It took me a while after the Women's Half in June to figure out what my next training goals were going to be. I had already decided not to run a marathon this year, despite my intense longing to do so. I played with the idea of doing a trail half but figuring out how to get to one seemed like too much work (I don't drive my husband's stick shift so am limited in getting out of the city). I liked the idea of another speed challenge but there weren't any 10ks that attracted me. I knew I wanted to work on the following three things: 1) losing weight, 2) increasing the length of my "average" run, and 3) improving my "average" speed. I knew that trying to train for another longer distance (half or full marathon) wouldn't actually be the best way to go about those goals.
(Plus it's HARD to work in long slow runs into my family schedule these days... I may not be able to do that on a regular basis until the kids are old enough to fend for themselves in the morning.)
So I decided on a tried but true race, the Hot Chocolate 15k in November. The last time I ran this I swore I wouldn't do it again until they improved the course (they did), and even then I wasn't sure... It felt unique and fun the first couple of years and since then has felt just very corporate and slick. But it's the only Chicago race of that type of distance at that time of year, and it's the right distance for my goals. Plus the last time I ran it was right after the marathon in 2010, when I was at my best running, so my progress towards reaching (or besting!) that time could give me a good view into where I am overall.
And then since my training for it has been going well... I decided to throw another half into the mix, just for fun, just because I can. (And so that I get some long runs back into the equation since I've been having the aforementioned difficulty in doing them... there's nothing like having a half on the calendar in a month's time to give long runs a little more urgency.) So Chicago Half, September 9, here I come!