Like most runners, I rarely finish a training cycle, without some idea of what the next “big thing” will be. The only way I have found to beat post-race depression is to jump right into something new…even if that “something new” is to run for fun, focus on cross-training or just try new workouts (I have had fun following Nicole do this!).
It just so happens that this time around I actually have a pretty solid race plan for the rest of this year.
So what’s next?
My main focus for the summer is, shockingly (at least to me), back on triathlons. Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was “semi-retired”, but when we moved to Chicago, I couldn’t resist the temptation to race USAT Nationals. I qualified last year and even though I had several friends from Greenville going, I had no plans to travel all the way to Milwaukee for a shorter race. But once I found out we were moving to Chicago and Milwaukee was a short 1 1/2 hour drive, how could I not? Plus my best girl, Char, is coming too! Can’t wait.
My swimming and biking base is pathetic, actually more like non-existent, so marathon recovery has been a good time to hit the pool and bike full out. It has been ugly and painful, but I know slowly I will start to feel strong in both again.
The other primary focus of the summer is preparing to begin fall marathon training, because…
I got into the NYC Marathon!!
I entered the lottery thinking I had basically no chance. After stalking my bank account all day on June 1st, when I saw a charge pending on my credit card, I was ecstatic. I toyed with the idea of this being a long training run and picking a more PR friendly course to race later in the year, but I have now decided to go all in at New York and see what I can do.
This will be the first year I have ever completed two marathon cycles in one year, and after racing two back-to-back this spring, the first part of prep is recovery. Once I get my body healed and ready, I will try to build my base back up so I can jump full-force into a 16-week training cycle in late July.
In the meantime, I do have a few races on the calendar. First,
I am going to Hamburg for work later this month and it conveniently worked out that the Hamburg Half Marathon (and skating half marathon, WHAT?!) is happening the weekend between my two work weeks there. How could I not register? It is the perfect opportunity to experience my first international race. The weather is typically PERFECT this time of year and while I would love to race this thing since it is also a fast course, with the state of my body (hamstring) after Bayshore, I know that isn’t a good idea. This was confirmed after meeting with my potential new coach last night (more on that later). When I told him that I hypothetically may have registered for a 1/2 in 3 weeks, he basically said he would kill me if I was one of his runners. Wellll okaaay, guess that answers that question 🙂
Then a month later,
I signed up for this race when I found out we were moving to Chicago. I was excited to be able to run a big half and sleep in my own bed! It should be blazing hot and humid and definitely not ideal “racing” conditions. This also happens to fall during the first week of official marathon training, so I am guessing it will end up being a long run effort, rather than a race.
If I end up running both Hamburg and Chicago at something other than race pace, it will mark the first time I have ever run a race “for fun”. I have a hard time paying to run a race at anything less than all-out effort, but I am hoping I can still learn something from both of these experiences.
The only other race on the calendar:
This is the weekend right after the RnR 1/2, but I strongly felt like I needed a tri “tune-up” before Milwaukee. It has been a long time since I raced a triathlon and besides the fact that I LOVE racing tri’s, I also like to get the feel for transitions and going to that pain place on the bike again. I would love to have found one more sprint, but nothing really worked out with the rest of my summer calendar.
So there you have it…my racing plan (as of now) for the rest of the year. According to “Coach”, I will likely race a 5k/10k at some point and maybe a 1/2 tune-up before NYC. I also have a relay on tap for October, but more on that later as well 🙂
Are you doing any of these races? What’s your big goal race this summer/fall?
Also would love to know how everyone else feels about using a marathon as a training run before a goal marathon?