What’s Next

(Last call for KIND Snacks giveaway entries!)

I had a love/hate relationship with the amount of time it took to train for a marathon. On the one hand, I wearied of feeling like my entire life for four months involved waking up, going to work, running, going to bed, and repeat. It was both stifling and frustrating at times, and I spent a fair portion of August and September dreaming about all the things I would do “after the marathon” (my catchphrase for those two months). On the other hand, I adored the structure. For 18 glorious weeks, I did not have to put one ounce of thought into how I would get my exercise for the day, and that worked very well for me.

But now the marathon’s over. One week of a sedentary lifestyle post-marathon was more than enough, thank you very much, so I’ve been working on staying active while not in the midst of a training cycle. So far, this has involved spending a lot of time with my sworn enemy, Jillian Michaels.

jmsixweeksixpack

While I kinda sorta occasionally “strength trained” for 20 minutes/week at best during marathon training, I haven’t done anything even resembling serious strength training since the first week of June. For those of you keeping score at home, that was a really long time ago. Unsurprisingly, I’ve lost A. TON. of strength (my PT is more than happy to comment on the weakness of my core and hips in particular whenever I’m in the office), and that’s something I want to actively work to change. As such, I’m *hoping* to make it all the way through Six Week Six Pack (which, to my understanding, is a total of 42 days, with 21 spent on Level 1 and 21 spent on Level 2), not because I have any expectation that I will actually end up with a six pack, but because I think there are about zero drawbacks to having a strong core, and goodness knows I could use some help in that department. I do not plan to complete this in 42 straight days, because I think I would absolutely lose my mind if I tried to accomplish that, but eventually I would like to make it through all 42 days.

On my non-Jillian days…I’m kind of up in the air about what I want to do. My running shoes, like a solar dancing flower, only function when the sun is out, which is a delightful simile excuse that translates to, “I don’t run in the dark unless absolutely necessary.” I think it’s important to give my body a break from super regular running to avoid burnout and Angry Injury Legs. As such, I generally consider October to March to more or less be my “off season” for running. I’ll still run on weekends or if I happen to have the day off work (i.e.: am not chained to a desk during our two hours of winter daylight), but other than that, I don’t plan on doing much running. That leaves me with a paralyzing number of options for workouts. Do I want to bike? Get back into swimming? Do other strength training? Yoga? Look into fitness classes, particularly ones I can get for free or almost-free? Start taking dance more seriously and get myself into another class (while also launching a Kickstarter campaign to finance this freakin’ expensive habit)? I DON’T KNOW!! Too many choices!!

Like I said, this is essentially my off-season for running, so I don’t plan on logging too many miles over the next few months. I have one more race I’d like to do this year (which none of you get to know about until after it happens, because I placed in my age group last year and have every intention of doing so again this year…and less competition = better chance for AG placement 😛 ), but since I was able to run quite fast at the end of last year and beginning of this year without running much during the week (or at all, really, for weeks, in the case of Ravenswood), I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that again for this race. Whether or not that happens, though, will be dependent upon my cranky hip flexor, which, after being 100% fine during the marathon, after the marathon, and in all my fitness endeavors since the marathon, decided to ache on my first run post-marathon this past Saturday. Dumb. (And it wasn’t hypochondria this time, I promise, because I honestly had forgotten all about my hip woes until like mile 1.5 on Saturday when I was like, “Hm, that’s a weird feeling at the top of my leg. WAIT. NO. WRONG. THIS IS HEALED. STOP IT.”)

I do, however, plan to get more into consistent running within the first bit of 2014, as I have an exciting trip coming up in March…

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at 8.31.01 PM

…to Washington, D.C.! WOO!! Alex and I have been talking about running a race together (“together”…I got nothin’ on that girl’s speed) since April, and The Georgetown 10 will be that race. IAMSOSTOKEDTHEREARENOWORDSYOUHAVENOIDEA. CAPS LOCK.

I expect the Georgetown 10 to absolutely slaughter me (apparently they have these things called “hills” out in D.C.? I’m not well acquainted with this geographical feature, but they sound worrisome), so I’ve been preemptively eyeing a redemption race from the Georgetown 10, and in April I hope to run the Lakefront 10 (which, yes, also has a hill, but at least I’m familiar with that hill. Also, hill singular, not hills plural). Originally I wanted to run the Solider Field 10 in May as well, y’know, to prove that I’m above the CARA/Universal Sole vs. CES/Fleet Feet politics, but my family is obnoxious and is all, “You have to be present for your sister’s college graduation. And your brother’s grad party. And your brother’s high school graduation,” (right? The expectations they put on me. Just ridiculous 😛 ), so unfortunately I’ll be pomp and circumstancing in Michigan that whole weekend. Bumskis. I would, however, like to squeeze in a half marathon sometime in the neighborhood of all this 10 miler-ing. I desperately want to PR my half, since Zooma doesn’t count and I know I can, and I think I have a better chance of PRing if I run a half early in the year while it’s still more or less Arctic outside (because cold temps = faster Bethany). F^3 is a little too early, so I’m eyeing Chi Town (pending the date and course, since I believe last year’s course was not the best) or Get Lucky. We shall see!

So that’s where I stand right now. Other than Georgetown and my race later this year, nothing is set in stone at the moment, but it’s nice to have a vague plan going forward.

Are you training for anything at the moment?
What do you like to do for exercise?

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12 thoughts on “What’s Next

  1. Not training for anything at my end! I want to heal up, clean up my run, and get faster over the winter (although the times won’t show it with super cold running)
    Exercise? Running! and I might add an extra day in the weight room too.

    You could make your blog title – accidental 6 pack, if the dvd works!

  2. Sooooo when you come to DC, we’re going to hang out, right? RIGHT?! SO FREAKING EXCITED!!! Also, colder temps=faster? You’re cray. I do better when it’s like 90 degrees outside. Or maybe I’m the weird one…
    I neglect strength training of all kinds unless you count yoga, which I do. All of those chatarangas make my biceps triple in size. Other than that, I’m not touching any weights. No thanks.

  3. DC! that’s (sorta) home sweet home for me… very jealous. and I just want to add that I totally understand your love hate relationship with marathon training. I too had all these grand plans for “after the marathon”… no more waking up early, just lounging around all soft and flabby with doughnuts or something. yet now all I want to do it run! but I can’t… enter cycling class. 😀

  4. Ahhh I’m so excited for all of your spring races! I’m hoping to get into (notice I didn’t write “back into”) strength training this winter but I’ll probably wait another week before starting anything. For one, I’ve had midterms so two-a-days aren’t really possible and two, I definitely need more recovery time before strength training because for some reason my body can run all the miles but a little strength stuff will really screw it up.

    As for race plans, I’m signed up for F^3 but I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to run it and I’m keeping my eye on the Full I-Challenge (5k + Illinois Marathon). The race usually doesn’t sell out until early Spring though so I don’t have to make a decision for a few months.

    • Thanks! I kept my mileage really, really low early this year, and I’m interested to see how my body will react to slightly higher mileage earlier in the year before (hopefully) training for Chicago again.

      Full I-Challenge — nice! Sounds a little less painful than Goofy, that’s for sure! Haha.

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