Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Musings on 2012 Races

ORF HalfSo there are still a bunch of things about my life that are up in the air as far as 2012 goes, meaning I'm not really ready to commit to much in the way of races (at least not in any way that requires a credit card). But I also got kind of got sick at looking at the row of question marks under "Race Schedule" over there on the side bar, and I'd hate to be caught unprepared once other non-running aspects of my life are settled, so I figured it was not a bad idea to at least start thinking about what races I'd like to run in 2012 if I had my druthers.

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....

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?


  1. I'm doing the Kaiser half (did last year, don't love, but it's my "local" run -- like practically goes past my apartment -- so OK) and the Waterfront 10-miler in a couple of weeks. Undecided on Oakland. Interested in See Jane Run ...

    I ventured down to Palo Alto for the Juana Run 8K last year and it was honestly a blast. I ran with a friend for fun, it was a small but well-organized race, and we got pancakes and eggs at the end. They also do a funny Running of the Bulls race where (I think) local cross-country kids start at the back and get points for every runner they pass. Not sure if that's happening this year, though.

  2. Damn girl, you are going to have one busy 2012 season!!!!

  3. I always over commit to races by signing up too far in advance. I have 4 half marathons in 2 months AND I want to run another marathon in that time span too. I might have to scratch one of the half marathons which is a bummer because 3 of them I have never ran before.

  4. RoseRunner did a good recap of the See Jane Run in Alameda...I believe she was not impressed. You might check it out before registering. I'm doing the relay in Oakland. I hear the half is great. Bet you'll get that sub-1:40 there :)

  5. Yeah...I did read it back in June. It's true that it doesn't sound ideal, but I haven't had much luck finding anything else around late May / early June that's reasonably close. Honestly, it'll probably come down to the price & whether I can find a good discount coupon.