With 2012 upon us I have already started planning out my race schedule for the year. Like last year my main focus will be on improving my marathon time and getting closer to my goal of a Boston qualifying time.
The first half of my year is looking like it will be identical to last year when I ran two 10 km races and a half-marathon before the Ottawa Marathon in May. I have already registered for one of the 10 km races again this year and am waiting for registration to open so I can officially register for the other 10 km race and for the half-marathon.
That will keep me busy until May when I will run the Ottawa Marathon. I made the commitment last night and officially registered for the marathon for the fourth straight year. For the third straight year I will be raising funds for the Ottawa Hospital as part of Race Weekend. In addition to improving my marathon time I will also be trying to beat my fundraising total from last year.
So far the only plan I have for this year is to run the Army Run in September. The past two years I have run the race as a pace bunny, in the 5 km two years ago and in the half-marathon last year. I will looking to pace the half-marathon once again this year.
Beyond that the only big question mark remaining is whether I will run a fall marathon again this year and if so where. At this point I have not really considered that as there is a to consider before I make that commitment again and a lot could change before I have to make the decision.
Have you started putting together your race schedule for 2012?
Last weekend I was able to get in my first two runs in shorts and I was running without a jacket a few times this week enjoying the sunny weather and double digit temperatures we were enjoying.
However, this morning as I prepared for my long run I faced sub zero temperatures and the possibility of rain. I planned to do my long run today since I am registered for the Ottawa Physio Race 10 km tomorrow and likely would not have time to get in the full distance, more on that later.
Although I managed to get in 29 km before it started raining hard, running into a strong headwind as I ran along the Ottawa River was almost enough to tempt me into cutting my run short on a couple of occasions.Hopefully the sun and warmer temperatures come back our way soon!
As I already mentioned, I am registered for a 10 km race tomorrow. It is the last of the three races I committed to doing before the Ottawa Marathon next month. It will be interesting to see how my legs hold up for the race as I havce just completed my longest week in terms of mileage so far in this training cycle, 100 km since I decided to do my long run today instead of tomorrow.
Fortunately tomorrow’s course is relatively flat, following the same course of the St Patrick’s Day 10 km race I did last month meaning the start line is just a few blocks from my house which is an added bonus. Watch for my race report tomorrow!
Today’s 10 km was my first race of the year. The weather was good for a race this morning with the temperature sitting a couple degrees above 0. The roads were also in decent shape considering the rate at which the snow has been melting here the last few days.
As I mentioned before, I went into this race with no set goal in mind other than figuring my time would be pretty close to my time from my last 10 km race in May of last year.
A bonus to this race is that it started at the High School a few blocks from my house so I did not have to leave the house early. I felt pretty good as I got started and managed to keep a steady pace for most of the race.
In the end I finished with a chip time of 44:02 which is about 45 seconds slower than my 10 km time from last year. I guess I have a goal for my race 10 km race in April! Incidentally, that 10 km race will be run on the same course as today’s race.
I am pleased with today’s result. I didn’t go out intending to set any records. My overall pace of 4:27 per km is slightly quicker than the pace I have been running my tempo runs at.
I am pretty confident now that I can run a quicker 10 km next month. For one thing I will likely not be wearing a pair of gloves on race day. Today when I took off my gloves at the halfway point I kept them in my hands instead of putting them in my pocket. Sure enough I ended up dropping one about 1 km later and had to turn around to retrieve it. I won’t make that mistake next time.
The positive thing about today’s race is that I was able to pick up the pace in the last 2 km of the race and make up some lost time from earlier.
Next up for me in terms of races is likely a half-marathon on April 10 followed by the previously mentioned 10 km a week later.
My first race of the year is a week from today. I will be running the 10 km next Saturday.
I am not sure what to expect in terms of a time as I have not really set a goal for myself going into this one. I signed up for it so I could get in an extra race before the Ottawa Marathon in May.
My current best in a 10 km race is 43:14 which I ran at the Diefenbooker Classic in early May of last year. That race was also my last 10 km race. My most recent race at a similar distance was a time of 33:30 in an 8 km race in November.
There are two aspects to this race that could work to my advantage.
First, I know the route for the St Patrick’s Day race better than most routes here in Ottawa – Pretoria Bridge to Heron Bridge and back. With the start line for the race being located just a few blocks from my house I run at least part of this route just about every day.
Second, the route for this race is relatively flat as it follows the Rideau Canal. There are only two hills to go up just before the turnaround point. Neither is a big hill and since they are close to the turnaround point I will be running back down them not long after.
Based on my 8 km result in November and my training since I think my result next week will end up being close to my 10 km from last May. I will be sure to post a report next Saturday following the race.