A few weeks ago I posted a draft of my schedule. Now it’s pretty well locked in, thanks to my signing up with Team in Training to run the National Half Marathon. Basically I’m doing one long race of 10 miles or more every month leading up to Boston. That leaves plenty of time on the other weekends of each month to get in a long run of 20+ miles, do some shorter races and one free weekend to do extended cross-training, such as a long bike ride, or even rest if I need to. I like how it falls together. So, here goes:
1/3, 1/17, 1/31 – Potomac Valley Indoor Track Series, Arlington – I’ve been doing these for years, and have already done the first one, three days ago. I may have a hard time making the 1/17 meet, though due to a conflict. These meets are 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.
1/16 – JFK 20k, Georgetown – This is a DC Roadrunners Club race. I’ve done this one a few times in the past and think it’s a perfect “long tempo run” distance.
2/28 – RRCA Club Challenge 10 miler, Columbia MD – this race is a 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 – This is a piece of low-hanging fruit, kind of a throw-in on my race schedule. It’s another club 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. Who can say no to a chance at doing this trail race?
3/20 – CareFirst National Half Marathon, DC – This is my official Team in Training race, but it will double very nicely as an important benchmark in my overall marathon training. After this race, there’s only about one week of real training left before the 3-week taper period to Boston begins.
4/11 – Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, DC – I’ll be in the final throes of the taper window by this point so Cherry Blossom will be the final polishing race before Boston. I’ll be looking to nail a sharp 10-mile result that has me feeling confident and ready for those few days before I board a plane to Beantown.
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. I think I’ve learned a lot of previous training and am hopeful that I will avoid some of the injury pratfalls that have gotten me in the past. Training has just begun but so far I feel great, so I’m cautiously optimistic right now.