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May 2, 2014

On The Run column: Accomplishing your mission means you need a new goal

You put in the months of planning, training, fundraising, recovering and suffering. You dealt with the seemingly endless winter. Race day came and you (hopefully) conquered your spring marathon.

So now what?

It’s time to plan a new challenge.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to you in the months ahead.

Think big. If you had a good experience at your spring marathon or feel like it’s time to step up to another level, the time is right to plan for a fall marathon. Of course, the big ones (New York, Marine Corps, Chicago) are already full for the most part, but there are plenty of other marathons that you can still register for. Check out MarathonGuide.com for a full list of fall marathons.

A change of pace. If you’ve had enough of pounding the pavement, go for another surface altogether. Trail running is fun, easier on your joints and it provides an entirely different experience. In addition to just getting out on the trails, there are plenty of organized opportunities to run trail races. The North Shore Trail Series (www.nerunningco.com/racing-series/trail-series/) began last month and runs through the fall with a variety of distances and locations. The Lynn Woods Summer Cross-Country Running series (http://lwrun.org/) begins May 28 and continues on Wednesday nights throughout the summer, with races of different distances every week.

Get serious about series. There are several ongoing race series in the area that offer different distances and challenges. The two big series continue next weekend: the next event in the North Shore Y Road Race Series (www.northshoreymca.org/programs/healthy-living/road-races/) is Friday, May 9 with the Backshore 5-Mile race in Gloucester, while the New England Running Company Road Race Series (www.nerunningco.com/racing-series/ne-running-co-road-race-series/) continues on Saturday, May 10 with the Beach to Beach 5K in Marblehead. A little further north, the Will Run for Beer series (www.willrunforbeer.com/) wraps up in June with two races in southern New Hampshire.

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