Running a race is kind of like getting married. There are months of preparation for the big day. You play out the day in your mind over and over. And then it’s here! And then it’s gone. And life goes back to what it was before you had this big upcoming event. Only it feels like something is missing now. No more research on wedding dresses or flowers. No more research on compression shorts or tempo runs. It’s just in the past. And that begs the question – now what?
Okay, maybe the now what question isn’t so applicable to marriage, but it is for racing. I just did my 7th half marathon. I finally, after five years of trying, beat my PR. Now what? I haven’t run since the race on Saturday although I feel totally fine. I did the elliptical yesterday instead to loosen up my legs. I’ll probably take this whole week off from running. My sister is visiting from North Carolina on Friday night and we’re going to be running a 5K on Saturday morning. That’s my running plan for the immediate, as in next 4 days future, but what about after that?
There are several options and I honestly don’t know which I want to do.
• focus more on other stuff for a while – weights, yoga, spinning. Do the GA half marathon in March.
• work on speed during the winter. Do a February 10K, hopefully faster than 58 minutes.
• sign up for a full marathon and begin to train for it.
The way I see it, those are the three directions that I could take. Each has plusses and minuses.
If I decide to let running take a back seat for a while and concentrate on other forms of excerise, I might actually lose weight, which I’d like. I have a sneaking suspicion that my body is pretty complacent with 5 mile runs and they’re not going to jolt it into weight loss mode. In the past, I’ve had very good results when I do cross training. Before my wedding, I did P90X for three months and lost 7 pounds. I only did the workout dvds, I did not follow the nutrition plan. But, on the flip side, if I don’t run, I’ll lose my endurance and I’ll spend all Spring trying to gain it back when I start to train for the GA half.
Working on getting faster for a Winter 10K is probably the most viable option. I don’t really see any negatives to that. A 10K is short enough that I’ll be able to do most of my runs on the treadmill when it gets cold. The Charles Harris 10K in February starts within walking distance of my house. It’s also a fast course with a net downhill. I could focus on PRing on that course.
I could sign up for a marathon. A part of me thinks that I’m already in decent shape, I’m already able to run 13 miles, why not continue on and show that marathon who’s boss this time? When I was first considering this as a viable option, I only thought about the GA marathon – the hilly sonofabitch that I did three years ago. It occurred to me recently though, that I don’t have do that race. I could find a flatter course. A lot of people have been tweeting about the National Marathon and that could be an option for me too. My entire family lives in the DC metro area so doing a race there might be fun.
I thought about signing up for a local marathon training group, but I didn’t. I even went as far as to email the director some questions about the group, but then I didn’t sign up. The reason why? Life just got in the way. My sister’s visiting, we’re going to Asheville, we’re going to DC, we’re going to SC. And that’s the thing that scares me most about training for a marathon. Training becomes your life. I don’t see Jason much as is because of his work schedule, I really would never see him if I was training for a marathon. But, at the same time, our lives are pretty uncomplicated right now and who knows what the next few years are going to bring. I might want to seize the opportunity while I have it.
I’m rather indecisive. I guess I’ll just focus on this week and then take it from there. I hope you remembered to vote today. I did.