My evolution as a runner continues. 2010 was the year of the races for me (10 in all) while 2011 has been the year of few races (six, but it feels like a lot less).
2012 could be a bounce-back year. A rough sketch of what next year could hold in store.
Feb. 5 - Surf City Half Marathon. I'm going to be a bit sad to not be running the full this day. I've run the full in both 2010 and 2011. The half could feel like a downer but after the race I'm sure I'll still have a bounce in my step, unlike my Surf City experiences in 2010 and 2011.
March 18 - LA Marathon. What I'm running all these miles for. I want to be strong throughout this marathon and want to set an example to my pace group. I want to PR but more than that I just want to run a strong race.
April 22 - Run Through Redlands Half Marathon. A memorable race this is for me. RtR was my first half (in 2009) and also my first sub-2 (2010). I skipped it last year because it was the day after Diamond Valley Lake Marathon. In 2012, it will be great because it's a hilly course so it will be a good test for me as I'll be in the early stages of my San Francisco training.
June 2 - Fontana Days Half Marathon. I will PR this day! Actually, this race is both encouraging and discouraging. This course is all downhill so if you run strong, you may get a ridiculous PR. I was undertrained for it in 2011 and still got a 1:48, a PR by seven minutes. If I was running this race this weekend, I would guarantee a PR and it could even be a massive PR. Of course, on a flat course I'm not going to touch the low 1:40s, so this race is both good and bad. But I'm running it next year.
June... something - Camp Pendleton Mud Run. Dates haven't been announced but I'm guessing we'll either run it the second or third weekend in June.
July 29 - San Francisco Marathon - As Ambassador I can run any of their three races - the first or second half, or the full. I'm going to run the full again. (this is a secret... I want to PR... shhh!!)
Honestly I don't want to look past San Francisco. My focus now, in November 2011, is two-fold. First, train for LA and get strong in order to finish strong. Two, put myself in a position so I can recover quickly - both mentally and physically - in order to get back into the swing of things and start running hills in earnest in preparation for San Francisco.
What happens after SF right now is anyone's guess.
But even that limited race calendar is very enticing to me.