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.
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.
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.