upcoming training + racing (+ a giveaway!)

I’ve had my racing calendar set for awhile, so I’ve pretty much known exactly what I’m training for and how much time I have in between races.  My goal this year is to run one race every month, picking a few to really focus on this year.  GO! St. Louis was my first goal race of the year – it’s the race that I legitimately trained for.  The other races leading up to that one were just “practice”.  Kind of like all those track meets leading up to district, sectional, and state track meets.

But, now my goal race is over and I have to start thinking about what’s next.  I have a few races on my schedule that I’m super excited about, and after the half this past weekend, I’m even more ready to really work towards achieving some of those goals that seemed not so achievable just a few months ago.  You know, that 1:30 half marathon?  I really feel like I’m finally ready to train my booty off.  I finally feel like I’m at a place where my endurance is GREAT – 13 miles felt flawless – but now I really have to focus on my speed.  And the best part about focusing on getting faster in the half marathon?  It’ll help me get faster at some of those shorter distances as well.


However, I’m taking the next few weeks off from any real training to let my body and mind recover from 14 weeks of “focus” on training.  I’ve gotten in a few runs this week and plan on just running when I can and not really having a “plan” in mind when I go to run.  Of course, I have to have some sort of plan, but it’s going to be mostly easy runs for time, not worrying about my speed at all.  Plus, it’ll get me through the last few busy weeks of the track season.

The goal race once training starts back up again will be Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago.  I’m running both the 5K and the half marathon for the second year now in Chicago, but this time, instead of focusing on the 5K as my goal race, I’m going to use that as more of a shake-out run before racing the half marathon the next day.  It makes me a little nervous to even say that since the 5K is my distance, but thankfully, I have a few other 5Ks leading up to that one to test my speed.  So, it should be a fun couple of months of training.


While Chicago is my goal race, I’m really actually looking forward to the few races I have in the months leading up to Chicago.  On May 7th, I’ll be running the Cowbell Uncorked 100K Relay.  It’s a basecamp relay, which means we each run 3 different loops:  a 10K, and two 5K loops.  So, we all run just under a half marathon.  I registered for the race last year, but due to myself and several of my teammates dealing with injuries, we deferred to this year.  It’ll definitely be a fun one for sure!

The other “race” that I’m super excited for is the United Relay Across America that I’ll be taking part in in mid-May.  The United Relay unites runners coast-to-coast in a united chain while also raising money to save the lives of children through various charities.  The three relay teams start on April 27  in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, running three different routes across the country, when they will finally come together on June 4 in New York City.  I am excited to be a part of the Red Relay Team, running through parts of St. Charles and St. Louis counties in May, while also attempting to raise money for the We Are Here Movement started by Alicia Keys.

The United Relay is still in need of several runners to take part in this effort and have offered 5 complimentary entries to readers of The Concrete Runner!  I would love to have some of you take part in this effort with me!  The distances range from a few miles to 14 or 15 miles and are located in several areas across the U.S.  And because I want to try to make this as fair as possible, all you have to do is head on over to the United Relay website, tell me which stage you would want to run in the comments, and you’re in!  You just need to enter through the Rafflecopter below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This will be open until April 19 at 12AM.  Good luck!

[Tweet “Want a FREE entry in the @UnitedRelay? Head on over to @concrete_runner’s blog!”]

  • Kayley

    I’m a bit confused by what some of the stages mean – the one I’m interested in says “group stage”. It’s in the Los Angeles area.

    • You are more than welcome to join that stage – you just wouldn’t be the “leader” of that stage, since it is put on by the UR team and is considered a group run (kind of like what a running store would put on). But, it would still be a free entry for you if you would win (which right now, you definitely would!)

      • Kayley

        Yes, that sounds good to me! 🙂

  • Lindsay

    I would be interested in running the stage from Bloomington to Towanda or the Stage from Funks Grove to Bloomington both stages are in the area that I live and I think I could potentially get some friends involved too! 🙂