Post-marathon: what’s next?

Ah, the dreaded what’s next question. It’s natural though that right after achieving something we’ve worked for, our minds go to, “what’s next?” I know I do better when I’ve got a goal to work towards. Otherwise I feel kind of … floppy and rudderless and stagnant, if that makes sense. Especially with running goals. After my marathon and a 10-miler two weeks later last spring, I didn’t have any races on my horizon except for Boston a year later, and my running definitely suffered. I didn’t feel motivated, I didn’t even want to run. Taking a month and a half off in the fall helped mentally, but for awhile there I just dreaded lacing up my shoes. I don’t want that to happen again! (although with the limited running I’ve been able to do this past winter and spring, I’m already so excited to start up again once my groin heals fully!)

BUT…it’s important to not always be jumping into the next new thing. Take some time to rest, enjoy your accomplishment and just be. That’s my plan for May. I’ve been for two runs since Boston, both 10ks, and they both really, really aggravated my groin/quad. So I decided last week to take the month off from running. It’s just not worth turning this injury into something that never. goes. away. Boston showed me that cross-training DOES keep you in shape and actually can prepare you to run a marathon without, you know, actually doing any running beforehand. Weird how that works, huh?

So for the rest of the month I’m going to continue cycling, swimming and stretching. I’ll incorporate some running form drills a few times a week to work on running form and technique and get some strength back in my feet, but my goal is to get this groin all healed up so I can start running – and racing! – again.

There are a few races on my horizon. Short-term, I’ve registered for a great and super hilly 5 km charity run for heart arrhythmia that my whole family does (and this year, I’ve gotten my best running buddies Kelly and Emily to sign up too!) on June 8. It’s a really fun event and for a very important cause – it was started last year by my aunt’s colleague who lost her husband very young and tragically due to the disease.

Then in July Kelly, Emily and I are road tripping to…CHICAGO! We’re going to run the Rock n’ Roll half-marathon there. I LOVE the Rock n’ Roll series – in September 2012 I ran my first half-marathon, the Philly RNR. Superb organization, fun concept, great music and awesome swag bags. Kelly has ran the Edinburgh RNR and she loves this race series too. But neither us nor Emily have ever been to Chicago, so we’re really excited for a girls’ long weekend away!

These two races are both going to be fun ones and I won’t necessarily be racing hard at them (although I’d love to PR in Chicago, and my ultimate goal is to get my half-marathon time down to 1:30). I have two goal races in the fall that I’d really like to train hard for over the summer, but I’m not going to commit to them just yet until I feel better about my injury.

Anyway, those are my post-Boston running plans for now! Who knows, they may change but at least for May I’m still enjoying the swimming and cycling. Loving this warmer weather too! I need more shorts-appropriate temperatures so I can work on getting rid of that awkward compression socks/KT tape tan line I’m still rocking from Boston…

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