Are you a planner? Or are you a more spontaneous soul?
If you’re a runner, chances are you’re some sort of planner.
You may not have started out as a planner. You may have just gone out for a run whenever the mood hit you. You probably ran without a goal, running for as long as you felt like it, as fast as you felt like going. And you may have only run sporadically, fulfilling your need for cardio with other activities.
But once you enter your first race – however you were motivated to do so – a change begins to occur. For some, it’s a quick process. For others, the process takes more time. As a result of that first race, you start paying attention to things like running shoes, running gear. You start looking for running advice, like how to drink water without stopping or spilling the contents of that little paper cup all over yourself. And you start to wonder if you could have turned in a better time if you had trained properly. So you start thinking about your next race.
Your next race means a training program. A training program means planning – planning your runs, arranging your schedule to accommodate those runs, figuring out a plan B for missed workouts, planning your race day.
Eventually, you go beyond planning for one race at a time. Suddenly, you’re planning a year’s worth of races at the same time you’re figuring out your resolutions for the new year. You’ve become a planner thanks to running.
My race calendar has fluctuated over the years, going from a race here and there to a few years of a race every month and back down to a handful of regular local races with room to fill in other races depending on my schedule and fitness level.
Here’s my plan for 2012 so far:
- Nike Women’s Virtual Half Marathon (January)
- Together with Love 10k (February)
- Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (April)
- PAL Artichoke Festival 5k (May) – might finally do the 10k this year
- Stevenson Run in the Forest 10k (September) – best post-race breakfast ever
- San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (October) – already registered
- Nike Women’s Marathon (October) – only if I’m one of the lucky lottery selections
- Big Sur International Half Marathon (November) – race registration opens 1 April
This leaves the summer months (June, July, and August) open and gives me flexibility. I’ve found that I enjoy having race-free months because there’s less pressure to run and I can run for running’s sake. Those months are when I rediscover why I really run.
What does your 2012 race calendar look like? Whether it’s packed full or wide open, always remember the joy you find in running, the feeling of accomplishment you had when you crossed your first finish line, and the camaraderie of your fellow runners.
Wishing you a 2012 devoid of injuries and full of PRs…