With the realization that my body is going to need the full six weeks to recover, I put the kibosh on any further traditional form of exercising until next week…
I say “traditional” because in a few hours, I’ll be back in the great state of Nevada for my sister-in-law’s wedding, which will surely ensure an exaggerated amount of dancing and make-up melting sweat. This also means that I get to see Chicken Face for the first time since I left California – the excitement is a little overwhelming!
On the topic of “overwhelming,” I thought I would broach the subject of “what’s next.” It’s a natural question and one that I always find myself asking everyone after they’ve finished a big goal, even though I know that probably shouldn’t be the first thing out of my mouth.
Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about “what’s next” since I was in Ironman training. And if we’re being completely honest here, I’ll just go ahead and tell you: yes, I absolutely want to do another Ironman. I feel like when most people finish an Ironman, they go one of two ways:
- Never. Again.
- I’m an endorphin junkie (and bat shit crazy); sign me up!
I am clearly number two.
In my consideration set were Ironman Boulder (brand new) and Ironman Austria (as it’s know to be one of the easiest courses and a great vacation). But as I look out at the next year, I know that this one is far from normal. I moved to a new state, am now in a long distance relationship with my own husband and its critical that I recognize my life priorities.
This year, those priorities rest within being stellar at my brand new dream job and any time that I do have with my husband (which is once or twice a month), I need to focus on my time with him. Granted, he is insanely busy with working full time and going to grad school so I will be able to get in some training time, but I cannot commit to being gone every weekend, for six hours a day, and putting Ironman over our relationship. In fact, I practically did that for two full Ironman training cycles (IMAZ and IMCDA) and it put a fair amount of strain on the relationship.
But this doesn’t mean that I’m not going to train for something – that just wouldn’t be me. Instead, I’d like to focus on the following:
Marathon PR: My marathon PR is old, outdated, and to run with my newly-minted “I can do anything” mentality, not a reflection of what I’m capable of. When I got my current marathon PR, I was working in the city, commuting 1.5 hours each way, and was doing all of my training on a treadmill at 4:30 in the morning. The quality was shit and I’ve learned so much about the importance of intention and diligence. Plus, if I use the McMillan Calculator with my half marathon PR, I believe that I can be capable of a sub 3:15. Granted, Ironman is about endurance rather than speed, of which I’ve lost a lot, so a lot of hard work is ahead of me.
Half Marathon PR: Hitting 1:30:07 and then 1:30:20 might have been the two most frustrating races ever. Granted, I wasn’t training for a sub-1:30 in either of those races, but I was just so close! Thus, the hunt will be on to break 1:30. Now to find the perfect flat, net-downhill race.
Half Ironman: I know what you’re thinking, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I thought you just said no Ironmans.” But hear me out, I now know what two time commitments and training volumes look like for various race types and I believe that this one is doable. I also know that I said I need to focus on my time with Chicken Face; however, I also mentioned that he is slammed at school. Whenever we see each other, there will be his “I have to do homework/group project/etc.” time and I will use it as my training time. It would be completely manageable to get in this training while we are apart and together. Plus, I’d like to see if we can break 5:15.
Trail Running: While there is no specific goal in mind for this, it’s a no brainer that not only is trail running amazing, but it makes you incredibly strong. Someday I’d like to do a 50K and a 50 miler, but I’m not quite sure when yet. I’m open to race suggestions as I work to map out the future.
So with all of these “what’s next” ideas firmly planted in my head, what ones have I actually laid out my money for? Well, I’ll be running the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 8th and will eagerly be fighting for that new PR. I think everyone and their mother are running this race, so you probably should too. I’m also considering Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3, but wanted to ask you all: what races should I do to meet these goals?
And more importantly, what’s next for you?