Monday, January 23, 2012

Marathon’s over….now what?

I am really struggling with figuring out what to do right now. Since I was on vacation and running my first marathon during the first week in January, I didn’t really do the new year, new goals thing that so many people did. I was focused on the race and spending time with family, but now I need to set some and figure out what I am going to do this year. I have been training for the marathon for so long that it is strange to not have it on my mind anymore. 

The other thing was that I wanted to make sure my goals were challenging, but still realistic and achievable. I needed to complete the marathon before moving on to something new. There are two things I learned from doing the marathon that I am using to help guide my goals for this year. 

First is that it really reinforced how much trouble I have running in cold weather. Anything below about 55 F causes serious havoc on my ears and upper respiratory system. This makes running a lot more work than running when it is warmer. Overall, the weather in Florida was good while we were there, but a couple of mornings the temperature got down close to freezing. My last training run was scheduled for one of these mornings and I was out there, but I swear that “easy 3 mile run” felt harder than the first half of the marathon. I have been to multiple doctors and no one can tell me what is going on, so until I move someplace warmer, I am going to adjust my races accordingly. The pain is just not worth it. 

The second thing is that I feel comfortable saying that I can do the distance and endurance thing, but I need to focus on speed and strength. I know I will never be a speed demon, but it is about beating my previous times. Overall, I have been seeing my pace on short runs increase, but with the focus on the marathon I haven’t really seen the increase in race times because the few I did recently were high distance. Speed is going to be my focus for the next few months. Two goals for this year are run a 10K race at a 10-minute mile pace and get my half marathon time under 2:30. 

So far, these are the races I am planning on doing in 2012. 

It is a little sad. I really need suggestions for some late-spring and summer races (preferably not May 5 to 19). I would like to add at least one more half-marathon and a couple of 5K or 10K races. We are trying to balance racing with saving money, so trying to find fun races in drive-to destinations, probably Virginia, DC or North Carolina. Do you have any race suggestions? 

BTW…I would like to do another marathon, but I don’t think this is the year for it. I can only juggle so many things at a time.