Some of you have heard me say that I’m done running after Boston. That I’m hanging up my running shoes. As a runner, you and I both know that’s not possible. Since the marathon, I’m left with a lot of time on my hands and empty goals. So what’s next for me?
I wish my cartwheel form was that good.
At the moment, I’m slowing down. I’m not training for anything. Just taking time to recover and enjoy running (yes, I’m STILL recovering from that Boston course). I want to get back to spinning, swimming, and outdoor cycling. But most of all, I want to enjoy life and the spring/summer without any schedules or training plans. After a hard 14 week training program; my body needs down time and so does my mind. It’s important for me to ‘run for’ fun for a while. Hey, maybe I’ll even work on this blog a little bit. Lucky you.
In the meantime, I have some fun runs coming up – a Ragnar trail relay and a half marathon at a winery. I’m not training for either of these and will let myself just enjoy the runs without thinking about time or pace. (This is very difficult for me to do.) I also am signed up for my first 50 mile cycling ride (eek!) in July. Let’s hope I learn how to change a flat tire by then. I’ve always wanted to do a century ride (100 miles) but can never seem to find the time with marathon training. So I will work towards that goal this spring/summer.
I do have a fall marathon in mind (actually 2) with a set goal time but in looking at a training plan the other day; I would need to start training this weekend. I don’t think my body or mind is ready for that yet, so I will have to reevaluate the training when I’m ready….and my goals. Completing Boston felt like the ending of a good book. But I don’t want it to end; so I will start the next series when I’m ready. Until then, I will be lounging around eating M&M’s and doritos all day!
“[We promised] that fear would not control us, and that the spirit of Boston would win over hate and terrorism. Why am I running Boston? How could I not?” -Julia R
It’s been quite a training season getting ready for Boston. I’m ecstatic to be running on Monday. So many emotions come into play. This isn’t just another marathon. This one is special. I’ve earned my way into it and I couldn’t be happier to be there this year to help Boston heal and to celebrate all that they’re overcome. I want to honor victims, the first responders, the strangers that are now bonded for life. I want to celebrate them.
As with all training seasons I have, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. There’s been a lot of personal changes in my life and I’ve had to work running around all of that. I resigned from my job in NJ, rented out my house, took a job in MD, and moved to MD. All within two months. And that was the start of my training season. I was coming back from a busted fall training season where I had a DNS for Marine Corps Marathon because of a few broken ribs. I was slow to get back into it. I took my time and told myself to be patient. Eventually, the speed started to come back. The endurance started to show up. It took quite a bit. And I had trouble fathoming running a few 20 plus mile runs this time around. It seemed impossible. But it wasn’t. I had to relearn how to work running into my new life. With all the kinks in my new schedule, I did the best I could do. And that is what I’ll be working with on Monday and the most I can ask of myself. But the Boston Marathon isn’t about me – it’s about the people and the city. I am honored to be a part of helping Boston heal.
As runners we typically set out to achieve one milestone and as soon as we conquer that, we find ourselves looking for another challenge. Every time I run a race, I think about my next race. Is it going to be longer distance? Am I going to aim to get a PR? I recently reached my goal of completing a marathon and prior to that day I thought that I’d be done after I crossed the finish line. I thought I’d do shorter races and look to improve my time. And I’d get to say goodbye to rigorous training schedules and long Saturday morning runs. But during that 26.2 mile run there was a part of me that wanted more. My goal was to finish the marathon that day. But I knew I could run the race faster. I thought….I could qualify for the Boston marathon. In my mind, I didn’t even need to run Boston, I just wanted to qualify. (Ask me again after I run my qualifying marathon if I’ll do Boston.)
As runners, we’re never satisfied with our last accomplishment. There’s always more. There’s always another PR to go after. And that kind of determination is what makes us runners.