I am no stranger to running regularly, which is good for my health—body, mind and soul. But nothing feels better than running for a good cause—or signing up for a race.

That’s right guys, I officially signed up for my first race of 2015!

I have been hit by a serious running bug lately. I credit this to watching movies on Netflix including “$ Minute Mile” and “Desert Runners.” These two movies in particular have made me want to set two goals: run faster miles and run a long-distance race.

While I never thought about running a full marathon, I am actually considering putting it on my bucket list. What I really am thirty for is a half marathon. Which is why I will start training for my next one next week. In the meantime, I wanted to run a shorter distance race to set up a good tone to my training.

I absolutely love 5K races, and this time around, I am aiming to get to finish in 30 minutes. Now, I am by far not the fastest runner. My fastest min/mi is typically 11:30 ish. But I know if I really push myself this goal can be achievable.

I signed up for Cupid’s Chase 5K in New Jersey, which will be held on Valentine’s Day. You either wear a red single shirt, or white for taken. The race will taken place in 29 locations, with all proceeds going to support people with disabilities.

Even though I have been running consistently, I did take about a week and a half off, so it’s really crunch time since the race is 28 days away.

So I Googled a few training plans to kind of make my own. My most important thing is speed work to really increase my time.

Day 1 : Run 4 miles

Day 2 : Cross Train/ 2 miles

Day 3: Speed work 6 X 400

Day 4: Cross Train/ Yoga

Day 5: 2 miles

Day 6:  Long Run ( in this case 4 miles + speed work)

Day 7: Rest

I will follow this schedule, adjusting speed work to be 8X400  and 10 X100.

This will bring me to 21 days, but I am just going to keep up the program until race day. I probably will make some adjustments along the way. Since I don’t have a gym nearby, my cross training will be home weights, so I will probably run on these days too. If anyone has cross training suggestion for home, please share!

I feel confident since my body is used to running, just hoping to really get fast. I will use my interval training feature on MapMyRun to help me time the speed work.

Next up race wise will be More/Fitness Magazine Half in April!

What are your next races and how do you improve on speed?

[PHOTO CREDIT: Martin Fisch/Flickr]