What’s next? Your guess is (almost) as good as mine

This year started out with a big, sweaty bang. I signed up for two serious races (a long course triathlon and a half marathon) taking place in the spring, which meant that from January until mid-May, my ass belonged to the gym. And the pool. And my bike. You know what I mean.

I followed a pretty intense training schedule leading up the Leadman 125 Tri in April, but, happily, it absolutely paid off. I finished my first serious, major, for-real-I-am-not-even-joking endurance event with a smile on my face and, well, maybe not a spring in my step, but I didn’t shuffle across the finish line, either. It was incredible. Hell, it was life changing.

I took a few days easy after the race and then jumped right back into training for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. I upped both my running and my wine consumption in the month between the two races (which, for the record? Not the greatest idea to book two races like this so close together, but I had friends involved in both and just couldn’t say no), and set a goal to finish without hating life (which is more than I can say for any other half I’d done before that). I not only finished happily, but I set a PR. And then I drank ALL THE WINE. It was a big win for me, for sure.

Go Team Wine O! (It's legit. We had shirts.)

And now everybody’s asking what’s next.

I’m not totally sure. I’m planning a sprint tri over the Fourth of July weekend, and hoping to kick a little butt in the swim portion of an Olympic distance relay triathlon later that month, but as far as The Next Big Thing? I’m just not sure.

I want to tackle a half Ironman distance race, for sure — after the two races this spring, I know I can do it. But I need to decide which one I want to do. I’ve kept the training up, for the most part (although I’m certainly a little more lax about some of the longer workouts right now since I don’t have a Scary Freaking Race staring me down), so I should be able to prep for one with two or three months’ notice, but … I don’t know. Do I do it soon, while I’m still pumped up from the spring races? Augusta is in September, which is definitely doable. Or do I hold off until spring? Or next fall? Or …

Sheesh, you want to talk about first world problems? Which big fancy race do I do next? Wah, wah, wah. I kind of want to slap myself. But I also want advice — have you done a half Iron (or similar) distance race that you absolutely loved? What made it perfect for you? (Or, if you did one and hated it, I want the scoop on that, too.)

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