Race shopping. Realized, for the first time, that I'm now in the 25-29 age group.
It's been this way since May, of course, but small-ish trail races don't tend to divide things up by age group. You're either the winner, or not, and that's basically it. There's something fundamentally honest about that, but perhaps a little harsh, as well. Not that the two things need be separated, of course.
Anyway, road marathons do tend to separate things that way, and every other way. Top 3 overall? Sure. Top 3 in every age group on top of that? A lot of medals to go around. But it's all good. Things to shoot for.
And that's what I'm doing. I've signed up for the Eisenhower Marathon, in my childhood hometown of Abilene, KS, on April 12.
If you're thinking that that's a long way off, you're right. But I like long-term goals. The second I finished the Hawk Marathon last year, my goal was to win it this year. My Heartland win happened two years ago in my imagination, before it became real last week.
Life has its horizons, but they're not worth much if we don't envision things beyond them.
So, the rest of this fall will be relatively chill, in terms of distances raced. Nothing longer than a half. That's my self-imposed ban, anyway. I feel good, after Heartland. But feeling good is good. No reason to ruin it just to see if you can.
That's not to say that I'm getting lazy. The idea - instead of attempting to artificially extend my peak - is to use my post-Heartland fitness as a big foundation, so that, come February and March, my legs can handle some serious intensity.