New Year's Day and 2012 Races

The first day of a new year. A sense of renewal. A clean slate. So much energy to tackle those new goals and resolutions. But as luck would have it, my schedule said, "Rest Day." Boo. Well, easy swimming is like resting right? I planned to be at the pool by 8 am so I could get a solid hour of swimming in before the 49er game started at 10 am. Then I thought, "Well since I'm there, I may as well get started on the 'Become Friends with the Treadmill Again' goal and hop on for 15-20 min." I went to bed on New Year's Eve with this grand plan in mind.

The thing is, it was 6 hours past my normal bedtime so I didn't get up till 9 am. For someone who wakes up at 5 am like clockwork, this felt like half the day was gone (because it was!).

I reassessed the day. There was no way I was going to skip the 49er game (priorities people!) so I would start my goal of "Respecting Rest Days."

After the Niners won, I started to clean up the house and took the trash out. I was shocked to see that it felt like summer! Mid-60's on January 1st! I wanted to rush back in the house, lace up my sneaks and go for a run! I just couldn't let the day go to waste! But I was torn - what about the Rest Day?

So I compromised. I laced up my sneaks and went for...a walk!

Seriously, when was the last time I just went out for a walk? I couldn't remember. I strolled along my usual running path, taking in the sights that I ignore while running. I petted the dogs that normally try to bite me and said hello to the neighbors who were also out enjoying the day.

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3 miles in 1 hr 15 min. Lovely way to start the New Year!

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And with the New Year comes a whole new schedule of races for 2012!

I had told myself I was cutting back on the number of races I do, but somehow I've managed to already be registered for a handful of them. I blame peer pressure and screaming registration deals...

February 5: The Kaiser Half Marathon in Golden Gate Park - San Francisco, CA I was opposed to doing this race because it's on SuperBowl Sunday, they don't give medals, and it's in hilly GGP. But now that I'm pretty familiar with the park, I looked at the course and it avoids all it's major hills. It's actually a pretty good course so I signed up. It's 4 weeks away and I doubt my fitness level will be back to where it was a month ago, so my goal for this race is to run it Garminless and see how it goes/feels.

March 11: The 408K Race for Pat Tillman - San Jose, CA An inaugural 5-mile race in San Jose in memory of the NFL player from SJ who joined the military and got killed in war. It's rather pricey for a 5-mile race, but it's for a good cause and it would be fun to end a race at Santana Row.Audrey is in for it and I think I've got Dave convinced to run this race with me too.

March 25: The Oakland Running Festival Half Marathon - Oakland, CA Everyone who ran last year's SFM received a special rate of $35 so I have been registered for this race since last July. Most of my Bay Area running friends are participating, as well as my cousin Michi. She is an East Bay native, who now lives in New York. She's coming home to run it and also signed up her Mom, aunt and Grandma to run the 5K. It'll be a family affair! I also would like to attempt a PR at this race.

May 19: Ogden Half Marathon - Ogden, Utah My friend Aaron participated in last year's marathon relay and told me what a beautiful course this is. Runners are bused to up to the canyon for the Start, and then run down the canyon and finish in downtown Ogden. So....downhill marathon! Count me in! I had also read other race reports and saw photos to see how lovely it really is. Since it's downhill, it's a very fast course that a lot of people attempt to BQ at so it sold out within a few days. Luckily, Alyssa, Courtney and I were on it - registered and confirmed, and Aaron will be attempting his first half-marathon as well! I am concerned about the altitude so it will be one more thing to train for.

May 20: Portland Rock'nRoll Half Marathon - Portland, OR Yeah, I kinda messed up on this date. I thought it was on May 12th. After the Vancouver Marathon last May, my cousin Lauren beat her Dad's (my Uncle Rich) time without even training or trying. Naturally, he wants a head-to-head match so we all signed up for this race...on May 1, 2011. Another family affair that will also include my Aunty Delta and cousin Riley (I think) each embarking on their first half-marathon. I'll be there, no matter what, but whether I actually make it to the Start Line will be a game day decision. My own personal reverse Goofy Challenge perhaps?

June 9: Mermaid Sprint Triathlon - Alameda, CA I don't know how this happened. Just yesterday I wrote about how I just wanted to learn how to ride my bike before I attempted any sort of tri. But yesterday, I was cleaning out my emails and read the Mermaid newsletter again and before I knew it, I had the registration screen filled out and clicked "Submit." I guess now I really do need to learn how to ride this thing.

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July 29: San Francisco Marathon, 2nd Half - San Francisco, CA I will always plan to run one of the SFM races and have decided that the 2nd Half is my favorite course. While it's not as scenic as the 1st Half, I feel that almost every other race in San Francisco runs along the Embarcadero, and I can run across the Golden Gate Bridge anytime I like. I also despise running up the Lincoln Hill coming off of the GGB. But how often do I run through The Haight or in The Mission? Ummm, never. I also like to finish at the main Finish Line, not the tiny one in GGP, so the 2H is my race of choice.

These are way more races than I anticipated doing, but I'm excited for each of them. And clearly, SFM in July is not going to be my last race of the year, but I'll wait and see how the first few months of 2012 go before deciding on what will come after that.