Taking a Break…

29 Jan

Recently, I have had quite a few people ask me “what’s next?”

The past 3 and a half years, I have had an answer to this question. But today, I do not.

Since fall of 2011, I have had a marathon planned. I knew what race was coming up for the fall and spring, and had it marked on my calendar when the 12, 16 or 20 week training would begin. While some days I hated the training, most days I loved it.

I loved the accomplishment of getting up in the 4am hour to complete an insane workout, checking it off my training schedule and documenting it on my daily mile. I loved talking to my running friends about our upcoming races and the goals we had. And I also loved the miles and miles of thoughts I had to myself, or those that I shared with friends. While there were days I despised my alarm clock, cursed the Garmin and was over the training schedule, I really did love it. As we discussed in my run group today, we hate the training schedule, but we love it more.

Today, I am not experiencing any of that. And I know I won’t experience it again for a while.

Over Thanksgiving, I decided that after I ran Phoenix, I would force myself to take a break from marathons. My body hurt, and I didn’t love running like I thought I should. With this decision, I removed the Boston Marathon from my list of upcoming races. It was a hard thing to do, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

I have done Boston the last two years, and had quite the experience at each one. I am not sure that any race will every top that of Boston 2014, and for that fact I accepted that I was OK with not going back. Now instead of running a marathon on April 20, I will be coming home from a wine trip with friends. I decided that a new experience with people I love took precedence over running the same marathon for the third year in a row. I also knew that the break was much  needed and would be good for me.

Taking a break while I am still on top and healthy is much better than being forced to take a break because I am seriously injured or hate the sport.

I also do not have any marathon planned for the fall, which is very strange. My husband and I are planning a big trip to Europe late summer, and I know it is not feasible to train for a marathon while on a two week trip. I want to enjoy every minute of this adventure, not be worried about hitting 50 miles a week while I am there.

One of the reasons why I decided to run Phoenix was because I had a feeling it could be my only marathon of 2015…and it looks like that will be right!

Even though my marathon schedule is obsolete, I do have some halfs on the schedule. I am beyond excited to run the United NYC Half Marathon in March! After that, I will be running as the 1:45 pace group leader for Running with the Cows, and the 1:50 pace group leader for Hospital Hill (my favorite KC race!)

Since I am focusing half marathons now, my flexibility will be much better with my training. If I skip a day, it isn’t the end of the world. And goodbye to 60 mile weeks. Which means more sleep and more of a social life (my friends haven’t seen my out on a Friday night in 3 years 😉 )!

My goal is to maintain 25-30 miles a week this spring, and focus much more on my cross training. I went to a class on Tuesday and I am still sore…which proves that I have got to get my strength training back! I will do a couple speed sessions here and there, but nothing intense like I had been doing. Hopefully with this rest, my body will heal and I come back to my next marathon mentally and physically stronger than ever!

IMG_6747

xo,

Ali

Have you ever taken a break? How was the transition?

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5 Responses to “Taking a Break…”

  1. elleroos January 29, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    Smart! Boston is my first and last of 2015 and it is such a weird feeling. You should be so proud of all your hard work and your inspiring of others!! You won’t be gone from the game forever so I’m looking forward to your upcoming races and seeing what marathon you choose to do next in your life! Xoxox! Would love to see you in March if you have any free time! 🙂

  2. Amy Lauren January 29, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    I took a break last summer due to injury. Those kinds of breaks suck (it was a literal break… a stress reaction that my doc treated like a fracture due to the location). Half marathon races still require training and dedication though. Maybe not 4 AM mornings, but a half isn’t a distance that someone just gets off the couch and races, you know? You still have to be devoted to training and cross training.

    I love your medal rack! The marathon has been good to you, but it’s neat that you can have more of a social life training for shorter distances too (a big reason why I won’t do a ‘thon).

  3. golddh January 29, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    Your plan sounds really nice and reasonable. I usually finish one marathon without a plan for the next, think I’m taking a break, then get bored and start training again after 1-2 months. Hopefully your break will prove more clearly what works for you.

  4. thedancingrunner January 30, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    I loooove your medal rack! Good on you for taking a break!! Cross training and trying new fitness endeavors definitely helps. Have a great weekend 🙂

  5. Jenn January 30, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Sounds like you have some fun things planned for 2015, even without a marathon! If your wine trip in April brings you anywhere near me let me know – I’d love to see you even if it’s just a quick coffee before your day starts!

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