Well, I have thought long and hard about it & have finally decided that as much as I would like to, it doesn't make sense for me to run the Santa Cruz 10K on April 7. I want to. I really, really want to. But it's just two weeks after the Oakland Half, I'll be out of town the week before for work & flying home the day before, it's a reasonably long trek for such a short race (which I'm not sure is a great idea pretty much immediately getting off a plane), and my black belt test is the following Saturday. I think I'd probably be pretty well recovered from a 10K after six days, but while there will be plenty of 10Ks and halfs and even marathons in my life, there will (hopefully) only ever be one black belt test, and I don't want to risk having an injury or even being sore or a little tired.
(For comparison, imagine running a marathon where every five or ten minutes you have to sprint the next half mile, sometimes with people hitting/attacking you or asking you complex questions about history and physics and philosophy and sometimes while swinging around a giant stick or big metal prongs.)
So Santa Cruz is out. Maybe next year.
Instead, I'm thinking about running the Napa Valley Silverado Half on April 21. That would be the weekend after my black belt test, three weeks post-Oakland, and would still give me a month before
Ojai / Mountains 2 Ocean / Mountains 2 Beach whatever the hell marathon I'm running Memorial Day weekend. It is a little pricier than what I'm normally willing to pay for a half ($80 before 3/1), but I really want to race in April and I don't have a whole lot of flexibility in terms of scheduling. Also, it's reasonably close, super small (capped at 1000), and looks like a good course (mostly along Silverado Trail).
I want to keep my focus on The Marathon That (apparently) Shall Not Be Named, so if I run Silverado I probably will not taper for it much or at all, run it at maybe ~85-90% & just treat it as fun break from the monotony of long runs through Golden Gate Park & a chance to see what kind of shape I'm in. This is pretty much the approach I took to Healdsburg last October while in the midst of CIM training, which I have to say worked out pretty darn well for me.