Five Races to Run in 2015

Happy Friday! It's my favorite time of the week--the Friday Five linkup with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar On The Run, and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What! This week's theme is Five Races to Run in 2015.

One of my running goals for this year is to work on overcoming my race anxiety. To do that, I plan to run races to get more race experience and to achieve a variety of goals. Here are the next five races I’ll be doing and the goals I have for each. All of them are local. While I drool over exciting races in cool locations, I have so much anxiety with races in general that I think racing locally is best for me, at least until I get more race experience!

1. Spring Thaw 10 Miler, February 28. Many Pittsburgh runners use this race as a warm-up for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon. The available race distances are 10 miles, 15 miles, and 20 miles. I’ll be doing the 10-mile race, which will be my first double-digit run in my training plan. I’ll be using this race as my long run, so I won’t have a time goal and will be running an easy pace. My goal is  to practice fueling.

2. March Mad Dash 10 Miler, March 14. This race offers a 5K, 5 mile, and 10 mile option. I’ll be doing 10 miles and will use this race as a fitness test. I’ll have a time goal, based on the McMillan race pace equivalency calculator, to see if I can do the equivalent pace at a 10 mile distance that I expect to do in my goal half marathon. Because time goals make me very anxious, one of my other goals will be to try to reduce my anxiety. I’ll be doing lots of visualization before the race and will work on being calm and focused during the race. I know that the time goal I’m setting for this race will be a big challenge for me, and it’s honestly freaking me out already. But I also know that whatever the outcome, this race will help me focus on weaknesses to target in the rest of my training.

3. Just a Short Run Half Marathon, March 28. This is another warm-up race for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon, and offers four distances from 5K to 30K. I’ll be doing the half marathon as my long run and will be running an easy pace. My main goal will be to nail down the fueling I’ll be using in my goal race.

4. Pittsburgh Half Marathon, May 3. This is my spring goal race. My main goal will be to run an 11:00 pace for a time of 2:24. That was the goal I had for my fall trail half marathon, which I ran in 2:28. The Pittsburgh Half Marathon will include some hills and will be more of a challenge than the fall half marathon was. My other goal will be to finish feeling strong, since that was my big weakness in my last half marathon. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm an official #GameOnPGH blogger for this race, so I'm excited to be involved with the race as both a runner and blogger.

5. Man Up Father’s Day 10K, June 21. In the summer I’ll be focusing on shorter distances before training for my fall half marathon starts. I’ve only done one 10K, the Father’s Day race last year, and I liked the distance. I’d like to try it again, and doing the same race on the same course will be a good gauge of whether I’ve improved since last year. So, my goal will be to beat my time from last year.

So that’s my race schedule through June. I’m excited that I have some good races to look forward to and to challenge me. What’s on your race schedule? If you're in Pittsburgh, are you doing any of these races?

Check out the link up for more races to run!

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