More fun than making New Year's resolutions is making a list of the races I'd like to do next year.
(And, not coincidentally, thinking about spring is more fun than worrying about staying safe during the winter.)
I of course have some general goals to go along with the races, but I haven't refined them yet or studied whether the training I'd have to do with each is feasible.
But if all the stars align and nothing unexpected happens (HA!), here's what I'd like to sign up for in 2013.
* Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 5K: I know for sure that one 2014 goal is to break my 5K PR. However, I'm not sure whether I can do it at this one, because last year it was gun timing only, no chips.
The field was either noncompetitive enough or small enough for me to line up almost at the start line last year, but I want the benefit of every second I can get. And I want those seconds to be measured by something more official than my iPhone.
The timing of this one is the best one I can find in the springtime, though, so this might be it by default.
* Grand Blue Mile: I never got around to doing Rockford's mile race, but I'd rather run hard later in the day and earlier in the year anyway.
* Woofin' It 5K: Furry Friends Refuge is my favorite charity to support, and who can argue with a race where you see dogs — in costume — of all sizes and breeds?
* Dam to Dam: Before I realized this was going to be a half marathon, I figured I'd just run it to cross off my signature-Iowa-events checklist. Then I heard of the distance increase and remembered how much more pleasant the 2013 race's weather was than the Drake Relays half ...
* RAGBRAI: Alright, it's not a race. It's definitely happening, though.
* Boone County 5K History Run/Walk: Gotta defend last year's best costume title.
* Maffitt Trail Race: I miss my occasional off-road adventures, so this should fill that void. It also has a decent chance of being a PR race, because I've never done a five-mile race, and I've only done one 10-mile one.
Either the Iowa Remembrance Run or the Capital Pursuit 5K: These races seem like good settings for PR attempts. If they're on different weekends, then I've got two chances; if they're on the same weekend, like they were in 2013, I have to balance my fondness for what I know I love against the feeling that I should try for variety ...
* Des Moines Half Marathon: ... except sometimes I have no qualms whatsoever about saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If I train in my hilly 'hood and lace up for a flat half marathon, I LOVE my chances of setting another PR.
* Sycamore 8: This is one of the bigger "maybes" on my list. My feet and/or my budget might be tired of running. Or I might just chicken out. This definitely fulfills the urge for variety, and the urge to desire variety as well.
Feel free to weigh in on what I'm missing or what I'm right about!