2012's races are shaping up to be a whole lot more. Call me a sentimental sap, but I have always valued the practice of placing meaning on our pursuits. I could simply run a marathon for the sake of running a marathon, check it off my 'bucket list', and be done. But I'm someone who likes to do things for more reasons than just being able to say I did it. I want to do things for myself and for others - to prove to myself that I've still got no clue how strong I really am capable of being and to inspire others to do the same for themselves.
My racing calendar for 2012 will be my most eventful racing calendar of my life to date. The most races I've done in a year before now was 2. I did 2 races last year, and when I was my younger running self and running my first half marathons. This year I have plans for at least 4 races. It will likely be 6 or 7 by the time the year is out, as I plan to do a 10km or two, maybe a 5km too. But in my mind I've committed to 4 longer distance races.
Each race I'm committed to means something special, which can easily be illustrated with numbers. As a bit of a math nerd, I appreciate numbers and what they represent. But of course, there's so much more to it than the numbers you will see here. One could argue that attaching meaning adds pressure on myself, and may contribute to race-related nerves. The way I see it though as that I am going to experience nerves regardless, so I might as well experience them and know the whys behind them. Here's my calendar:
- BMO April Fool's Half Marathon - April 1st, 2012: this race doesn't have terribly significant numbers attached to it. But, it will be my 1st time running a half marathon that isn't my "big race"; this will be my 1st time running a half marathon as a simple training run where I take it slow and "practice" the racing experience leading up to my actual big race. This run will be lots of fun as I'll be running it with Patti and we'll have to travel to the Sunshine Coast for this one.
- BMO Vancouver Marathon - May 6th, 2012: This is my big race of the year. It will be my 1st marathon of my life. Self explanatory....a big 1st... the 1st time I run 42.2km. And it'll be Patti's 1st as well, which makes it all the more special. It'll be our 3rd time running a race together.
- Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon - June 24th, 2012: This race is 7 weeks after the marathon. Last year I ran a 10km race 6 weeks after a half marathon (i.e., approx. 1/2 the distance) and raced it FAST without having to do any specific training. So my thoughts are that doing 1/2 the distance 7 weeks after a marathon will allow me to race it well, with minimal specific training. I will definitely so some work and will be creating a flawless plan because I know that 21.1km is still a serious distance. But my base training for distance will be in good shape after training for and running a marathon - I'll just need to work on speedwork, strength, and do a couple longer training runs to be good to go. And unlike April Fool's, this half marathon, I'm going to race it, take it fast, and see what kind of finish time I can come up with. This race means a lot to me too because it will be my 3rd time running this course, but my 1st time doing so in 8 years (since 2004). As a new version of me, I'm excited to go down memory lane and re-run the course that was my 1st (in 2003) and 2nd (in 2004) half marathon of my life and make it my 5th (and maybe my best yet) in 2012.
- GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon - October 7th, 2012: This is the only race on my calendar that I've not officially registered for yet, but I fully plan on running it. It is just that I haven't decided on what distance - 21.1km or 42.2km.... I'm going to see how things go in May, and see if I'm ready for taking on another marathon or not. I will have plenty of time to recover and re-train, but it might be too soon. I won't know until May. Regardless, I will run this event in October. It was my big event last year, the half marathon, so I want to go back and re-live the event. It was so well organized and a beautiful course in a beautiful city. But this year, the race date means a whole lot more. Oct 7th will be 1 day after what would have been my father's 70th birthday. October 2012 is also going to mark 5 years since his passing. It's, I'm sure, going to be a difficult month, realizing these milestones I don't want to admit have arrived. So running this race will give me something positive to focus on as I dedicate it to him and wear his memory on my heart the whole race. This race will be for Dad, because I know that no matter how well I run, how far or how fast I race, he'd be proud of me. My thoughts are that it'd be neat to do the full marathon for him, 42.2km for a man born in 1942 (or is that a silly number association?). I'll be sure to let you know what I decide.