It happened. My first marathon DNF. As you all are already aware.
At first I couldn’t think straight so I vowed to myself to make know decisions on my future until the emotion had subsided. You can’t make solid training decisions when emotion is in the way. You might be able to make A decision, but often times it won’t be the right one.
I gave myself as long as I needed to let things go. There isn’t a set time limit on this and whatever you need to do for yourself – DO!
Once I had decided it was time to sit down and figure things out I felt lost as to where to start. I know some of you may be wondering where I’m going from here. Do I have another marathon scheduled? When will I get my redemption? When will my next race be?
These are all the same questions I asked myself. So, I wanted to share with you all my plans going forward and fill you in on where I’m at currently.
When will my next race be?
Right now the first race of 2018 is going to be a 5k in mid to late February. I am still working on pinning down the exact race but that will be the first of several shorter races during the first 6 or so months of 2018.
Why am I not jumping back into another marathon?
This was so hard for me. I can’t tell you how many people told me to sign up for another marathon. As much as I wanted to there was something in me that knew it just wasn’t a good idea. Yes, I was in running shape to get my goal time at the Kiawah Island Marathon, but my body wasn’t in the best shape it needed to be to make that happen.
Sure, I know that had I not set in the car for 7 hours the day before then the chance of my hamstring locking up might have gone down significantly, but it doesn’t change the fact that my body obviously has some pretty big weaknesses that don’t make running a marathon any easier.
I was lucky enough to avoid a serious injury this time, but that isn’t guaranteed going forward. It’s time I turn my focus away from the marathon (just for a little bit) and set myself up so that I have the absolute best chance at getting my redemption later next year.
What will my training look like going forward?
I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Tara Welling and RunDoyen as I move forward in my training. This came at the perfect time and it has been so helpful to have such an amazing athlete to talk through all of this with. I was already talking with Tara about working together after my marathon before I even knew what the outcome would be, but I feel very fortunate that this is happening right now.
I will be sharing more about this in the coming weeks but trust me when I say I think you all will be just as excited as I am about what RunDoyen is all about!
What changes am I making?
I have three gaping weaknesses when it comes to running; my hips, glutes, and core. We all can get away with neglecting those things for a while but after having a baby, not getting any younger, and putting it off for too long those have all come back to haunt me.
My first and foremost focus is strengthening those areas. I’ve already begun focusing on that over the past week as I take a little break from running post-marathon.
The other big change I am making going forward is changing my focus to shorter distances for a while. This helps my marathon dreams in a couple ways. First, it works on leg turnover and speed. This in return can help to make marathon pace feel easier but also will be a good change of pace. Secondly it reduces my mileage. I can only sustain marathon training mileage for so long. By shortening my mileage it is much more manageable with Easton while also giving me more time for strength training.
When do I plan on running a marathon again?
Obviously this can change but the plan right now is to enter roughly 6 months or so of shorter training and then hopefully be ready to tackle the marathon distance again in the fall/winter of next year. Yes, I know it’s quite a ways away but I truly believe taking this time to refocus and strengthen my body will do so much more for me in the long run.
At the end of the day it’s not about what I can do right now, it’s about doing the things that will allow me to run for a much longer time in this life and will keep me healthy to continue to go after my dreams in the future.
How do I feel about my change in training?
I was already planning on focusing on speed and strength after my marathon, but then when I DNF’d it was harder for me to stick with. I wanted so badly to jump back into marathon training and try again. This decision wasn’t made solo though. I discussed this over with my husband, coach, and even many other runners I look up to and I knew that sticking with the plan already at hand was the best decision I could make.
There are still days when I get frustrated but I can only look forward at this point. Each day is an opportunity for me to strength this body and get it ready for my redemption when the day gets here. It may not be in the next 6 months but watch out 2018 – it’s COMING!