I don't know what's next, but I feel so much more like myself now that I am actually running long distances again. I don't know how I let that year go by; I really don't. Anyway, I am thinking about my race schedule for next year. I seriously want to get this 50 States thing done. I started in 2005 and I think I can finish in 2019 or 2020, realistically. I mean I could finish sooner if I had unlimited money and vacation time, but, sadly, I do not. So here are the races I want to do next year, and if anyone wants to join me for any of them, please do!
Nashville Country Music Marathon in April. Maybe it is a little bit overly optimistic of me to think I will actually train over the winter to be ready for an April marathon, but I am going to try for it. One of the few states with a marathon I am excited about running. (I also want to do Oklahoma City in April, but not quite as much as I want to do Nashville, so I will put OK City off till next April.)
Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in South Dakota, June 1. I've never even been to South Dakota, always wanted to go, and I'm just tired of waiting.
Hatfield-McCoy is June 13, so just two weeks after Deadwood. On the one hand, that would be crazy. On the other hand, I did Marshall U two weeks after Indianapolis and had a good run, and wasn't too sore. So it is a possibility. (By the way, the Hatfield-McCoy course runs through both West Virginia and Kentucky. 50 States rules say that when a marathon is like that, you can count it for either state you want. Of course I would count it for Kentucky since I already have West Virginia, which means I wouldn't ever do the Kentucky Derby Marathon, which is kind of a bummer, but… oh well.)
And last, I am planning to attempt another set of back-to-back marathons, Hartford/Newport, R.I., in October. I vaguely remember the total suckiness of the last back-to-back marathons I did, but am going to try it again anyway. It's been long enough since New Hampshire-Maine that the details of how much it sucked have kind of faded away, and I'm not going to go back and read my blog entries to remind myself. That would just be dumb.
Here is some news that is a bit of a bummer. I went to fill in my states on a marathon map, and found out I actually only have 22, when I have been claiming 23 all this time. I didn't really think it was possible to lose count, but I did. My total marathon count is 29. Why didn't someone stop me from running extra marathons in California and Arizona? (Not Colorado. Pikes Peak deserved to be run twice. It deserves to be run every year but I will not attempt it again until I live somewhere where I can get above 1000' elevation.)
That is about all the running news from here. Other than the fact that I am considering squeezing in one more this year, the Rehoboth Beach Marathon in Delaware December 6. When I was inside the stadium after the Marshall U Marathon, I ran into this girl I know casually from the Rochester running club. I had no idea she would be there since I haven't spent any time with the running group at all this whole year. She's a 50 States person too and had just qualified for Boston for the first time and was very excited about it. She also said she was doing Rehoboth Beach. That put it on my radar. It's expensive, probably cold, not my favorite kind of course, but still, it would be nice to actually be at 23 states by the end of this year if I can swing it. We will see.