It’s now six weeks since I ran the London Marathon. The time has flown past – it feels like 6 months ago rather than less than 2. Since then I have taken part in 3 events – I’ve not ‘trained’ properly for any of them knowing that the work I’d done for the marathon would see me through.
But it’s not been enough for me. I feel like something is missing from my life. I can’t believe I’m going to say it but I think I miss the marathon training. I miss the structure, the sense of achievement from completing the slightly scary distances. I even miss the strange looks that people used to give me when I told them that I was training for a marathon.
So, what to do? I’m not thinking about throwing myself into another marathon yet. I want to become a better runner before I do that. But I don’t just want to coast from 10K to 10K over the summer hoping that by magic I’ll get faster.
I need a plan. And when I think about it it’s no wonder I’ve been feeling a bit lost. I plan, organise and make things happen for a living. Planning is what I do best. And yet I’ve been coasting along in my training with no plan and wondering why I feel odd!
So for the last week I’ve been following a 10K training plan with my Adidas miCoach. I’ll write another post about what that entails but it’s safe to say that I feel back on track already.
I’ve also realised that I need a new scary goal. As a beginner runner every distance I’ve taken on this year has been new and scary. From 5K to 10 miles to half marathon to full marathon. I’ve always been working towards something that I’ve not been quite sure I could achieve.
Having run the marathon that’s not the same. I can do any distance I choose. So what to do?
I’ve entered a race that’s a bit different.
The distance, 8 miles doesn’t scare me at all. I can do that no problem. But what scares me is the terrain, the hills, the mud, the water. It makes me shiver just thinking about it. But I’ve learned that that’s good. It’s what I need to motivate me. I want to feel a bit scared.
This running thing – it’s a bit mental!
Training for a marathon can be all consuming and it can be difficult just to do the taper at the end. Many friends tell me they feel fat and lethargic when they back off on their miles. So feeling out of sorts when you go back to base mile training is to be expected.
I used to only run marathons, usually only 1 or 2 per year. Then I discovered 5k, 10k and half-marathons. They are all quite different races with different strategies. It has helped to keep me interested and motivated.
If you have run more than a few of any race you probably have a PR for each one. I’m always working to beat my last PR and I find this helpful in keeping me motivated. It is so easy to roll over and go back to sleep on Sunday morning, or to turn the TV on after supper.
These different races do look fun and challenging. I’ve seen these Tough Mudder races, but I’m not sure they are for me. I have been signing up for different race series each year. Last year I did the “Will Run for Beer” series in run mainly in New Hampshire. For running 5 out of 6 races I got a pretty cool running jacket. This year I’m running the BAA’s Distance Medley which has a 5k, 10k and half-marathon. I’m not sure if I get more than a finishers medal but the BAA puts on some nice races.
Running is a lot mental! Just keep looking for ways to keep motivated and interested. Different races and different locations help. I find that looking in the mirror and seeing a thinner face and less fat on my gut to be very motivating. The mirror also tells me I have a long way to go!
Hi there – thanks for your comment. I think it’s incredible that you only ran marathons for a while before discovering other races! I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in feeling out of sorts after finishing training for a marathon. I definitely want to focus on improving my speed and getting quicker over shorter distances over the summer before I think about upping my mileage again later in the year.
I’m hoping that the GRIM race will give me that bit of a push that I think I need, something a bit different than road racing and something a bit scary. I’m not sure it’s for me to be honest but until I try I won’t find out!