This was a question that I have been putting off for a while now. I wanted to stay focused on Long Beach. I didn't want to stop and think about next races and next training plans until the one at hand was done. But now it's time to change my "Next Up" sidebar.
First off, it's time to meet Magazine Smiles, Run DMZ, and aka Alice and the rest of the Herd. I've been a big fan of all of them for a long time. We've been passing each other like ships in the night at various races up and down the coast between Orange County and San Diego (about 80 miles apart). I've never had the pleasure of meeting them. akaAlice was thinking about coming up for Long Beach, but after some thought, decided against it (she has been fighting some nagging injuries for several months and made the wise choice). I made her a promise that if she skipped on Long Beach, I'd sign up for a race near her. So, I signed up for the Shelter Island 5K in San Diego on November 8th! It looks like a great course around the harbor! Of course, as aka Alice pointed out to me, the Champagne Brunch doesn't hurt either.
Thanksgiving Day is causing me some heartburn. Normally I run the Dana Point Turkey Trot 10K. But this race has just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger over time. Last year it was so crowded that I couldn't really "run" until mile 4. I hate not doing that race (I've done it 3 years in a row now), but the crowds are making it not fun. So, I think I'm moving down the coast a little ways (about 20 more miles) and running The Oceanside Turkey Trot 5K instead.
December is also up in the air. Last year I ran the Make Room for Santa 10K in Irvine and had a great time. It is *definitely* under consideration as a repeat. I'm also eyeing something a little different - a trail race. I've told you about my running at Crystal Cove State Park - well there is a 17K trail race that is part of the Xterra Series. I'll flip a coin in the next couple of weeks.
For January I need to make up my mind whether I want to race or not. The obvious choice for me would be the Southern California Half Marathon, run in nearby Irvine. I ran it last year. The course is flat and fast and definitely on the list to be run again. But, I just want to make sure that it's something that fits into my training schedule and that I feel physically ready to do it. I'll postpone this decision until early to mid December.
February is easy. Superbowl Sunday it will be the Surf City Half. Can you say Tweetup?!?!? After our Long Beach tweetup, plans were put into motion for this race. This one fills up quickly, so I will be registering in the next week or so. And, if you are on Twitter, are thinking about running this race, and the sound of an awesome tweetup sounds interesting, follow us on Twitter at @runsurfcity. Guaranteed fun for all attending!
And that leaves March. Let's call it goal month. Long Beach was such a positive experience, I think I was about mile 24 when I made up my mind. I'm running another one of these things! The only question was which one. I am very fortunate to have many many races to choose from all within a couple hours drive from home. In November it's the Malibu Marathon. In January it's all about Carlsbad. In February it's Surf City or the Pasadena Marathon. In March it's Catalina or Los Angeles. In April it's the Camp Pendelton Hard Corps Marathon. In May it's the Orange County Marathon. In June it would be time for San Diego Rock n' Roll. Choices choices choices. The most convenient is the Orange County Marathon, which starts less than a mile from home. The least convenient would be the Catalina Marathon, which would require a 2 hour boat ride to get to the island. Bottom line is they are all top notch races within easy traveling distance.
But I have to choose one, and the winner this year is going to be the 25th Los Angeles Marathon. There is a new course this year that will start near downtown L.A. (actually at Dodger Stadium) and run through Downtown, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West L.A. and finally ends at the ocean in Santa Monica. As a native Los Angeleno, it just seems like such a neat idea to run through so many neighborhoods that I grew up around!
So there you have it. Decision made. I start a 4 week recovery plan today. From there it's onto Los Angeles Marathon XXV!