Wrap up and next steps.

Right now, I’m recovering from running my second marathon. I wrote this post well in advance and scheduled it to post while I’m away. My past self, unfortunately, does not know how my present self is feeling, so we’ll move on to what I do know:

What’s next?

Of course I’ve thought about it. I was thinking about what comes next before I even began training for what I just did. I’m basically motivated by a carrot dangling just out of reach. I keep my eyes on it, always pursuing my carrot goal, but I’ll never reach it because it’s always moving.

Though I do occasionally catch a carrot.

So…
The world of running is ever expanding. Elite runners are always pushing the envelope of what the human body is capable of, and those of us who don’t make a living out of running are glad to follow in their wake. We tackle the races and distances that they created. And as long as the next bigger race is appealing to me, I will pursue it.

I’m going ultra.

An ultramarathon is anything that is longer than a regular marathon. So, technically, 27 miles could be an ultramarathon, I guess. But it would be a silly one. The most common ultramarathon distances include 50k (31 miles), 50 miles, and 100 miles. One of the greatest things about ultramarathons is that quite a few of them are run on trails. I love trail running.

Aside from the distance and training, one of the more difficult parts of going ultra is deciding where that first one is going to happen. Luckily, I figured that part out already: on May 19, 2015, I’ll run 50k at Gnaw Bone in Brown Country State Park.

How? Are you crazy?
This is where I get really excited. First of all, yes, I am certainly crazy. Truly, an ultramarathon is not what makes me crazy. Everything else I’ve already done (and enjoyed!) up to this point is what makes me crazy. (Did you read my post about the Rugged Red? I want to do that again!) The ultra is only a continuance of this insanity. To wrap this up with a nice bow, the 50k is only the beginning. I would love to run 100 miles some day. I would love it. But not today. These distances are nothing to sneeze at, and training must be smart.

It has been clear that attempting these distances would be unwise without coaching from an experienced ultrarunner. I’m very fortunate to have actually won an opportunity to have a personalized coaching plan made for me, along with personal coaching from an experienced running coach and ultramarathoner. You may recall me mentioning Doug Hay of rockcreekrunner.com. He has been working with me lately to get me to my first ultra, and it’s really exciting.

Goals
Going ultra is the ultimate goal here, but there are underlying goals that are going to help me get there. These sub-goals come about naturally with such an ambitious goal that I’m headed for.

  • Lose 20 pounds. (Less weight = less strain on body)
  • Run a 20-minute 5k. (Made possible in part by weight loss)
  • Go vegan.

So that’s what’s going on now. Training for Gnaw Bone should begin in December. I’ll be exploring new places to run, finding new races, and getting more connected to my local running community. All of these things and more I’ll share with you as they happen.

Soon, I’ll post about the marathon I just finished. Stay tuned!

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