Alright, so I achieved my sub-5-hour marathon goal, I'm pretty much recovered from the marathon, and more importantly, from the Post-Marathon Syndrome. I had a wonderful 10 mile run this morning, even though my training plan only called for 8 miles (shhhh, don't tell my coaches!), so I think I'm ready to get back to my regular running routine.
So now what? *scratching head*
That is an excellent question, my friends. An excellent question indeed.
Well, in a nutshell, I figured I would just keep on running, maybe run some races, maybe run some new PR's, and pretty much try to have a good time doing it. But, and I know this will come as a shock to many of you, I am not doing anymore marathons in 2011. *gasp* I know, I know. Now, I didn't say I wasn't doing anymore marathons EVER. Just not this year. I want to focus my efforts on the shorter distances (half-marathon and shorter) and work on improving my speed, because I do think I have a little more speed in me. Then next year I will revisit the marathon. I have run 3 marathons (and over a dozen other shorter races) in the last 9 months and I think the ol' legs need a little break from the 20+ mile runs.
First up on the agenda are some fun races. I'm not going to worry about my time or my pace. I'm just going to run and have fun. First, there will be the triple-race weekend of the Flying Pig on April 30 - May 1. I will be running the 5k, 10k, and half-marathon events with some good friends. We are going to take our time, enjoy the awesome spectators of Cincinnati, maybe dance with Elvis, take some pictures at the top of the Big Hill (aka, Eden Park), eat a lot of bananas, and have a generally good time. Then, the following weekend (May 7), I will be heading to Indianapolis to run the Festival 500 Mini-Marathon. This race, which is the largest half-marathon in the country, has already been sold out for over a month. But I planned ahead and got spots for myself and my hubby. Several of our FAST friends will also be joining us at that event.
The Mini-Marathon allows runners to apply for entry into seeded start corrals if they meet certain requirements (based on performance in past races). Well, for the first time ever in any race, I actually qualified for a Preferred corral. I am not sure whether it's because I'm fast, or because their standards are pretty low (I would guess the latter), but after spending 45 minutes waiting to get to the starting line of this race from Corral S two years ago, I ain't complaining. Maybe this year I'll only have to wait 20 minutes to get to the start once the gun fires.
I think I will find other fun races to run in the spring months too. Last year's Lincoln Memorial Half-Marathon was really scenic and I loved the giant penny medal - I may run that one again. And I'm sure I'll find some local 5k's to run for speedwork.
But what about racing races? Yes, I plan to do that too. But not until summertime. I will race my usual summertime event - the Steamboat Classic 4-Mile - with a goal to run it under 35:00. God willing, it will be my 6th consecutive Steamboat race. And my main event for the year (besides last month's Icebreaker Marathon, that is) will be the Fox Valley Half-Marathon. I just signed up for this fabulous-sounding event last week and am planning to make this my A-race for the half-marathon distance. I feel fairly confident that I can run it under 2:10. But depending on how my training goes, I may attempt a more challenging goal. Time will tell.
So there you have it - that's what's next for this little piggy. No more marathons in 2011. And that's final. So please, I beg you, do not forward me links to really awesome-sounding marathons, because I don't need the temptation. M'kay?
Peace. Love. Train.