the course is the same as the Summer Breeze 10K last August -- flat, fast, and familiar.
I also wanted to find another half marathon around two months after Oakland. As I've learned, even once you're theoretically in shape to run a certain time, circumstances don't always cooperate, so it would be nice to have another one already on the schedule in case I don't meet my 1:39:xx goal in March (entirely possible, given how much fitness I've lost). The only half that appealed to me really at all in May was Avenue of the Giants, which I definitely want to run sometime, but it's early May, and I'd rather have a fully two months between HMs. (Plus, AotG involves more traveling than I really want to do for a race right now.) Instead, I decided on the See Jane Run half in Alameda on June 3. For the most part, I've heard good things about it. And if I do get my sub-1:40 in Oakland, it would be a good chance to see if I can do it again (or--dare I say it--do even better).
Odds are also good that I'll run SF PrideRun 5K or 10K again (June 23, presumably). It's small, close to home, reasonably cheap, and for a good cause, so there's no real reason not to. I had good luck with the 10K last year, so it would be fun to try to beat my previous time, or to try to place or PR in the 5K (mostly just for fun, since I probably won't have done much 5K specific training at that point).
I definitely want to run Summer Breeze in San Leandro again in August (the 24th last year, so I'm assuming it'll be the 25th this year). If I get my sub-1:40 in Oakland or Alameda, then I'll probably run the 5K, since 21:xx at that distance is my next big goal and 2 months is plenty of time to do some 5K-specific training. If not, then the flat, fast SB course will be another good place to try.
Finally, I threw in the Zippy 5K in Golden Gate Park on April 24. I've kind of wanted to run this race for a while - it's close to home, it's cheap, and although it's SUPER competitive and I'd be doing well to even make the top 20 in my A/G group, I haven't run a good, solid 5K since August 2010 (and any kind of 5K since Jan 2011) so I'm kind of curious to see where I am with it.
That's as far as I've planned. My fall is still pretty up in the air in general, so I'm leaving everything after that open for now.
Other races I've vaguely entertained include....
- SF Half Marathon at the end of July (just for fun)
- Bridge to Bridge 12K in October (SF)
- US Half in November (SF), depending on how our fall plans shake out
- Big Sur Half in November, again depending on fall plans
- Another CIM in December? Again, fall stuff up in the air.
What's on your calendar for this year? Anything you're really looking forward to or on the fence about? Any other hot Bay Area races I can't miss?