5k frenzy

As a follow up to my sort of "what's next" post the other day, I put the wheels into motion this week to finish up 2011 strong. For the first time ever, I'll be running three races three weeks in a row. While they're "only" 5ks, my goals for each are different, but all will have the same underlying similarity of figuring out what a realistic goal for the Shamrock Half Marathon will be in March.

Turkey Trot For $20 and a long-sleeve moisture wicking shirt, plus running for a good cause, why not run this? It's a new course this year in downtown Lynchburg, so no matter what happens, it's a course record. And coming off two 5k PRs earlier this year, I want to see where I stand with that distance and speed.

I'm expecting a large crowd, so most of all I just want to have fun and an excuse to have seconds on Thanksgiving. This race is more about setting me up for the next race a little more than a week later.

Christmas ClassicChristmas Classic This will be the first race I have ran five times -- three of those from my pre-blogging days -- with one of those being a 10k that no longer exists. My main goal will be to beat my course record of 24:34 from two years ago on a cold, rainy, almost snowy day.

This is my home course -- the loop route includes streets I have ran on dozens of times since I moved back to Bedford two years ago. I feel like there's no better time than now to make it the best Christmas Classic yet.

Jingle Bell Run, RoanokeJingle Bell Run for Arthritis The final leg of the 5k trio takes me to Roanoke, where I fully expect to run a race purely for the fun of it. It's free through a workout program at work and I'll be running with co-workers that I'd really like to see push themselves in this distance.

That said, this is going to be a very crowded race and it's all about bringing awareness to a great cause, ending the year with a fun run, and giving a push to co-workers. I won't be setting any goals for this other than to have fun.