Back at it: spring 2015 race season

Whew! I've had a few weeks of craziness between travel to a work-related conference and illness (seriously, having a baby in daycare turns him into a Petri dish for all of the illnesses and my house becomes ground zero). But after all of that, I'm ready to get back at it and start training hard for my spring race season. I figured out what races I'm doing and when, and don't really plan on adding more races in because I don't want them to affect the quality of my training.

Prior to the travel/illness fun, I was thinking about doing another half marathon in February as a sort of redemption race for the Charleston Half. When running the race, I was pretty sure the course was long, and by the time I hit mile 11, I started to feel mentally defeated because the time I thought I was going to finish in wasn't matching up to the mile markers on the course. And I slowed down a bit, too, which cost me. Looking back, I also think I ran somewhat conservatively since I didn't really know what to expect (much like I ran my first 5K and 10K post-baby). While I still ended up with a PR, I felt like I could do more. But then I decided to just put it behind me and start fresh with this new training cycle and try to tackle even bigger PRs in a few months.

Here's what that fresh start looks like:

2/14/15 - Hearts & Soles 5K

This one is to gauge where I'm at in the 5K distance after completing the Charleston Half. I would like to see a sub-24 on the clock for this one, but we'll see. I think I've got it in me at this point, but I'll find out on race day. If I do that, then I'll officially be back to where I was pre-baby. And then, I better start seeing those times drop in subsequent 5Ks.

3/1/15 - Race & Roast 5K Trail Run

It's a trail run! With an oyster roast afterward. I've never done a trail race before, so I thought I'd give it a try. These trails are pretty hard packed, so the terrain shouldn't be too rough. It's also on a Sunday, so I'll still be able to get my long run in with my training group. Plus, oyster roast for the post-party. Sold.

4/4/15 - Skidaway Island Half Marathon (goal race)

After much mental flip-flopping and nearly registering for Charlotte Racefest, I decided to be daring and sign up for the 

Skidaway Island Half Marathon

 on April 4. I'm hoping to run at least sub-1:50 (maybe faster depending on how this training shakes out, but I'll figure that out as we get closer to race date).

Even though it's the first year for the race and I'm not always a fan of inaugural races, I'm giving it a chance. Mostly because I really want to go to Savannah. It also leaves enough time between that race and the second half I signed up for this spring, which is...

4/25/15 - Nashville Country Music Half Marathon (Rock 'n Roll series)

This one wasn't on my radar at all prior to a few weekends ago when I saw some friends in Charlotte who are planning on doing this race. And they 

may have

 talked me into it. Maybe. Because Nashville. I have no major time goals here (other than just running sub-two hours). I just want to go have fun with some friends and visit a city I've never seen before.

5/9/15 - The Moms' Run 5K

This will be my first race with the B in the stroller. And my mom will be in town. And it's the weekend of Mother's Day. So really, it was sort of no-brainer with all of those fun events aligning. I have no idea how I'll run while pushing a stroller since I have yet to do it, but hopefully, it doesn't slow me down too much.

6/?/15 - Floppin' Flounder 5K

This one is my end of season 5K to gauge how much I've improved over the training cycle and to level set my training for summer track sessions so I can come back faster in the fall.

7/15/15 - IOP Beach Run 10K

In addition to gauging fitness in the 5K distance at the Floppin' Flounder, I picked this race as the10K I want to set as a benchmark to see how much I improve over the summer (I have both a 5K and a 10K lined up for late September/early October).

Time goals for both the Floppin' Flounder and IOP Beach Run are still pending.

And that's that. I'm pretty pleased with how this race season has shaped up and the races I've got on my calendar. And I'm going to do my best to not add a bunch more in. Racing is fun, but doing it too frequently doesn't really do anything to help me be a better runner and in the end, it just ends up in fatigue (both mentally and physically) and injury risk. So this season, I'm going to be smart about it and really go after the races I do have on my calendar.