So, Now What?

If you’ve ever run a marathon you know that euphoric, post-race high/crash that comes within 3 to 4 hours of crossing the finish line.  It’s a time of extreme elation and depressing heart-wrenching sadness.  It’s a time when you should do the following:  eat nachos {nachos are for winners}, give lots of hugs, take a long shower, take a glorious nap.  It’s a time when you should NOT do the following:  make out with strangers, make serious life or investment choices, make bold, sweeping statements about the past present or future of your running.

In the aftermath of the of the Rock N Roll New Orleans marathon, while seated in front of nachos, by myself, talking to MB on the phone, I broke the cardinal rule of post marathon existence:  I made a bold sweeping statement about my past, present or future of running.  {You were probably hoping for some 2003 style discretions, sorry about that}.  I said to MB:

I think I’m going to retire from marathons.

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Let’s back up a little bit.

The last two marathon cycles have been a little rough.  I ended up deferring Marine Corps and Disney didn’t really work out the way I had hoped.  Then NOLA felt like a little bit of crash and burn.  As I reflect on those two cycles, I can see how with sore legs, a mild headache and serious sunburn I can totally understand how I made that statement.  I think that, if I’m being honest with myself, I feel like I let myself down for the last two cycles.  I know that I didn’t train as hard as I could have and to that end I shouldn’t have expected a different outcome.

BUT that doesn’t mean that I needed to go ahead and call off marathons forever.

This whole situation is made even a little more dire because recently MB has taken to really holding me to things {like eating better, saving money and cutting back on racing mileages}.

So, literally, now what?

First, I decided I want to take some time to think.  I’m going to register for local races at lower distances.  I’m going to take training seriously but I’m not going to kill myself.  One of the races that I’m looking at, for example, is the Alexandria Half Marathon.

Next, I’m going to take three big steps back from running.  That sounds counterintuitive, I know.  At the beginning of the year, I made some goals that would launch me into running in a serious way.  I decided that coaching, big PRs and ultras are jus tnot something I want to do right now.  And the great thing is I just don’t have to.

And finally, I know myself really really well.  I know that after a few months off from big training distances I’m going to be ready for the next challenge.  And that is going to be Marine Corps.  I got the email yesterday for those of us that deferred in 2014.  The header said KEEP YOUR PROMISES.  Jesus, FINE.

One of my favorite things about running is that you can stop mid run, change directions or keep pushing.  And that’s what I’m doing now.  And even though my number one spectator might be a little bit horrified I’m going to do what I always do when the running gets tough.  I smile, wave a little bit and keep moving.

Have you changed directions in 2015?

Posted in: Run

4 thoughts on “So, Now What?

  1. ishouldrun says:

    I saw that “Keep Your Promises” thing too in their ad and I thought, what does THAT mean?? But I think I’m going to do MCM too. But, like you, I’m having to kind of scale back on some of the grand plans I had before the new year. I still think it can all be great though, in its own modified way.

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