Sunday, January 25, 2009

See you later, National Marathon

Well, I've pretty much decided that the National Marathon will have to wait for another year. And when I say I've decided, what I mean is that I am halfheartedly accepting the fact that I am neither wholeheartedly into nor wholeheartedly over the idea of this marathon. I guess the fact that I am not wholeheartedly into it is probably the feeling I should be paying attention to, because it is going to be damn hard later on down the line to run 18 and 20 miles when I'm not into it. So I'm saying adios, National Marathon, as much as my heart is aching as I type those words. Seriously.

Having made this decision (and an entire week of not running), I'm realizing that things need some reevaluating. For one thing, I haven't really done much running recently without a marathon in mind. For the last year and a half or so, my daily run has been determined by what's on the training schedule. Which means this: what the hell do I do without a training schedule? I feel like I was dependent on someone for a long time, and now that person is gone and I'm realizing the autonomy I once had (before that person came into my life) is gone, too.

I'd like for my running to keep me in good enough shape to run a half marathon if I feel like signing up for one (I had, actually, signed up for one that took place this morning. Needless to say, I did not run it). I'd also like to start doing yoga again, and continue weight training. I found this article this morning and was thinking about trying to base a routine around it. It would be kind of cool to get to a point where I'm training pretty normally at 35-40 miles per week. Then again, maybe it would be better to not structure things too much, and just run to enjoy it. I'm not really sure. See? I've forgotten how to do this.

So--! Here's my question to you, dear reader: what do you do when you aren't training for a race? Do you just do whatever you feel like doing for that day, or do you try to stick to a plan you have made for yourself?

5 comments:

SueWho said...

I'm probably not the person you want comments or advice from since I only just started running about 6 months ago and just did my first 5K about one month ago. But having successfully completed that first 5K, I have sort of wondered to myself, now what? And to answer your question, I pretty much make a weekly plan around what I can do comfortably and I try to up it a little bit distance -wise each week. But I'm not as far along as you of course, I'm still trying to get to running 4 miles comfortably. I will get there though, and you will too. Maybe you need to go back a little bit, mileage wise and sort of start over for a bit, take it easy and get back into the "running for the fun of it" groove. And definitely take some time for yoga and weight training - very important those two things. Good luck!

chris said...

I'm not training for anything these days, but I still try to get in 4 runs a week. I just don't feel right if I don't get in 4 (like this week). If it is a treadmill run, like most are these days, I aim for 4 miles. Sometimes time and energy level force me to do less, but I also try for 4. Not sure if that helps!

The Alien said...

For me its also hard to run consistently when I'm not training for something. When I'm in training mode I see myself as an athlete, and try to act like one, this means I eat well, never miss a training session and challenge myself to o better each day. But when I'm not training for 'X' event the athlete mode switch it's turned off and everything goes to hell... I barely train, don't challenge myself as much and eat whatever I can find.

Last December I tried to stick to a schedule as if I was training for a non-existing race, but I couldn't cheat myself, athlete mode was off (and I'm paying for it now).

What I would do in your place is sign up for a shorter race soon that you don't have to run 20 miles to train to, but that would still keep you motivated to go out and run. Also, with less pressure more 'fun' runs will come your way, just do it because you like it, to put an end to that endorphin withdrawal!!!!

Rachel said...

I would have to say I am "plan-less" when it comes down to being "race-less". I tend to just go with the flow. On occasion though, it causes me to lose track of what my long term goals were.

Alissa said...

Right now my friendships with my running partners are half the reason I'm still running post-marathon. I know that finding someone you click with that runs your pace can be difficult. But if you are able to find the right person you might find you are even looking forward to it. You might try running looking for group runs at a local running store, or even posting something in the "activity partners" section on Craigslist. Just an idea, goodluck!