Saturday's Marathon was the start of my season for running. I've played with this idea of creating my own person race season for a few years. I did it back in 1987-89 with my race season starting in October and going through the first week of April, but because life is what is happening while you are making plans and because I started to move all over the world started; this season idea was placed on hold. It's hard to plan to race several times in a given period when you might be deployed before the next race. So because my current job gives me a little more stability on when I'm away from home, I'm going to try to do the "race season" idea again.
This summer I've worked to build a solid base for my running. The Air Force Marathon was my first test to see where I was in terms of having any real speed left in this 53-year-old body of mine. What I discovered was the desire is there if not the ability...so test done and passed. Now my next full speed race test is the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. My goal is to get right up there to the 2-hour mark, a minute or two ether side of that mark and I'll be happy. Then of course I have the Marine Corp Marathon on the 31 of October. This will actually be a fun run with my oldest daughter as she tries to complete her first marathon.
I'm looking around the local area for a Marathon in November and leaning towards the Philadelphia Marathon, then try a few Half Marathons in January and February to refine my speed. Then...the goal race and final race for my season...the Pittsburgh Marathon. I ran the race in 2001 and I lived in Pittsburgh back in the 1980's so I am very familiar with the course. So it makes sense to make that a goal race.
A quick note on goal races; every running season should have a purpose, be it a Conference Championship, or a new distance, or an attempt at a personal record. But it should always be done on a course you are familiar and have run before hand. If you try to run a personal record on a new course you decrease the likelihood of accomplishing your goal. Familiarity is critical to having a relaxed attitude. Also some of us like certain elements or places and those things have a tendency to inspire the best in us.