My 50 States Goal: Pulling Back the Reins in Order to Enjoy the Ride

For a few years now I have been hellbent on my 50 states marathon goal, and have been really loving the journey. But now this goal will start to get harder as more and more of them will involve extensive travel since they are out west, and most of the races within driving distance have been crossed off my list already. I will be running State #22 in a few weeks, which I think is pretty great, but this year also marks a HUGE milestone in my life, my 20-year wedding anniversary. This means my husband and I will be taking a much needed trip that will not involve running or being with family and friends, but just a trip for the two of us. Trust me when I say I absolutely can’t wait!

Because of this trip, I won’t be able to spend as much on traveling for races…and for some reason I am actually content with that. There’s a little part of me that is OK with running races closer to home, and maybe only getting to run a few new states in one year instead of banzai-ing all over the place and feeling rushed to get it done sooner rather than later. The one state I can easily get done in a weekend, Connecticut, I may just wait and save that one for last, simply because Hartford loves to treat those who save CT for last with some nice little incentives.

While the goal is by no means squashed, I decided I want to start working on some bigger goals that will help prepare me for 2016. In 2016 I want to possibly do two back-to-back weekends (two marathons in two states in one weekend, in this case Mississippi and Alabama and then Washington and Oregon) mainly to save on travel costs. The only way I can safely do this is by training smart and by prepping my body for ultra-running. For years I have been wanting to run a 50k (as well as a 100-mile week), and now I think 2015 will be the year to do this. Not only will I be tackling a 50k, but I also want to run a 12-hr challenge…there are two separate 12-hour races that I am looking at and I would like to do both as long as I train smart and take it easy. That’s how I learned to run multiple marathons within a short time frame (the shortest being three weeks, which to most Maniacs isn’t much, but for most runners it can be a challenge); so rather than treat every race like a race, I treat some of them like easy long runs and my body is very happy with this approach.

So for this year? Probably only three new states: Maine, South Carolina, and either Iowa or Nebraska. Then a lot of local races throughout the year, ranging from half marathons to 12 hour endurance events; hell, I may even run the Philly Marathon again for fun…I feel a twinge of nostalgia every year it rolls around and I’m not there. I’m not too sad about the idea of only three new states (because I’ll be at the halfway point!), as I feel that I can easily play a little “catch-up” with the back to back races in 2016.

So 2015 will be the year of the trail runs, building endurance, and staying well-rested and sane. Running local events with friends. Pushing myself to the limit of what I never thought possible while avoiding burnout. Not allowing anything to stand in my way. Staying happy, healthy and excited about what the next year will bring.

I know it can be done, and I look forward to sharing the journey with you!

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