I made a very important goal today: 5K in 28 minutes! I have a ways to go. According to my race pace calculator, I need to break 23 to get to a pace where I could qualify for Boston. Once I can become this fast, I will start working on increasing my mileage. I am hoping to be able to hit a BQ by my 35th birthday (next September). I am not so concerned with actually going to Boston, as qualifying is my primary goal. I have a couple of scheduled races this year:
Sep 3: A Million to One 5K
Oct 29: Hoover Dam 10K
Jan 7: Running From an Angel 1/2 Marathon
Per the recommendation of a dear friend of mine, I keep from registering until the last minute. This has saved me a lot because something tends to come up. I am also better prepared for the race. I also try to keep the races close to where I live. This helps me to remember to participate because of the advertisements around town. I have also learned not to bite off more than I can chew. There is a cool run in Rachel, NV in 2 weeks, but the shortest they have is a 10K. I know I am not quite prepared to participate in a 10K race, so I will have to wait until next year. If I had registered 2 weeks ago, when I first read about it, I would have wasted $50 or risked an injury. This has happened before, and I have learned not to do that anymore!
The trick is to schedule races far enough apart so that you can train in between the races, but not so far apart that you lose the competitive attitude. I haven't raced in a very long time and I am just now getting back into it. In fact, it has been 4 years since my last race, and I did not do well on it. I have volunteered, but haven't participated. Starting with a short race (5K) is a good way to make a debut after a long hiatus. You can judge where you are at and still have the atmosphere of competition. No need to hurt yourself, after all, it isn't about winning for the first one, it is about seeing how well you finish.
My favorite race is the 1/2 marathon. This race makes me feel like I really did something cool (running 13.1 miles), but my legs don't get that feeling like "Kim, are we seriously still moving?" It also gives me an excuse to be lazy around the house for the rest of the weekend!