Now that I have tackled the marathon and can officially call myself a marathoner, I can’t help but think about what I want to do next. I’ve got a few thoughts circling around in my head.
First of all, I’m thinking about doing some trail running. I know of a few spots where I can find trails, and we also aren’t far from the Appalachian Trail. Although the latter is not likely to happen, since all of the hikers I encounter like to tell me stories about the bears they see in this area. Aside from the AT, there appears to be a decent amount of trails through the Claytor Lake State Park. They also recently put in a new mountain bike park in Radford. Is it okay to run at a mountain bike park? Encounters with mountain bikes seems to be a rite of passage for trail runners.
|A trail in Claytor Lake State Park [source]|
Secondly, I am definitely doing another marathon in 2014! I think it’s safe to say I kind of set the bar low on my first marathon. I want to give it another go and hopefully run under 5 hours this go around. I have my sights set on a certain marathon that takes place in October in our nation’s capital.
Speaking of races, I am not signed up for much, yet. I already registered for the Blue Ridge Half (how could I not when it was 50% off!?) and we will probably go back and run the Varmint Half again in June. This year will be the 21st year for that race, and they always do black sheep for the awards (top 3 overall and top 3 in each age group) every 7 years. I think the race may have grown too large for me to place in my age group, but you never know. I am hoping to work on speed this spring. We can call that item number 3 on my list of what’s next.
|From 2012, when Barry and I both placed in our age groups|
But I’m most curious about getting off of the roads in the immediate future and trying my hand at some trails. There’s a trail half marathon that takes place in March not too far from us that has caught my eye. It’s called Green Legs and Hamstrings, and they pretty much had me at the name.
The trails in Danville are supposed to be relatively well-maintained, so I think this race may be a good introduction to trail races for me. I’m not quite ready to cross over into the realm of ultrarunning, but I am ready to branch out a bit from road racing. There is also an entire trail race series in the Roanoke area (about an hour from us) called the Roanoke Non Ultra Trail Series (RNUTS) that has a number of races starting in January and going through June.
So that’s what the future looks like for me: trails, a focus on building some speed, and another go at the marathon.
Do you run trails? Give me some tips!
Have you ever been drawn into a race because of it’s name?