I have no actual goal right now. Up until this past Saturday I was still engaged in a loud internal struggle in an attempt to figure out whether I will try to qualify for Boston again this year. I don't let go of things easily and I was pretty upset at myself for not qualifying while at Boston in April.
I have come to some sort of new understanding with myself If I can't prove to myself that I can get the mileage up before committing to another marathon then it's a.) a waste of money, and b.) a futile attempt since my mileage needs to be up and faster to even think about it. Plus it was a pretty painful experience and I better be damn sure I want to put myself through it again.
I have been looking for a training plan that can help me. I think I found it. I know some people don't need a training plan but if left to my own devices I would like to sit on the couch, look adoringly at my dogs and eat goat cheese or wicked soft chocolate chip cookies, or maybe even just whip cream straight out of the can. Running Times had a great article about tapering this month where they showed a 4-week training plan with a typical down week. That's my new training plan - plus I am going to add two miles most mornings in addition to the plan. Those two miles aren't about endurance at all. You call it Prozac; I call it two miles before work.
Any who.... I plan to run the Tuesday night cross country 5k and start turning the power dynamic around because it has been kicking my butt. Thursdays I am doing the track workout and Saturdays I will do a long run of NO LONGER THAN 15 MILES. The other days will be various distances as specified by the training plan.
For the next year I am focusing on races between 3.1 and 13.1 miles. That's it. Plus I am working on my doctorate so I'll be busy and crazy (which means I will need to run, but not necessarily race, more). Once my speed is up, then I will rethink the marathon. Maybe. Part of this is a lesson in being happy in the here and now and for once not thinking, "ok that's done, now what can I do next?"
Of course two days after Boston I signed up for the Ragner Relay - so myself and 11 other similarly inclined people will be starting out at 6:30am this Friday in New Haven and we will spend the next 24 hours running to Harvard Square (194.1 miles). I have three legs and the longest is 6.2 so I'm still sticking with my distance cap. I'll have that report for you after this weekend -- pray for sunshine!!!