I don't have any big races on the horizon so I don't feel like I have to chain myself to a training plan. At the same time, winter is coming and I need to keep running so I don't look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man come Spring.
I typically run just 1 race each month so in November I'm going to do our local Turkey Trot 5K. I ran it last year and didn't particularly like it (too crowded for the course and so so schwag for the price), BUT a friend of mine - whom I've been trying to drag out on long runs with me - said she'd like to run it. So I will, too.
I may run 2 races in December only because I'm going to run 1 race that is essentially free - canned goods for the local Rescue Mission is the fee. This particular race is more like a fun run for grown ups. Most folks dress up in silly winter-ish costumes and you can run as many loops of the course as you want. No timing, no schwag, but running with other folks IS FUN. I actually dragged Hank along with me last year and we had a good time.
The end of January brings the Lewis Memorial 10 Miler which is hilly, very, very hilly. I ran it last year in about 1:52 - completely untrained for the distance (I missed the turn for the shorter distance and had to finish the whole 10 miles) so I'd like to redeem my pride a bit in 2011.
I'd also like to be able to run a 10K or Half Marathon on the spur of the moment should the opportunity arise so I do need to at least loosely follow some sort of plan.
I used Hidgon's Novice Half plan for both half marathons and didn't like that the longest run was only 10 miles. I also started getting antsy towards the end because it's a 15 week plan which is a long time for me!
I Googled half marathon training plan and came across this little gem at Fitness Magazine - Half Marathon Intermediate plan. I can get jiggy with repeats and hills if I want to and the longest run is 12 miles. I figure for the last week when I would normally run a half, I can run 14 miles, take a few days off and start again.
Gives me some direction and focus without a lot of pressure. I likey.