With the finish of the Chicago Marathon, my 2015 racing season has ended. Just like that. It feels weird to not have a goal to latch onto, but at the same time it’s a huge relief. Since June 2014, I have been continually focused on whatever the next goal was. It started with a simple goal to run 30 minutes at a time, then to building up mileage while keeping my tendonitis in check, to running a half marathon and then finally the Chicago Marathon. So needless to say after 16 months of focus, I’m ready to unfocus a bit.
I promised myself I wouldn’t hop on the next race train once I finished Chicago, no matter how great Chicago felt. I’m somewhat keeping true to that. I signed up for the Lake Effect Half Marathon again, which is in February. It’s never a goal race, just something fun, and it’s begun to be a little bit of a tradition. I love it.
As far as the rest of 2015 though, I’m considering the Turkey Trot 8k again. It’s another tradition and I feel like if I don’t do it, I’ll be more disappointed. Last year I wanted to stay out the Wednesday night beforehand drinking with my friends, but I don’t know that we’ll do that again like last year. And if I’m not sleeping because I have a hangover, I’m going to regret not running all morning. What is so damn appealing about waking up at 6am to run 5 miles in the cold anyways?
So, fun races aside, I have no idea what I want to do next. This is a first for me. I’ve always been chasing down a faster half marathon PR and hoping other races come along with it. Now I’m just sitting here with all these doors around me waiting to be opened and I don’t know which one to pick. I mean, I don’t have to pick right now but it’d be nice to have an idea.
A few months ago I was considering a half ironman next summer, which would require me making that decision in the next few months. The idea is still floating in my head, but the amount of training it would take is a little daunting. Training for four hours of racing verses six to eight hours is… yikes. Perk? New longest endurance event ever, which feels pretty awesome, I won’t lie.
Then there’s seeing how marathon training in the winter would go. I joked with J already, “What do you think about spending a weekend in Pittsburgh in May?” and when he found out it’d be for a race – half or full marathon – he told me to settle down from my marathon high. Perk? Training for a distance you’ve only done once is that chances are, you’re going to have a beastly PR.
Lastly, I’m toying with the idea of just adding a couple half marathons on the calendar and spend 2016 doing whatever the hell I want to do. My hip is still pretty upset from the marathon, despite thinking I was feeling good. I ran around the park chasing Dunkin a couple times last week and my hip really felt that. Perk? I can comfortably add in CrossFit and have time to spend with those that matter without feeling guilty about training. It’d be nice to work on my strength too, I won’t lie.
Finishing racing season makes me wish a little bit like I was just a causal exerciser doing this to stay healthy. There’s be no ups, no downs, just the same flow day in and day out. Of course, to me that’s boring and I like to experience the competition with myself and others. So here I am always looking for the next step, the next challenge, and wondering how far and fast I can push myself. I may be in my late 20s but there’s no peaking happening here!
And with that statement… I think I figured out my plans for next year.