I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my plans for 2012 in regards to running and triathlon. As I mentioned here, I want to try a different approach to my training next year and see what I am capable if I cut out all the racing (fact: I race a lot. And by a lot, I mean a ridiculous amount) and train smarter -follow a plan, actually taper for races, every workout has a purpose. I would say clean up my nutrition as well, but that's not going to happen (hello, I live in Austin - home of the best Mexican food around).
A lot of people have asked if I would be able to give up the racing bug. Obviously, I love to race, but the answer is yes. I have been a racing machine the last few years, and so I welcome the change in approach. And to be honest, I have the 'been there, done that' feeling with a lot of the local races - while I'll adore and appreciate the local Austin running scene and all that it offers, this would be like the 6th or 7th time around for most races. I think my mind, body and pocket book could use a break.
So without further ado (I know you all were anxiously awaiting the unveil), here is my 2012 race schedule. If you know me pretty well, you will note how NAKED my race calendar looks. Sads.
January 1, 2012: Resolution Run 5k - Round Rock, Texas. This is one race I am keeping on my schedule. This will be the 5th year that Dan and I have run this New Year's morning 5k, and I couldn't think of a better way to kick off the New Year. I've done my fair share of booze fueled New Year's Eve parties, so the past few years Dan and I have decided to forgo the New Year's Eve parties in exchange for dinner & a movie and a good night's sleep (ask me the last time I've actually stayed up to midnight on NYE, and I can't even remember the last time).
January 15, 2012: Phoenix Rock& Roll Marathon - Phoenix, Arizona. This race has been on our bucket list for a few years. I've never been to Arizona, and have heard great things about this particular race. Plus, Dan was born in Arizona (so, he's not a TRUE TEXAN and really likes being reminded of that). I am going to run the full marathon, and Dan's running the half. Originally, I planned to shoot for a sub-3:10 marathon at this race, but with JFK recovery taking longer than expected and my decision to frolick around aimlessly on the training front for December, I am going to use this race as a base to see where I'm at in my fitness. It should be a good gauge for me to see where I am at and what I need to work on before heading into my training for Boston.
March 3, 2012: Woodlands Half Marathon - The Woodlands, Texas. Originally, I had planned to run the full marathon in the Woodlands, but in my attempt for smarter training (i.e. not run a marathon every month), I've decided to drop back to the half. That way I can cheer on my friends (hi Nick & Erica!) who are running the full (don't worry I will save you a beer at the beer tent). This race will also come at a perfect time in my Boston training to see where I'm at.
April 16, 2012: Boston Marathon - Boston, Mass. The Boston Marathon! I'm looking forward to running Boston again after a 2 year hiatus (ran it back in 2009). This is going to be my big "A" race for the year; I'll be gunning for a sub 3:10 marathon (current PR is 3:10:25). I think Boston is the perfect race for me to gun for a PR.
June 24, 2012: Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 Half-Ironman - Lubbock, Texas. I've done this race before (2009), and I am coming back for revenge. I have vivid haunting memories of this race. I think anyone who has done this race can attest to its difficulty. Even though this is a half-ironman distance, I've always described it as 3/4 of an Ironman - I think if you can survive this race without crawling into a ditch on the side of the road and crying mercy, then you can complete an Ironman without much problem. Extreme heat, stiff winds and gnarly hills inside a canyon describe this race to a tee. I was completely humbled by this race this time the first time around - I am headed back to settle the score.
November 17, 2012: JFK 50 Miler - Boonsboro, Maryland OR November 18, 2012: Philadelphia Marathon - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I'm debating whether to return for an encore at JFK 50 or head further North to Philadelphia to run Philly. I've never run Philly, but heard great things about the race and it would make for a nice little vacation as well (one where I could actually function afterwards...ahem JFK).
Part of me really wants to head back to Boonsboro and give JFK another shot. I think knowing what I know now about racing the distance, I can come back and run faster and stronger. It's also the 50th Anniversary of the race and it would be pretty epic to run 50 miles on the 50th Anniversary of the race. What's holding me back honestly is the recovery that comes after this race. I still don't feel 100% back to normal, and I am not sure I have the patience to go through the aftermath again. And, I also need to realize that I don't need to do something 'Big' every year. In the past two years, I've done an Ironman and a 50-miler; maybe it's time to chill for a year. Plus, Dan and I talked about not doing so many 'repeat' races, so we can visit new places and try new races. With Boston and Buffalo Springs both being repeat races, maybe I should give Philadelphia a try. But, I have time to decide. I will probably wait and see how I do in Boston before making a decision.
So, that's all I've got. I'm throwing up deuces (Mom that means saying 'later') to a lot of the big local races that I've done for years - 3M Half Marathon, Austin Marathon, Baylor Bearathon & Capitol 10k, among others. While I'm a little sad, both my bank account and Dan are very happy.