Race planning or how not to plan a race

So really how far ahead do you plan your races?
My running buddy Lauren is a bad influence on me (I am sure my mom would not allow me to play with her if I was still 8 years old). Lauren calls me up on a Friday around lunch time and says, “Girl, go sign up for this awesome 10k tomorrow that really isn’t a 10k but an Ultra-10k which really is an 11k with an altitude difference of 750 feet.” Only she would stop her sentence at “tomorrow”. Sooooo that is one extreme of signing up for a race maybe a little too close to race day? Especially when you come out of an injury like a broken foot and this is going to be your first race since the injury and really your first race in 10 months, but who really counts?
Then of course there is the other problem. Marketing. I might call it a curse, something that requires me to go to therapy on occasion and also have a heart to heart with my bank manager who knows me by first name and who should really buy me a beer or better a bottle of champagne. But let’s not go there. So Marketing. The email that says we give you $10 off when you sign up for a race in June 2014. yes, check your calendar it is still October 2013 and I am now signed up for a race in June 2014! Darn it. It got me again today! I just signed up for Bay to Breakers in May 2014, nearly a short planning period after all. Revenge is sweet and Lauren succumbed to peer pressure and signed up too.
So now let me ask you: 18 hours or 8 months? When do you sign up for races?

Lauren and I after our inaugural race together, the Trail Hog Ultra-10k. A legacy was born…

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