As excited as I was for this year to start, I have to admit, I am still kinda hanging on to last year. I want to move forward but I think I'm a little scared to. I had such an amazing year last year. I think it's only natural to wonder if this year could be any better. I set such high expectations for myself by the end of last year. They haven't gone anywhere but, knowing I'm going to be tackling a much more challenging distance, there is some doubt. What if I fail? I suppose that doesn't really matter to anyone but myself in the grand scheme of things. I have to go out and try. So that means taking off my rose coloured holiday glasses and taking a good look at my upcoming race season.
It's time for some goal setting and it's time for me to put it all out there once again so I can remain accountable. So far I've actually registered for 3 races between now and the end of May. The goal is 4 races but I also need to budget accordingly. Race entries ain't cheap!
First up: The Chilly Half Marathon, March 4th, 2012. The day after my birthday. So, no big night out for my birthday. That will have to happen the weekend after, ha ha. I ran that race last year in 1:47:49 on a snowy day. Considering the snowless winter we're having now, I'm really hoping that we have a nice cold snowless day this year for the race. It is just under 8 weeks away. Given my current lack of top speed, I think I will have my work cut out for me. One of the insane girls in my run group said that we're going to aim to break 1:30. I think that's nuts for this early in the season. I think I'm capable of a 1:40:00 with my current level of fitness. I may re-evaluate that when I get closer to race day.
Next up is Around the Bay, 30km on March 25th. The last time I did this race was 2006 when I was training for Ironman. I pulled off a 2:40:15 which included a 2+ minute stop at an aid station to tape down a toenail. So I could have broken 2:40:00. I am much faster than that now. My ultimate goal at this race has always been to break 2:30:00. I'm more than sure I'm capable of that, even though it is a hilly course. So I'll put a goal of 2:20:00 out there. That puts me at 4:40/km's which will be tough but I think it's doable, especially given that I'll have a few more weeks of mileage and speed work under my belt. Again there may be a re-evaluation of that when I get closer to race day.
My BIG race this year is the Mississauga Marathon on Sunday May 6th. The goal here, which has been set by my friend Kiki is to break 3:20:00. THIS will be a challenge. My marathon PB is 3:34:07. I know I'm faster than that now. The question is by how much over that distance. I have upped my mental game big time in the last year and the marathon distance is 50% training and 50% mental. So I think when the going gets tough, I'll be able to suck it up and keep going. I'm also hoping to re-qualify for Boston, which with a 3:20, will be no problem.
The 4th race I've registered for is the Toronto Women's Half on Sunday May 27th. It's only 3 weeks after the marathon but I think if I'm smart with my recovery, I'll be able to go out and rock that course. I ran it last year and ran a 1:41:37. If I'm fully recovered, I expect to be sub 1:35 here and hopefully better my age group placing (I was 5th in my AG last year). Which would be awesome given that this race is usually stacked with very fast ladies. I'm also coaching a friend of mine who will be running this race so either way, I was planning on being there.
I am going to have to learn to use my Garmin as well. I think that will really help me with my pacing. I guess I should actually finish reading the manual.
Making it all official:
Chilly Half Marathon: 1:40:00
Around the Bay: 2:20:00 or faster
Mississauga Marathon: 3:20 or faster
Toronto Women's Half: 1:35 or faster
It's going to be a fun and challenging season of racing!