While some can fly by the seat of their pants, the anal retentive engineer in me requires me to plan everything I do in my life. I put in a crazy amount of planning to fill out my race calendar for the year. I have to consider many factors in doing this, including:
- Budget – Despite my wish to spend unlimited amounts of money on running, the realities of life don’t allow this. Running most of my races in Texas helps me maximize how often I can race.
- Crossing off The States – I have a lifetime goal of running 26.2 in all 50 states. I’ve hit 8 so far, with 6 new ones scheduled for this year (VT, WA, MS, OH, IL and OK). I try to do most of these in the warmer months when there are not races close by in Texas.
- Frequency/Recovery Time – I’m both running for fast times and frequency, so I have to play a delicate balance game here. At this point I can handle a fast marathon every two weeks. Last year I needed about 3-4 weeks between. Right now I need 3-4 days to recover before I can resume training at a normal pace. If I ran slower, I could run more frequently, but right now I’m good with every two weeks.
- Distance – While most of my races I run are marathons, I’ll go plug in something else every now and then. I am currently signed up for two 50k races and am looking at a few more later in the year. Is a 100k or 50 miler in my future? Maybe later this year. I will also try to knock out a half or two at some point just to add some variation.
- Goals – My goal is to run 20 marathons/ultras this year, meaning I have to be racing generally every 2 weeks. I will run less during the summer mainly due to race availability in the area, and will go back to an every two week or so schedule starting in September. I will likely need to add a race in August just so I don’t go any month without racing.
So, where does that leave me for the rest of the year (so far):
April: Brazos Bend 50k – Brazos Bend State Park, TX (25th) – 1st 50k!
May: Shires of Vermont Marathon – Bennington, VT (17th) – Texas Threesome Jim’s Goose Chase – Dallas, TX (24th)
June: Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon – North Bend, WA (14th)
July: El Scorcho 50k – Fort Worth, TX (18th)
August: Habenero 100 (50k option) – Smithville, TX (22nd) – This starts at high noon in August in Texas…ummmm.
September: Tupelo Marathon – Tupelo, MS (6th), Grand Lake Marathon – Celina, OH (26th) – Pacing with the Maniac Pace Team!
October: Chicago Marathon – Chicago, IL (11th), Frankenthon Monster Marathon, Cedar Park, TX (24th)
November: Forth Worth Marathon – Fort Worth, TX (8th), Route 66 Marathon – Tulsa, OK (22nd)
December: Baton Rouge Beach Marathon – Baton Rouge, LA (5th), Brazos Bend Marathon or BCS Marathon (12th or 13th)
So, over the next few months I will finalize my fall caldendar for the rest of the year, and then start planning January – May of 2016. This will include a decision on whether I go back to Boston in 2016 (I’m leaning to yes right now since I have a very good qualifying time from Houston 2015). I’m probably going to target the same number of races in 2016. It is a good balance between running and the rest of life.
The best calendar out there for finding marathons or ultras is the calendar on the Marathon Maniacs web-site (http://www.marathonmaniacsdb.com/Maniacs/UpcomingRaces.asp). Happy running!