By the end of 2013 I knew what my running goal was going to be for 2014 and that is to attempt to PR in a half marathon. Since I am getting married in August I knew I wouldn’t have enough time and be able to fully dedicate my summer to running another marathon so stuck with the half marathon as my farthest distance. I think the half marathon is the perfect distance to train for and work hard at while still having a life outside of running. You marathoners may disagree, but since I have only ran one I consider it a big dedication. This is the time I am trying to beat!
By the end of January I had decided what races I wanted to run and signed up. All are new races to experience except the traditional Shamrock Shuffle. I may add a couple of fall races but for now this is what I have signed up and where I am focusing on my attention on.
I’m starting out my race season in 2014 with a half marathon in March the Get Lucky Chicago. This is very unusual for me since I have started out the previous running seasons with the Shamrock Shuffle, but I looked at the calendar and decided I could get in enough training in before hand and it would be a good way to start training earlier in the year, even if it would have to be on the treadmill because of the winter conditions outside. I also thought it would be fun to do a race on St. Patrick’s day weekend. The race isn’t through the city, but located on the lake shore path close to the Museum of Science and Industry. My race buddies and I never understand why the Shamrock Shuffle is always so much later, yet it’s based on St. Patrick’s Day.
Two weeks later I will be running the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. This race is tradition for the start of the running season in Chicago. It’s also a great race to PR in the 8K. I have gotten a better record from year to year and most people I run with improve as well. Plus it’s a great race to run through the streets of Chicago and see the sights. I highly recommend this race if you are new to running or in the Chicago area. It’s a great experience and the crowd cheering the runners on is awesome!
Next on the list is the North Shore Half Marathon at the beginning of June. This is the race I am hoping to PR in the half marathon. I am hoping to follow the Hal’s advanced half marathon training plan for this to vamp up my training and push for my goal. The only concern I have is the weather, if it’s hot I know I won’t even have a chance to PR in, so I am hoping for a cool start to June. The race is located in the north suburbs and it should be great to be so close to the race location without having to battle traffic on the way to a race.
A couple of weeks before my wedding I am actually planning on running 2 races. I guess I was hoping for stress relief when I signed up for these?! The first one in July is the Esprit de She Chicago 10K. This race is located in Lincoln Park and is actually on a Thursday night which works out well since I work in the city. The race is women only and ends with champagne and tapas. I signed up for this with a few friends and intend to have fun and not worry about my time for this. Sometimes I get too caught up with trying to do better in every race and I think this will be a great change of “pace” to just have fun with my girlfriends.
I haven’t signed up for the Bix 7 race in the Quad Cities, but I attend to soon. It’s a 7 mile run with the famous steep Brady St hill. I think it will be great to add in more speed work to change-up my training routine. This race was a big deal when I was growing up and was something I never thought I would do, but I think it would be a great experience.
The last race I have on the list is the Urban Hoedown 5K at Soldier Field. Live country music, beer, and a mechanical bull?!? I just couldn’t say no to this race and once again attend to have lots of fun at this one. It’s soon after I get back from my honeymoon so I don’t attend on taking it to seriously. This one again is during the week which works well with working in the city.
I probably will sign up for a fall race or two. If I don’t hit that PR earlier in the year for the half marathon I could see myself trying again in a fall race, but we will see. Maybe married life will consume me and I will just give up racing all together?!? Ha-“as if”! It will probably be on the contraire where I don’t have wedding planning and as much to do that I will actually pick-up my running.