|Trees at Cougar Mountain|
What's next? I've been pondering this for a while actually. And basically have come to the conclusion that I'm not really meant to be a distance runner. Oh sure, I like running longer but it doesn't necessarily like me. I'm good for one or two very good long runs and then that's it. The rest (say in a marathon training cycle + marathon) tend to turn into slog fests.
To get in multiple long runs, I need to start protecting myself and that means my mid-week runs suffer. After about 2.5 hours of running, I start to have lung issues and foot/hip issues. So I'm done fighting against this and plan on focusing on shorter distances for a while now. I'll be the first to admit I love half marathons (I've done over 15 of them now) and really enjoy shorter distances like 5ks and 10ks.
And some things will never change. I love running (longer even) on trails. We are very lucky in the Seattle area as there are three different groups which are putting on various distances of trail runs and I plan on fitting these in judiciously. I was asked if I wanted to attempt another 50k at the end of October and I was happy and satisfied to say no. I'm very happy with my decision and that means it is the right one. I'll work on keeping my mileage higher overall during the week and get in the speedwork that I enjoy and throw in a longer run (16 or so) on either roads or trails every once in a while and I know it'll be good. I've learned that with running you can never say "never" so I won't say I won't ever do a marathon again but it just is not going to be my main focus.