Tomorrow morning will be my first race of the year. I’ve made it a bit of a tradition to start off the race season with the 10 km St. Patrick’s Day race.
Partly because there are not many options earlier in the year before it and also because the start and finish line is only a few blocks from my house tomorrow will be my fourth consecutive year doing this race.
My approach to this race is to use it as a tune-up race for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. I’ve managed decent times in this race I have not set any personal bests doing it. I view it more as an opportunity to see where my fitness is at early in the season.
Last year I managed my fastest time in the race with a 41:20 finish. It would be nice to beat that time but I am not sure I am quite at that point yet after my layoff in November.
Tomorrow I plan to leave my Garmin at home and just run based on feel. It will be my first attempt at running a race that way. Since this is not a goal race I want to see if running without a watch makes a difference in my approach during a race.
Now that I am back to running full time I am starting to plan my running schedule for the upcoming year. So far I have have a handful of races picked out. Most of them a re the usual suspects that I add to my calendar. Here is what i have lined up so far:
1) so far my first scheduled race is the St Patrick’s Day 10 km race here in Ottawa. I have done this one for the past four years. The best part about this one is that the start line is four blocks from my house. Since it usually ends up being my first race of the year and the weather is not always ideal I usually use it as a marathon pace effort.
2) my second scheduled race is the Run for Reach half-marathon. I have also done this race for the past four years. I originally signed up for this race because it is one of the few options here in April and it is timed well for Ottawa Race Weekend. Since then it has become my pb course for the half. I’ve run my two sub 1:30 half-marathons at this race. I’m not sure if I’ll be in shape to beat my time from last year but I plan to use the race to judge my fitness for the Ottawa Marathon a month later.
3) Sporting Life 10 km is my next scheduled race. This is the first year for this race here but I am very familiar with the course since it is along the Rideau Canal. Once again I am planning to use this one as a tempo run to judge my fitness for the marathon.
4) my next race will be the Ottawa Marathon. Race weekend in Ottaw has become one of my favourite weekends of the year since I started running regularly. This will be my second consecutive year running the marathon. I am not sure what kind of shape I will be in on race day given the two month layoff I am recovering from but this will be a special one just for the fact that it is at home. On the Saturday I will also be out watching the shorter races because my oldest daughter will be running the 2 km race and my wife will be running the 10 km.
5) The Canada Day 10 km is my first scheduled race of the summer. I’ve lost track of how many times I have run a race on Canada Day but it is a great way to kick of the holiday. Last year I even managed my first ever win in this race. You can guarantee I will be looking forward to this one again.
6) The Army Run will definitely be on my schedule in September. For the past few years I have volunteered as a pace bunny for this one and I plan to continue that this year. The fact that my father was in the army for 41 years makes this race even more important for me.
That is all I have scheduled for now for sure. I will probably add in more shorter races over the year. For the fall I plan another marathon I just have not yet confirmed it.
What do you have planned for 2015?
It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.
Here are this week’s stories…
Is there such a thing as a marathon hangover?
25 reasons to be a thankful runner.
Do you find joy in your racing?
A post about tracking runs.