I’m just going to put this out there, so that we don’t have any secrets between us: I’m cranky today. I’m just not in the best mood, and lately this also means that I am feeling terrible about my body. But since I have banned negative body talk this week, I’m going to focus on a different topic altogether: what will I do after the marathon?
This past week, two separate people have asked me this question. Somewhat superstitiously, I had been trying to put off thinking about it because I felt like maybe it wouldn’t be good to take focus away from this upcoming marathon. In a way, I think that’s a valid sentiment. After all, it’s important to live your experiences, and not constantly think about what’s coming next as a way to avoid dealing with the present. But then there’s also the fact that it can also be good to have a plan for the future, and boy am I a fan of planning.
So, what next? Well, I mentioned yesterday that there’s MCM 2011, which I’m pretty excited about (already). I’ve wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon for a while now, since I grew up outside of Washington, D.C. And I’d like to work on running it with a PR goal in mind, although I’m not quite sure what that goal is going to be quite yet. But in between now and the time I’ll really start training for that, what will I do?
I’m nervous about the fact that as soon as I started running less, the difficulties I’d been having with food and my body image came roaring back with a vengeance. I know I can’t stay in marathon training mode indefinitely, but one thing I would like to work on is finding what kind of weekly mileage makes me feel comfortable mentally and physically. I also want to be able to start with a strong base of fitness when I’m ready to train for MCM; when I’ve run my previous marathons, I feel like I’ve always started a bit weak. I want to know what it feels like to be able to work on improving speed (for example) from the word go, and not just to run to hit my mileage goals.
But in terms of any events, or goals beyond that? I’m not that sure. I’d really like to start doing more things that really interest me, or that would be really good unique experiences. Maybe travel a bit further for a race? Run some different distances? Try a different terrain? I guess the possibilities are endless. Most of all, I just want to make sure I keep running, since that’s always been a challenge. I have a habit of backing off of things when I feel like I’m starting to improve or just get good at them at all, so my number one priority after finishing this marathon is to keep going, and see what I can do without worrying about what it might feel like to fail…or succeed.