A few weeks before Chicago Marathon (did you read my Race Recap of my 2:45?), I asked Steve what race I could do next. I could have already told you what he was going to say before he even opened his mouth, so I am not sure why I even asked, but he said “lets just get through this one first”. Wise words, but not what I wanted to hear.
The day after my marathon I asked him the same thing, he responded “lets just get over this one first”. I once again was put in my place, and had to be alone with my thoughts.
My first day back running, I asked Steve the question for a third time (its a charm right?), and he finally would let me consider what our next big race would be.
The decision we have to make, is whether to go for a small marathon, where I could win, but potentially end up running on my own for the whole race. Not that it would be too much of an issue as I seem to race better on my own. Or whether to do one of the two bigger ones we had talked about; Boston or London.
I reached out to David Bedford, who I had talked to at the Chicago Marathon, to see what he thought about me racing at London. He said that he thought I would be better in the Championship section (as opposed to the elite women who are set off 30 minutes before the rest of the race), as it would mean I would have plenty of people to race with. David said he would give me two nights in the host hotel, and travel expenses once I reached England. Boston is a little too big an event, and I would likely fall into the same trap as I did for Chicago. We had made our decision; London 2015 is my next marathon!
- Take pressure off. I can go home for a few weeks to be with my friends and family, and make the trip about more than just a race.
- It is on my bucket list.
- My family and friends can come watch me (and my good friend Keeley, who is also doing her first marathon!)
- The London marathon has been the race I have dreamed about since I started running. Paula Radcliffe speeding by me on that course on her way to a world record has inspired me more than anything else. It would take the pressure off racing London, to just know that I am finally doing it, and have so many positive thoughts about it.
- I will always have other opportunities to do this race, so there is no need to have an “all or nothing” attitude.
- It is flat and fast…..I am not focusing on this, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it was on my mind.
London is the long term plan, but not set in stone yet as the race is not till April.
For the next few months, my number one priority is my hamstring. It was never REALLY bad during my marathon build up, but it definitely meant I had to modify some important workouts, and I could not do strides from about July onwards. Therefore through rehab and a very slow buildup, I am going to make sure my hamstring comes back to full strength first, before I start even thinking about racing, or even running hard.
Once that is good to go, I will start looking for some other races. On that note, I have some exciting news! I have an agent for the 2015 season, well, kind of. More of a representative/advisor. You may have noticed I talked about Larry Rosenblatt in my posts about Chicago. Larry is going to take me under his wing, and work with Steve and I to find a plan that allows me to race to the best of my ability. I am not very experienced in the professional running world, and Larry definitely is. He also knows a lot of the good races, and a lot of people within the running world. I am very excited about this partnership, and very grateful!
In my Chicago Marathon reflection post, I talked about what needed to change in my next segment, I intend to race a lot more. Larry has putt together a list of races for me to chose from, and the three of us plan to discuss this in the next few months to pick some races for this winter. I intend to do 1-2 half marathons during the segment, and some other distances in each month leading up to the marathon starting in January. I will also take at least 5 days off in december to make sure my body is ready to attack the marathon segment. You can read about why I think it is SO important to take time off HERE.
The first week of running was not my most enjoyable week, I don’t know why, but I expected to feel GREAT after my time off. I really didn’t. I felt horrible. Every. Single. Day. To the point where I just wanted it to be over. As you may have seen on my Instagram (do you follow me? Click HERE), yesterday, I FINALLY felt back to normal, and thought to myself, “oh yeah, this is how easy running is supposed to feel”! Hopefully I feel better from here on out!
Other than my hamstring being back to full strength, honestly, what I want most over these next few weeks is to enjoy running again; 85 miles a week by myself was getting very lonely. Thankfully, I have found a few women in the area who I can run with. I always thought I liked to train by myself, and for the most part I do, but I think even I was pushing my limit of time alone.
The second part of finding peace in running again is going to come from no Garmin. Yep, I am putting my Garmin into temporary retirement for the few weeks (at least), to make sure I am running what I want to run, and cannot think about pace. My runs this week have been based on minutes, but I am making sure I stop when I reach the house/car/parking lot, rather than running around in circles aimlessly to make sure my run is rounded to the exact minute like I usually would.
Often we tend to run the best when we are not expecting much out of ourselves, as it allows us to be free, and do what we do best; run with our hearts, not with our minds. 🙂
What is your next big race? How do you decide which competition you are going to chose next?