The challenge of choosing races for 2011

Homer RunningDecember is a time for sharing with family and friends, imbibing a little, enjoying good food and, if it’s your bag, exchanging gifts and celebrating religious things.  It’s also a time for me, unlike other years, to actually do a good job planning my 2011 race calendar.

December 26th, 3rd ed note: got a date on Pacific Populaire and have made a few more decisions.

In the past, I’d think about key distances and then decided what races to do as the year unfolded.  Not this time, particularly since I’m feeling healthier than I have in a long time and I’ve decided to change up a number of aspects of my lifestyle.  I’ll do a recap of my lifestyle change progress to date at year’s end, but right now I’ve got way more choices than decisions made, and I’d love some comments about approach if anyone has them.

I’m approaching 2011’s racing with a few simple guiding principles:

  • Trail running will factor significantly in my plans.
  • The First Half half marathon and Whistler Granfondo road ride Several races are already committed or planned firm.
  • 50k is the longest I want to do next year, if that.  Knee Knackering or Elk/Beaver is the likely target.
  • I want to time a marathon in close enough proximity to a 50k ultra so that I can essentially kill two birds with one training cycle.
  • I have an unfortunate (but hopefully temporary) restriction from traveling to the U.S. so the events should be in Canada.

Considerations

My first race is in January FebruaryHaving said that, below you’ll find the races I’m considering so far. I’m only actually registered in two races so far.  The following list represents everything the races I’m still considering at this point.  What I’d really like to form is a cycle of races that let’s me ramp up distances then recover a bit, then do it again and so on, throughout the year.  I’ve also decided to consider some duathlon multi-sport events.

Of note, I’d like to do the whole Five Peaks series, but many of them are very short, so I’m unsure of the value.  Also, I’m really keen on doing an early season road ride, so I’ll likely choose Pacific Populaire instead of Diez Vista, a 50k race I likely won’t be ready to do by April.I have decided to do the Pacific Populaire and the full Five Peaks series.  There are many 50k distances to choose from below, so I’m also considering timing and whether I should do one early and one later in the year.  Finally, in addition to the fall marathon choices below, I’m considering a destination race earlier in the year, as I have to use some airline credits by July 20th, so I’m open to the possibility of a destination marathon or ultra in June/July.

As you can see, way more choices than decisions right now.  Looking to firm this list up by the end of December so any comments below would be great.

Please forgive the tone if the preceding is laced with snark. It's nothing personal.