What’s Next

As the fall racing season is coming to a close, it seems many of the blogs I follow have been posting their updates sharing what is next for themselves and their blogs. It’s been 2.5 weeks since I ran the Columbus Marathon which brought me to the end of my scheduled racing for 2016, so it seems like an appropriate time for me to share what’s next for me.

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Running
After last year’s marathon I took the rest of the year off from racing. I’m still contemplating throwing one more race in for 2016. Emerald City was paired with temperatures and warnings that made it too hot to race and after the unfavorable, unseasonably warm temps for Columbus, I’m still hungry to at least have the opportunity to push myself a little. Since it’s post-marathon, I don’t feel I’ll be able to push myself to my full ability, but I would love the opportunity to get in one more (shorter) race where I can run fast without worrying about overheating. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten to run hard in a race since May/June which means the second half of 2016 was kind of a bust. It’s almost 80 here today, so it seems that will have to wait a little longer.

As I look forward to 2017, I have a few races I’m interested in running. It’s too early to sit down and really think about 2017 in great detail, but as of right now I am fairly confident I will be training for an early spring marathon. I had initially been planning to keep my spring race plans tailored to the 10K distance, but by the end of this training cycle I had changed my mind. I really love the long weekend runs that come with marathon training and I like the challenges the marathon brings on race day. It’s terrifying and exciting. When I knew that shorter distance racing wouldn’t be my focus for spring, I debated training for a spring half marathon again and really working to get my time down. I have found some running-related strength in myself this training cycle that I think would lend itself well to going after another PR in the half distance. However, after a lot of thought I’ve decided this isn’t the right time for me to work towards another half marathon PR. I was happy with my spring training and PR, and there are so many more things about training for an early spring marathon that appeal to me.

I obviously have only done marathon training cycles in the summer, so motivating myself through the winter is a change in itself for my winter training schedule. I also enjoyed working with my coach this summer. He set up a training schedule that wasn’t overwhelming, but definitely challenged me. It helped me to explore more options for training and further my understanding of what does and doesn’t work for me. For example, running 6 days a week worked well for me. We’ll see how that goes during the winter when it’s cold and I just want to stay in bed, but during this training cycle it worked. I love my running club, but the training schedules they provide are very beginner-friendly and I actually didn’t even use their schedule for my marathon training last year. I felt a little lost going into this training cycle because I didn’t feel ready to train with the advanced group (in hindsight I think I would’ve been just fine). My coach allowed me to increase my overall mileage load without getting too out of my comfort zone or pushing me to injury. I am exploring my options for training this winter and am excited about new possibilities for coaching and guidance.

Aside from winter itself and coaching, I found I am in a place where the challenge of the marathon is really enticing to me. I feel comfortable enough with the half marathon that I could go out and train for a PR, blow up during the race, and still finish with a decent time and be happy about it. I was freaking out with anxiety before the marathon because of the unpredictability of race day, but in the end I found that’s what I like about the marathon. Furthermore, there is such a camaraderie that comes with marathon running that just doesn’t exist at the shorter distances.

Finally, doing an early spring marathon still gives me time to recover and jump into some 10ks and half marathons for fun during the late spring/early summer season if I feel like it.

This Blog
Now that I’ve babbled on for too long about running, a little bit on the future of this blog. I’m planning some big changes for this blog. Both Jennifer at Dashing in Style and Hanna at Minimal Marathoner refreshed and relaunched their blogs this year. A few weeks ago I was talking to Hanna about doing the same for mine and I’ve decided to go for it. I started this blog almost 6 years ago when we first moved to Ohio as just a general lifestyle blog and a way for friends outside of Ohio to stay up to date, but it has clearly morphed into more of a running blog. I think after so many years it’s time for a refresh and a relaunch, so that will be coming by the beginning of 2017 at the latest.

Say so-long to weekly training logs. I will still be blogging about my training, but this cycle I departed from the normal bulleted list of exactly what I did. Moving forward, I’d like to depart from that even more and write more reflectively about my training. This will probably still be weekly posts, but I’ve grown bored of sharing a checklist of my training for the week and would like to dive a little deeper into the other challenges, triumphs, and lessons during my training. If you all decide you hate it, I’ll go back to bulleted lists of the week. Hopefully the change of pace will be interesting.

I also plan to share some more food-related posts. My husband and I cook pretty much every night and it’s something we both enjoy doing. Some of our meals come from recipes that I can’t legally share (copyright!) word for word on my blog, but I can still share some more weekly meal plans, favorite dishes, and cookbooks.

I will, of course, still share little life updates about what we have been up to here and there. We have some pretty exciting stuff coming up so I think it will make for some good blogging topics!

 

Well, there you have it. What’s next for me & my blog.

 

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4 thoughts on “What’s Next

  1. Ahhh I’m so excited for all of this! I can’t wait for your new blog. What you have in mind is exactly how I’ll be talking about my own training, too. While it’s more in line with my style of writing, it will be a challenge for me to come up with good reflective training content every single week but it’s a challenge I’m up for.

    How weird that we will be flip flopping our marathon seasons this year! I can understand your apprehension about winter training but if you liked training for a half in the winter, you’ll like training for a full. I guess I can only speak from my own experience and I’m one of the rare weirdos who actually likes hard training in winter, but there are so many upsides to it. It’s the least busy time of year so balancing hard training with life is so much easier; you can ride that New Year’s high for the first half of your training to stay super motivated and feel like you’re kicking ass on all your goals; and since winter is so listless and drab, training gives you structure and something to look forward to while helping combat the winter blues. Plus you feel really badass pushing through your 16 miler in the howling wind and slush while everyone else is staying inside :-).

    I totally know what you mean about why the marathon appeals to you – once again I feel like I could have written this. Maybe this makes me a little snobby but I like that not anyone can just randomly show up and crush a marathon. A lot of people can run fast shorter races on little to no training, but very very few people can run a good marathon that way. Part of what makes the environment so special is that everyone crossing that finish line, from the 3:00 to the 6:00 finishers, had to earn their way there. Finishing a marathon, for 95% of us, is no accident – you have to put in the work. That’s what makes it so special and motivating.

    1. You’re totally right about winter being listless and drab. Hopefully the marathon training will keep me motivated and happy during those dreary days.

      I don’t think it makes you snobby that you like that not anyone can just randomly show up and crush a marathon. I think that’s what makes it so fun and challenging. You really have to love running and be committed to training because if you don’t, then the whole training cycle will feel like a waste if things don’t go right. However, more often than not it’s not going to go right and I like that the marathon is challenging in that way. Marathon runners that are trying to race the distance have to be brave enough and humble enough to fail. When all was said and done, even though the weather sucked for Columbus, I was proud that I didn’t let it hold me back completely. I could have gone in and run around a 9 minute pace, finished under 4 hours, and had an okay race. I didn’t train for an “okay” race, though. I trained to race it. I knew my initial goal wasn’t possible and I’m proud of myself for adjusting my goal and still going after something that was still risky for the conditions knowing that I could blow up in the heat. Had I gone in and taken the easy way out just to say I had a good race… well, that would’ve felt like a waste of 18 weeks of training. Anyway, had I not put in the training I did, I likely would not have finished it that day.

  2. Thanks for sharing all this. I love reading these types of posts because I’m curious to hear how people decide how to structure their training and their overall running goals. It’s awesome that you’ve realized the marathon is your distance and can focus on that. Winter training will add a new element to that, and I bet you’ll really enjoy it. I also like what you say about liking the unpredictability of the marathon. I think one of the reasons I’m so excited is because I’m really curious to experience it and see what happens. I know the s#*%’s gonna hit the fan at some point, but when? And how? I’ll also be curious to see if you can find a 2016 race. Why not go for it if you find one that works?

    Also exciting about the changes to the blog. I love reflective types of posts and have thought about moving toward that too, I do like my stats though! Funny, I’ve thought of re-branding my blog yet again, ha ha. Things change, and it’s hard to know exactly when the blog should change to reflect that, but it sounds like a refresh for you is good considering how much your focus has changed.

    1. I think the anticipation of the shit hitting the fan is worse than when it actually does, so don’t let that freak you out going into your race this weekend!

      I actually have really enjoyed how you’ve structured your posts this training cycle. You’ve done a great job of combining stats and reflections. I can’t seem to balance both. Also, I LOVE Dashing in Style! Marathon training makes it difficult to find time to write about anything other than training so I think we all just hang on until the cycle is over to start writing about other things.

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