What’s Next?

It seems that the second you cross the finish line of a big goal, immediately the question “what’s next” starts to be asked.  This time was no different.

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I have gotten this question many, many times over the last 11 days and for once I really don’t have an answer. 

Running 50 miles was my favorite thing I have done so far when it comes to running, but I haven’t had the overwhelming urge to hit register on another 50 miler like I did the second the second I finished my first marathon.  I definitely want to do another one someday, but there are less to choose from (compared to marathons) and the training is really, really time consuming.  I have my eye on a few, but I kind of want to wait and see where my heart takes me before I commit to something big like this again.

A number of people have been asking about a 100 miler.  Yes I qualified for the 2013 Western States lottery and yes a 100 miler has crossed my mind many times, but I think something of that magnitude needs to be gone into with a lot more ultra-marathon experience than I have right now.  I am not saying never, but that isn’t something I will be looking into seriously for a while.

I do have plans though!! 

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Surprise, surprise.  

First, I have a 50k coming up in June that I am really, really excited for.  I have loved every NorCal Ultra race I have run up in the Auburn area, so I know this one will be no different.  I also have some section (if not the whole thing) of the San Francisco Marathon in July!     

In addition to those races, I am constantly scanning through the local trail race schedules and have jotted down a number of trail races I want to run just because I want to run races in my favorite parks and discover new places to run around the Bay Area. 

While training for AR50, I found that I truly love to run long and I want to keep that up.  I want to build up my long runs to the 20s and just go run for hours because I love it… but not necessarily 2 days in a row like 50 mile training. 

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Most importantly, I want to spend as much time running and exploring in the hills and on the dirt as I possibly can.  I want to take advantage of the long daylight hours of summer and just have fun.  I really rediscovered my love for running this year.  I want to make sure that I keep that love around and that I don’t end up where I was last summer, tired and burned out.     

So that’s where I am at at the moment.  This doesn’t mean I won’t find a 50 miler tomorrow and sign up, but for the time being, I am looking forward to running long, running trails, exploring, running a lot of fun races and enjoying the summer.  I feel like I am looking at running with a new set of eyes this year, and I can’t wait to be really back out there again.

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25 Responses to What’s Next?

  1. RunningLaur April 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Very well reasoned. Can’t wait to see you at SFM!

  2. RunInBoise April 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I think your plan seems like the right plan. Just have fun and enjoy the great trails!

  3. Carrie April 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Sounds like a good plan to me – do what you love to do! And the Bay Area is such a beautiful place for trail running.

  4. Layla April 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    I really, really want to explore the Pleasanton Ridge trails, soooo if you’re interested, I’d love your company! Simon (who I have yet to meet, other than him saying hi while running past each other at the Walnut Creek half) knows where to park and go.

    And I think your open-ended plan is perfect. A 50K is still a long run to train for, so it’s not like you don’t have anything set. It’s enough to have a focus, but not too much that you suddenly have a packed schedule.

  5. Zaneta April 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Seems like a great plan to me!! :) You’re an inspiration!! I can’t even imagine running 50 miles!! lol

  6. Sarah April 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Love your outlook! Congrats again and enjoy the none training runs!

  7. Dempsey April 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    You are seriously so inspiring. You’ve got me wanting to run a 50 miler and the longest I’ve ever run is 13.1 :)

    Keep up the great work!

  8. Abby @ Change of Pace April 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    A summer of exploring trails sounds absolutely perfect!

  9. Celia April 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    I think I am using the San Francisco Marathon as a long run this summer!!

  10. Ricole Runs April 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m totally guilty of asking you what’s next immediately, im sorry!! It’s just after reading about you dominating something so big you want them to dominate even more huge things! :-) I can’t imagine doing a 100 miler but I’m sure of anyone, you can do it!

  11. Megan @ RunningAimlessly April 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    You are doing She Rocks the Trails? Maybe I will see you there :)
    I definitely think you should do a 100 if only so I can read about and learn from your training and experiences :)

  12. abbi April 19, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Sounds like the perfect plan for what’s next.

  13. allpointswhole April 19, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    That’s smart to listen to your heart. Ps I love love live running long as well

  14. Meagan @ Managing Meagan April 19, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Sounds like great plans to me! Do what makes you happy! :)

  15. Lisa April 19, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    I think your “no plan” sounds like a good plan. Something on my bucket list that sounds right up your alley is Pike’s Peak Marathon. August 2013? ;-)

    Enjoy exploring the trails!

  16. Jamie April 19, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    See if you can find an informal trail group in your area. I found one that meets every Sunday on a Tucson trail for a run (free, but they track times and they also have run directors and aid stations). Most of the runners train for ultras and the Sunday runs are usually in the 20-30 mile range. If Tucson has this, I’m SURE Cali has something like this too. Probably better! Check it out, or…start your own! :)
    I loved hearing about your 50 mile race. Once I graduate, I have so plans in the way of running adventures, including ultras. Glad to know you are also interested in ultras! I’m not the only crazy one…:)

  17. Denise April 19, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    sounds like a perfect plan!!

  18. katie April 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    looking at running with a new set of eyes….just what you probably needed. hugs!

  19. The Runners Bug April 20, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Usually I’ve already got something psuedo-plannd out for the next race before I even start.

  20. Susan - Nurse on the Run April 21, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Sounds like a great plan, and it seems like you have tons of options to enjoy running and trail running around you. Can’t wait to see you for SFM!

  21. Wendy April 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Congrats on the 50! So awesome!
    SFM looks great. It’s on my list of marathons I want to run someday. Looking forward to your recap.

  22. Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run April 22, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Wow – so amazing! I am utterly impressed and could never imagine running that amount. Congratulations!

  23. Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) April 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    You have a perfect plan. Giving yourself some time and enjoying that post-50 high. Congrats again aron :)

  24. Anthony Johnson (Brewbro) April 23, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    You should consider putting your name in the 2013 Western States Lottery. You only have an 8% chance of being selected with one name in the hat. Each year you do not get selected and continue to qualify you will get an additional name in the hat. If you are thinking about running States in the future than you should start the lottery process this year.

  25. Marlene April 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Sounds like the right plan to me! Can’t wait to find out what is next for you.

    Hope you are not going too stir crazy for now.

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