Now what? A look at 2014

With the completion of the Portland Marathon, my 2013 race season is essentially over.  Even though I didn’t quite hit my time goal in the marathon, this year has been a very successful one overall.  I ran the distances I wanted to run and I hit the times I wanted to hit.  Did I want to run faster?  Absolutely!  And now we get after those times in 2014.

I’m setting up 2014 pretty much the same as 2013.  I will start with what I call my short season (5K), progressing to my long season (half marathon) and then finish up the year with some various events.  I had said I wanted to cut back on the number of races compared to this year.  I felt really beat up going into my marathon.  Between training for that and doing other races I really set myself up to get injured.  Luckily, I never really did.  But I was definitely not 100% going into what was my big race of the year.  But with what I have scheduled the second half of the year, I shouldn’t have any problems with a similar schedule this coming year during the first half of the year.

First, a quick recap of 2013. For the 5K I had set a goal of breaking 23:00.  The first weekend in January, at Resolution Run, I went 21:15.  So much for that goal!  I spent the next few months trying to go as low as possible (I wanted to break 20:00), eventually getting down to 21:05.  For the half marathon I wanted to break 1:45:00 and had targeted Portland RnR in May for that.  I did a tune up half in April and went 1:37:xx and was holding back.  Oops!  In June, I set my PR of 1:36:15.

So what is the plan for 2014?  Probably best to just run through my schedule with some notes about my expectations for each event.

December 1st:  Yes, I know December is still in 2013.  But I’m counting it in my short season events.  I’m running the Hot Buttered Run 5K in conjunction with our virtual 5K that our online running group is hosting.  The #SUB30V5K is doing a virtual race to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  Read all about the event here and please take a moment to sign up!

Since I’ve only just started back into training last week, I have no lofty goal of setting a PR.  My realistic goal for this race is 23:00.  Anything faster than that is just gravy.

January 5th:  I’m returning to Resolution Run 5K again.  This is a great PR friendly loop course.  I’m not necessarily looking to PR at this race, targeting 22:00, but you never know what will happen.

February 1st:  Now we’re getting serious!  The Roaring River 5k is where I set my PR last year.  Except for a few hundred feet towards the end of the course, this is a flat out and back course.  I will be looking to go sub 21:00.

March 16th:  Shamrock Run 5K.  This course has a similar layout to the Roaring River Run, all flat except for a suspiciously nasty couple hundred feet climb towards the end.  I really thought I had a chance to PR this course last year.  But I got greedy chasing my PR and ran a tough race the day before (not recommended), but still only came up a couple seconds short.  I will be looking to finally break 20:00.

April 13th:  Now we move on to half marathons.  The Blooms to Brews Half Marathon was a real eye opener last year.  This is an amazingly flat, PR friendly half course.  Last year I had no idea what I was capable of, or anything about the course.  This year is a completely different story.  This year I’m going to be setting an aggressive pace early and see just how long I can hold it.  I will be looking to break 1:30:00 right out of the gate at my first race for the year.

May 4th:  Flying Pig Three Way Cincinnati/Broadway 10 Miler Philadelphia.  I have friends in both cities that want me to run each event.  I obviously can’t run both.  I’m still on the fence as to which one I’m going to run.

May 18th:  Portland RnR Half Marathon.  I haven’t signed up for this yet but I know me, I will sign up. This is a nice course through many of the neighborhoods in Portland.  This is still the best tactical race I’ve run to date.  Just can’t beat the vibe of a big, lively race.

June 15th:  Vancouver USA Half Marathon.  This is where I set my half PR.  I think it was just because I knew Bart Yasso was at the finish line!  Even though I PR’d, I ran a horrible race.  Went out way too fast and had to really gut out the finish.  If I ran a better race I’m sure I could have broken 1:35, which was my goal.

At this point I am planning to take a short break.  If you recall, I have a little toe issue…or more accurately, a little issue with my big toes.  I’m already scheduled to see a podiatrist to have my toenails removed.  Recovery is a couple weeks.  It should allow me to recharge my batteries, mentally and physically.  This also ends the “competitive” portion of my year.  Everything after this is really more for fun.

August 22nd-24th:  I have the privilege of running Hood to Coast again in 2014.  This is a great event and I am really looking forward to running it again.

September 6th(?):  Gateway to the Gorge Half Marathon.  2013’s event was the first time this was run. They are saying it will be an annual event.  This is the race that runs through my neighborhood, a course I’m very familiar with.  I had some issues during this event so am looking for a little revenge next time.

September 14th(?):  Pints to Pasta 10K.  This event has been taken over by another management group so not a lot of information about it at this point.  I skipped this even in 2013.  It’s a very PR friendly 10K course and I am looking forward to running it again.  Given the closeness to the Gateway to the Gorge Half I may have to decide which event I want to run/race.

September 21st:  Steve Prefontaine Memorial 10K.  Yeah, just realized that’s races in three consecutive weekends.  I’m definitely doing this one as it’s in my hometown and a really great, small town event.

October 18th-20th: Runner’s World Half Festival.  This is a big event for me in 2014.  Not so much for the running as it more about the Sub 30 group meeting up in person.  This weekend is going to be a lot of fun!

This pretty much sums up 2014.  I would really like to find a 10K race the last few months of the year that I can push for a true PR.  Pints to Pasta is a great event, but sandwiched between two other events.  Might be asking for trouble.  I’ve run Run Like Hell 10k before and really liked it but will most likely be the same weekend as Runner’s World.  I’m sure I will find something.

In a nutshell, I want to break 20:00 in the 5K and 1:30:00 in the half marathon.  I don’t really have a target for the 10K as it’s been a while since I’ve run one on a non-hilly course so nothing to base it on.

Here’s to a healthy, fast and successful 2014!

Happy Running


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