I'm antsy.  I feel like I'm still carrying a bit of fatigue from Javelina and yet I'm looking for the next big thing.  I've tossed my name into the Western States lottery but since I won't know the outcome until December 6th, I feel like I am without a race and without a plan.

In my idle time, I've been plotting where I want to run but the -when- all hinges upon the 'lottery' so I'm just plotting the -where- for now.

When you're not hunting for just races, it really opens up where you can run and one of the first places to come to mind is Utah.  I've explored a number of places already but only by bike or by foot (read:  walking / hiking) but now that I'm capable of covering significantly more ground by running that list includes:  Zion, Bryce and Moab.

I've been to all three and Zion is at the top of my list with Moab holding up the bottom but only because it's a royal pain to get there.  Zion is an easy flight to Vegas and a short drive.  The Zion 'traverse' sounds like an incredible run and it is something I hope to accomplish next year.

Looking within the state of California, the first place to come to mind is Joshua Tree.  As a climber, it was on the list of places I wanted to go but I never got around to it.  As a runner, I'm going to see it sooner than later.  I'm planning a recon mission in the very near future with a point to point run planned for February.

After those two were researched, I sort of got stuck as if the most obvious place wasn't obvious.  Then it occurred to me -- the closest place, a place I've visited on numerous occasions and a place I'd like to run -- Yosemite!  Of course I've missed out on any runs that could be had this season due to the weather but I've already started looking around at the possibilities.

The Yosemite Valley offers a lot of run / hike options but it's been awhile since I've been there so I'm curious as to how much I could possibly run for a trip up to Half Dome or Clouds Rest.  It's fairly vertical.  But is it vertical by my current standards?

Other possibilities in Yosemite, out in the Tuolumne Meadows portion of the park, include a lot options which offer more running than hiking.  That said, there are a number of trails with ascents and descents and a lot of that area is at altitude.  That seems appealing to me since there are some long term goals which include a number of races in Colorado but as I see it right now, altitude is NOT my friend.

Staying close to home and getting some exposure to altitude seems safer than just winging it.  ;)

One other place worth mentioning -- the Rogue River in Oregon which is right outside of Ashland, a place I visited last year when I attended bike school.

I stumbled across some pictures of the trails along the river and I was immediately sucked in.  It's about five hours from here by car and the area is amazing.  I've spent only a week in that area but there is an ultra event up there as well, the Siskiyou Out Back (SOB) Trail Run, which I looked into but either the timing didn't work or it sold out.  Maybe both, I can't remember.  But anyway, the area is a place I want to explore and the trails along the Rogue River seem like a good place to start.

Btw, is there some sort of ultrarunner inside joke with the races having the acronym S.O.B.?  I get what S.O.B. means, I'm just curious if that's intentional? 

Sean O'Brien is another race with the same acronym and it seems more than coincidental.

Anyway, as you can see, by the time three weeks passes, I will have a long list of places I want to run -- I'm getting my ducks lined up.

Is it December 6th yet?