Well – the Marine Corps Marathon is officially 10 days away! 18 weeks of training, 100s of miles, over seven states and it’s finally happening!
So with just a few days left before the race, naturally the question is – What’s next?
Being your stereotypical Type-A runner, I prefer to have my next race(s) lined up before I cross the finish line of the one I’m training for. Looking ahead and trying to plan something was like a jigsaw puzzle though. The race needed to fit in with my work schedule (which takes pretty much all my weekends, leaving really only the holidays), it needed to be in a new state, and it needed to be cool. Call me superficial, but I like fun race medals and a lively race atmosphere. Let’s be honest – I’m a sucker for a good theme race.
But, I am also ready to step it up. Frankly, I’m not ready to call it quits at 26.2! One of my goals is to get into ultra territory and I’m really looking forward to eventually doing a 50k. That’s right ultra-marathoning = 50ks.
(Pardon this side rant: I’ve heard from some people lately who don’t think a 50k should qualify as an ultra-marathon. Hey running jerks – it’s longer than a marathon. It’s an ultra. Get off your high horse and be excited for everyone! Maybe it’s not 100 miles, but it’s certainly more than 26.2 and every mile after that counts.)
Anyway, given the tight parameters I was working within to find my next race I found a few race options. There were not one, but two ultras in North Carolina that I considered – one was a 50k and the other was a 6 hour endurance run. With those options it should have been a sign to go for it!
Ultimately though, I decided to sign up for the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS.
Granted, it was really the only marathon option that worked for me. But, I was also sold on the awesome race medals and other swag, like a blues CD and a harmonica!
I don’t know too much about the city of Jackson, but with all this talk about blues music I’m hoping there will be a few good places to enjoy soul food and a fun night out that weekend.
I decided to skip the North Carolina 50k for now, not totally ready to commit to what it takes for that type of run. I really want to be wild and reckless, and who knows – I just might be, but for now Jackson, MS it is January 5th!
Of course, they don’t call it a runner’s high for nothing. After signing up for the marathon I was already craving my next fix and looking at the work schedule to see when I could squeeze another race in.
I’ve been nagging Abe to run with me and so we started looking at half marathons in the not so distant future. I found the perfect race – for me anyway, not him though! New Years Day in San Francisco! (Abe immediately wrote off any plans for running that day, so as for now I’m running solo.) The run is actually part of a series, with another run on 12/29. If you run both, you get an incredibly awesome Mega-Medal – which of course I have to have!
Although I signed up for the New Year’s Day half in a heartbeat, I’m waiting to sign up for the 12/29 race until I know more of my work schedule. We’re flying into San Francisco for the Kraft Bowl, so that’s a big deal and I don’t want to plan anything until I know all those details. I’m committed to earning that Mega-Medal though, so whether I do the 5k, 10k, or half marathon the first day I’m going to be running something!
I also get a week off for spring break March 25th through April 1st that I’m hoping to sneak a race in as well. Go figure there are exactly zero marathons that weekend!
Running keeps me sane while on the road, so I might try to see if I can working something out with the ‘top dogs’ at work to see if I can possibly get a weekend earlier in March to do a race. Sean (who I ran the Hospital Hill Half and Warrior Dash with last year) and Kathy (from the Rockford Half Marathon) are both trying to get me to run Little Rock in early March, but there are still a few other races I’m considering as well.
That’s it for now, one race coming up and two more on the calendar! Although, who knows what I might sign myself up for next – I am feeling wild and reckless!