The 2010 winter/spring season may not have started yet but I’ve already got a lot of races on the horizon. I almost certainly won’t do them all. But here’s the potential list leading up to the goal race, the Boston Marathon.
12/31 – Fairfax Four, Fairfax City, VA – OK, so this one’s technically not in 2010, by about 5 hours. But it’s close enough. It’s just a quick local New Year’s Eve race on neighborhood roads I run regularly in training. I’m already signed up, so I’m in. Enough said.
1/3, 1/17, 1/31 – Potomac Valley Indoor Track Series, Arlington – I’ve been doing these for years. They’re a great low-maintenance, low-stress way to get some really fast running in. Basically you show up and run whatever events you want. I always do at least one heat of the mile, either Open or Masters, sometimes both (only a few minutes apart!), then pick and choose depending on what else I feel I need to work on. I’ve done anything from the 3000m down to the 200m in the past.
1/9 – Al Lewis 10-Miler, Kensington MD – I haven’t done this race before, but it is part of the DC Road Runners Club’s Snowball Series of winter races and it’s a distance I like to run. If I do it, I would probably use this one to experiment with tempo pacing and fast finishing.
1/16 – JFK 20k, Georgetown – another club Snowball race. I’ve done this one a few times in the past and think it’s a perfect “long tempo run” distance. This race and Al Lewis would set me up well for the next race, if I do it…
2/7 – Melbourne Half Marathon, Melbourne FL – Why this race? Well, it’s the USATF Masters Half Marathon championship for 2010. Obviously there are some logistics and expenses involved, so we’ll have to see. But I’d really like to do it.
2/14 – George Washington Birthday Marathon – This is the DCRRC’s official marathon race. I haven’t run it before but I did volunteer at it a couple of years ago. I won’t do this one unless I don’t run Melbourne. If I do run GWBM, it will essentially be as a long training run, not a race.
2/28 – RRCA Club Challenge 10 miler, Columbia MD – this race doubles as part of the Snowball Series and the big team showdown between all the running clubs based in DC and Maryland. I’ve done this race as part of the DCRRC team the past two years and see no reason why I won’t do it again. The course is tough, but the field is fast. I PRed on it in 2008 and that time stood until this past October. Plus the club picks up the tab for registering.
3/7 – Burke Lake 12k, Fairfax VA – another piece of low-hanging fruit. It’s a Snowball race and close to home, too. I train on Burke Lake regularly during the spring, summer and fall when I can still get there after work and before dark.
3/14 – Ft. Hunt 10k, Alexandria VA – I’ll only do this one if I feel like getting Snowball points is important.
3/20 – National Half Marathon, DC – I did the full marathon at National last year (3:35) as a pre-Boston training run and considered doing so again this year, and am now I’m leaning towards doing the half instead. But I’m not even sure about that. I’ve got a little time to think about it.
4/11 – Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, DC – I’m already signed up for this one, so I’m in. I’ll be in my final taper window by this point so Cherry Blossom will be the final polishing race before Boston.
4/19 – Boston Marathon – It all leads up to this race. If I’ve trained well I could have a monster PR in me. Either way I want to put the disappointment of last year’s injury-sabotaged performance of 3:41 behind me.
So there you have it, the potential race calendar for early 2010. If I’ve counted up right there are 3 10-milers, 2 half-marathons and a bunch of shorter races. My guess is when the dust has settled I will have done 2 10-milers and 1 half, which I will use as interim target races and benchmarks for progress towards Boston.