So if you didn’t catch my grousing on Twitter/Facebook already, the 50-mile ride was cancelled. I got in my car at 6:15 a.m. and a flood alert for Cumberland County was on the radio. I had driven the 30-minute ride to Freeport by the time they decided to cancel the event.
My friends,the Angry Kitties, came anyway and we had a good time sitting in the conference room eating the post-event goodies and chatting. Jill and Sue and I even got on our bikes for a quick 10-mile ride in the pouring rain. It was cold and relentless, but it really wasn’t that bad. I was worrying for nothing. I should ride in the rain more often.
If I thought that it was hard to go stepping back to post-half-marathon training to the start of a marathon training cycle last year, this year it feels even more dramatic. I went from 40-mile weeks to a 20-mile week last week. The rest is nice but I can tell that I have a lot of unused energy. When we couldn’t ride (long) on Sunday, I dragged Tony to the gym and did a 9-minute mile warm-up (fast for me) and lifted weights for a half-hour.
Marathon training is a bit like a marathon itself, though: You have tons of energy in the beginning but you need to pace yourself through those key workouts in the middle. So I am trying to direct my extra energy into cross training so I don’t get burned out by running in August.
I feel a bit … uncommitted … about my next goals. When I started running, it was easy: Run a 5K. Lose enough weight so that I’m in a healthy BMI. Then a 10K. Then a 10-miler. Then a half-marathon. Then a marathon. Then a marathon training by myself, to see if I could do it.
Goals are important to me because if I don’t have a spot on the wall, I lose interest. That’s why running has helped me so much, because it gives me those tangible goals that other exercise plans and sports didn’t give.
So: Do I want to run faster? Sure, but I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to the work it would take to qualify for Boston. I’d need to shave off nearly an hour and 30 minutes to qualify (or age about 40 years). That goal just seems so far away.
So: Do I want to run longer? Sure, but … I don’t know. That goal doesn’t excite. Before when I moved up in distance, it was like it took me to this exhilarating new level of competition. And I’m sure ultras are like that, too. But wow. I just don’t feel like I own the marathon distance yet, like I knew the half marathon distance before I ran the marathon.
So: Do I want to do triathlons? Sure, but even though I love all three sports in theory, the mechanics around competing in three events on the same day in the same clothing seem complicated and not fun. Plus, I need a spot on the wall to aim at, and with triathlons, you’re thinking about three events at once.
I’m going to try the triathlon, though. It will be good for me. And the two marathons in two weeks will be a good test of my endurance training.