I've enjoyed 4 weeks of pretty much doing whatever I wanted to when it came to running. Taking the first week after Harrisburg easy was understandable. The last three weeks I've run between 30 and 35 miles. I did plenty of easy runs and some reasonable distance on the weekend. What was missing was any form of hills or speed work.
The 2010 races are approaching soon, so this weekend I spent some time putting together the plan, at least for the next 4 months or so. My first planned (and paid for) race of 2010 will be the Surf City Half Marathon. I've avoided this race in the past because I saw no reason to pay to run where I run the majority of my long runs. But, I've mentioned before that I'm a sucker for a good hook and marketing scheme so this year I succumbed to the hype and decided to go for it to finish off the California Dreaming Series. I've will have completed the half at all three races. Besides that, the medals for Surf City have got to be about the coolest things around.
At first I was only going to run the race for fun, just to get the medal and the CA Dreamin' medal and jacket. Lately though, I've been thinking that I should actually race it and try to better my PR at that distance. That wasn't going to happen on the Wingin' It Plan. I pulled out the Yasso book again and put his half marathon (seasoned runner) plan on paper. Once again Thursdays will be hill/speed/tempo day. By lollygagging around for the last 4 weeks, I'm starting the plan at Week 4, but I should be all right. The only real challenges I see are doing the speed in the dark and keeping up the motivation to do those semi long runs that Yasso requires during the week in the dead of winter (OK, in winter on California terms, but it is still winter, all things being relative).
I put the plan to paper none to soon because it calls for a 5K race on Saturday. There a plenty of Christmas runs in the area, so I may give it a go at the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run on Saturday. I'm only following the plan, you know. I did well in Santa Monica at the 10K this fall, it will be fun to see if I can pull out a decent come back 5K this time around.
Sunday is a new race in SoCal, the LA County Half Marathon. This race initially piqued my interest. It would be fun to run around the fairgrounds, down the Pomona Speedway drag strip and around Bonelli. But I would have only run it for fun and in the end decided to pass it up in favor of a leg work out with Chris and a trip to Temecula with friends later in the day. I'm sure the $80 I saved in entry fee will come in handy in wine country.
There's more to come in 2010, but I'll save that for later.
Beginning today I'm officially a slave to the plan. Already the plan has shifted a little. We've had dinner plans with friends on Thursday night for a couple of weeks now, so everything got moved up a day. I ran 6 miles easy tonight after work. It had rained all day, but abated just in time for me to go out on my run. The temperature was in the low 50's with a fairly decent breeze. I decided to wear the wind shirt that we got at Harrisburg over a short sleeve. On the way up and out the wind shirt was probably overkill but on the way down and back, running into the wind, I was glad to have worn it.
Say goodbye to Wingin' It and hello to the Half Marathon PR Plan.