Monday, April 25, 2011

Now What?

I'm in the training doldrums. I'm suffering from post- half-marathon malaise. Developing an unhealthy level of exercise ennui. I haven't exercised in more than a week (the half marathon was the last day I did ANYTHING) and am taking the "recovery period" a little too far, probably.

The problem is that I don't have a new goal an no events on the immediate horizon to keep me motivated. Sure, my first sprint triathlon is growing ever closer, but it still doesn't feel urgent enough to get me off the couch. Not to mention the fact that I don't even have a bike...or a suitable swim suit... So I'm stuck and not sure what to do with myself next.

I figure I can go one of three directions until it's time to start getting serious about tri training (which I expect to start near the end of May).
  1. I did really enjoy the half marathon (and really, REALLY enjoyed training for the half marathon), despite those last 3 painful miles, and it WOULD be nice to do one again with the goal of not wanting to die at the end. However, the next half that's nearby is in early June, which could be an issue from a heat/humidity standpoint. I have an option of running one in Iowa in late June, but again, weather could be a factor, not to mention medals are only guaranteed to the first 400 finishers. What's the point of doing a half if I'm not guaranteed some bling? Finally, cost is a factor for both races. We recently bought a "new" car and I obviously need to start thinking about a bike purchase, so I'm not sure dropping $50 on a race is a good use of my money at this time.
  2. I could go back to the 5k distance and start working on my 5k times. My last 5k, in March, was a PR for me, but I know I can really work to improve that time. And I know that some shorter-distance training will probably help me more in the tri. Financially, 5ks are easier to manage, even if they do lack the bling of a half, although they tend to add up if you don't watch out and limit yourself to just a few. There are way more options for local 5ks, and I could easily run one a month if I wanted to. I know I will be running the Horsethief 5K this year no matter what. It's the first 5K I ran last year--my first official 5K ever--and I'd like to use the race to see how much I've improved over the course of a year.
  3. The last option, which seems like the one I SHOULD do but also the one the one that will be hardest TO do, is to run just for the hell of it. Run just because I can, because I want to, because I enjoy it. Leave the spreadsheets, watches, maps at home and just go. "Race" if I feel like racing, but don't actively "train" for an event. I'd love to say this is the option I'd choose, but I know how hard it is for me to stay focused and motivated to do anything when I don't have a deadline or some other external factor to push me along.
I guess the good news is that I do have options and I really have only a month or so before I can/should start training for the tri. But a month is a long time for me to go without having a plan of some sort, and the I know the longer I go without a plan, the harder it will be for me to get going again. A Mom in Motion needs to stay in motion!


  1. I think a swimming suit and a bike are a definite need here pretty quickly. Then you have no excuse not to be training towards that sprint. And, you'll be super motivated since you have the new stuff. In the mean time, I like the idea of just running for the fun of it. I'm glad you enjoy it.

  2. I vote #2. :)

    Racing 5ks really really helps my running motivation because they're quick, fun, and I feel super competetive with myself. I think it's OK to need to be motivated by a race - for me, sometimes I have that wonderful instrinsic drive to run without a race on the horizon, but usually I'm following a training plan for a specific race.

  3. I'm pretty much always registered for some event, because I'd gbe the same way. Sign up for a bunch of different distances, they all serve a purpose. A short rest is good but you don't want to lose your fitness by taking off too much time.