Column: Line Drives — Question examines what to do next

[This is my column in the June 22 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Where do I go from here?

In August, I set a goal of running a half marathon.

I trained for nine months. Some days and weeks were better than others, but I did the best I could to prepare myself both mentally and physically for 13.1 miles.

I accomplished the feat May 6.

But what now?

It’s been almost seven weeks since the half marathon, and I find myself caught in a rut.

It was easy to find the motivation to run prior to the half marathon; there was an end goal. Each step and every mile counted toward my desire and aspiration of running a half.

Since then, however, all motivation is gone.

I ran 18 times during the month of April, logging 90.67 miles leading up to the race.

Both the number of runs and total distance were personal bests.

In the 42 days since, I’ve ran a dozen times for a total of 33.33 miles.

Oops.

So what’s next?

It’s a question I’ve pondered for more than six weeks, wondering why — and if — I need to keep running.

Wednesday evening, I think I got my answer.

During 2016, I ran 184.38 miles.

So far this year, I’ve gone nearly 270 miles. It’s less than half of what I want to accomplish in 2017.

Saturday is the Patriot Run Trail 5K, the fourth of eight races in the Run Jay Count 5K Circuit. I’ll be a participant at 8 a.m., as well as in at least three of the four remaining events.

I had been contemplating for a month or so whether or not to run the Grand Lake half marathon. The full marathon circles Grand Lake St. Marys. The half marathon, however, starts in Celina, Ohio, and ends in St. Marys, Ohio. Most of the race is in a straight line from one city to the next, and I’ve found those types of courses to be rather mundane.

It’s why I had been up in the air as to whether or not I wanted to give the race the ol’ college try.

But today, I am officially committing to the Sept. 23 race.

In October, I ran in the River City Rat Race 10K in Fort Wayne. I plan on doing the same again in four months.

The circuit in Jay County, the Rat Race and training for the Grand Lake half marathon should help me pull off another achievement.

I want to run 600 miles this year.

The IndyMini in May was an enormous triumph for me, someone who wouldn’t have dared to run a single mile 18 months earlier. Reaching the finish line took a substantial amount of dedication, will power and sweat. It was a lofty goal, one that seemed impossible at times. Obviously, it was also one that was very much attainable.

So, back to the first question.

Where do I go from here?

I’ll do exactly what I’ve done most of this year — I’ll lace up my shoes, throw on my hat and sunglasses and hit the pavement.

I’ll run through Portland and Dunkirk. Then Celina, St. Marys and Fort Wayne. Perhaps I’ll go somewhere else in between.

I have at least five races and 330 miles to go.

I better get to running.

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