Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It's a Dilemma: What's a runner to do after she finishes a goal race?

What to do, what to do?

Do you ever feel lost after a big race or achieving a big goal?

No sooner did I cross the finish line at Big Sur did I receive a text from my coach Becky. "Send me your goals so I can work on a training plan for our upcoming sessions." Ok, it was the next day but still! I felt more anxious reading that than I did lining up for my race! Prior to Big Sur, I hadn't given my post-race plans much thought. After all, this was my lifetime running bucket list item, the race I always wanted to run. What kind of goal do you come up with after realizing a dream?

It's somewhat of a dilemma for this very goal-oriented runner.

Taking the Long Way Home

So 2 1/2 weeks later after that text from Becky, I'm still thinking about my goals for the rest of the year. I'm feeling pretty tired after training for 2 marathons in 6 months. I don't know how you back to back marathoners do it! But I won't lie. I have to admit that I still have Boston on my mind. I'd love to run it to make my marathon total an even 5. That can't happen, though, because in order to qualify, I have to run another marathon! Unless someone takes pity on me and gives me a free, completely legit entry!

Taking the Long Way Home
I may have to...
Ok. I'm thinking about that for the future. I don't plan on running another marathon this year. I want to give my PF a little more time to go away as I ease back into running. What I do plan on is running a few more half marathons! The half is still my favorite distance. Here's what I'm looking at:

Rock N Roll Chicago July 17. There aren't a lot of half marathons in Illinois or Wisconsin this time of year. It's usually as hot as hades in July in Chicago, which has kept this race off my list for a long time. But I need to work on my heat tolerance, and what better way to do that than to run a half in July? My friend Marcia is an ambassador, and I'd love to join her at this fun event. My goal for this race would be sub-2, which is something I've never done for a half in the summer or Florida.

Crystal Lake Half Marathon or Naperville Trails Half Marathon September 11. September and October offers a lot of choices for races around here. I had hoped to run the NorthFace Endurance Challenge half marathon in Kettle Moraine (Wisconsin) state park but the date doesn't work out for me. I'll make up my mind which race to run as the date approaches. If any of you local peeps are running either one of these, let me know.

Panama City Beach (Florida) half marathon December 3. Another destination race to add to my list, I'm going to run this race with a few blogging friends! This race offers me another opportunity to head back to the sugar sands of those Florida Gulf Coast beaches. It could be warm, though! No matter, though, this one's for fun.

While I filled her in on my running plans, Becky won't be training me for these races. Instead, I gave her some strength goals that I want to work on. She was pretty excited when I mentioned these:

  • Handstand unassisted. Looking at all those handstands on IG is giving me major FOMO. I'm strong and I know I can do it. I just have to get over my fear of falling. The New York Times feels my pain, publishing this article about this phenomenon just last week! One woman quoted in the article said that being able to handstand has made her "more confident, fearless and focused". It's like they know what I'm looking for. Becky wants to take it one step further and have me do a handstand push up. Ummm, sure. 
  • Climbing the rope. Hanging from the ceiling at CrossFit is a long, thick rope. When I first started working with Becky, she had me try to climb up, but I lacked the strength and confidence, much less the skills. I'm ready to tackle that bad boy again. 
  • Pull ups/chin ups. Traditionally, women struggle to do even one pull up. We just don't have the upper body strength compared to our male counterparts. But with the help of my coach, I'm going to try to defeat that stereotype. 

There's nothing earthshattering here. As much as I'd love to have another mind-blowing goal or dream to chase, going back to "normal" running and workouts feels good. Our goals don't always have to be big, right? They just have to be achievable. And fun. If it isn't fun, it isn't worth doing. That's always the goal.

Dilemma? I don't think so. 

Have you ever had trouble setting goals after accomplishing a dream? Do you always feel that you have to set goals?

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. This week's word is dilemma.








93 comments :

  1. I've had so many friends share the same thing with me – – the post goal race let down – – and also the same sort of went down after a wedding. I eloped :-) I have not had a goal race. I'd say I'm no help :-) but I really would recommend rest. Savoring. Going slow. xoxooxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All good recommendations! Going slow...weeeeeellllllll....

      Delete
  2. I make sure I plan several races throughout the year. I determine some goal races and others for fun. It's the only way to keep post marathon (or other race) blues away...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think having these halfs on the calendar will help!

      Delete
  3. (ahem) (cough cough) Des Moines Marathon. October 16. Come and run the 13.1 with me!!!!! (problem solved)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could--but I have an all day conference on the 15th. Don't you hate responsibilities?

      Delete
  4. Oh I LOVE your strength goals! Unassisted handstands and pull-ups have always been my goal too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be interesting! I'll be documenting my progress. Stay tuned.

      Delete
  5. I'm kind of going through the same thing right now. I just unexpectedly got to run my dream race and am a little lost now. I had always dreamed of running at Disney World and Disneyland and now that I've done it I need to find a new dream goal to work towards. I'm sure you will figure out a new "dream race" soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be Boston but what a tough road to get there!

      Delete
  6. I selfishly want you to do RnR Chicago so I can meet you in person :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All signs point to yes! Just pray that my PF calms the hell down. And stays down.

      Delete
  7. I felt the same sort of way after my goal tri race last year. I need to have something to train for on my schedule. RnR Chicago would be fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so! A lot of blogger peeps will be there and that makes a race so much more fun.

      Delete
  8. Those look like fun races! and Fantastic fitness goals!! I have *unassisted* pull ups in my new years resolutions for this year too.

    Is your goal to do all three races or just some?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I plan on doing all 3! As long as my PF stays quiet.

      Delete
  9. Sounds like you have some great goals lined up! I think it is important to find new goals, to keep pushing oneself, and to believe that you can be stronger.
    Looks like a great race schedule! Someday when my kids get older I will do some destination races!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that's the whole thing--now that the boys are older, I can travel! It's really fun.

      Delete
  10. No I definitely don't always feel like I have to set goals. I can only set goals if I really truly have something to achieve and want to put the work into it! I think it is definitely okay to run goal-less for months at a time. I mean, running is just FUN, right???

    I think you could totally do pull ups! You are really strong and lift all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing how I'm strong at some things but not at others. I'm looking forward to working on some of these non-running goals.

      Delete
  11. It's hard to know what to do when you hit those big goals!! Love your fitness related goals-- I'd love to be able to do a handstand one day. I know you can-- you are already so strong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Handstands are a lot of core, which is definitely my weak area. I'm afraid of what my coach will make me do...

      Delete
  12. I tend toward a feeling of relief when my big race is over, I think because I had a bad ankle injury that stopped me about six weeks from my goal race back in 2011 (Austin half marathon), and it took me a year to get that sorted out and me back to running - so just the fact that I managed to make my goal race is victory for me, still...plus after that point, I'm ready for a break with longer runs. At that point, I'm ready for some silly fun shorter running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how I felt lining up at Big Sur--just getting there was a victory and finishing was beyond my expectations! But I like to have something to train for. This is going to be fun!

      Delete
  13. Good question. I just sign up for more races. It looks like you have some big fitness goals. Looking forward to meeting you in the flesh. That will be a fun race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, these are all going to be fun goals! And there's spectating at the Chicago Marathon, my Venus de Miles bike ride, a local 10k on July 4...

      Delete
  14. It definitely sounds like you've got some fun races to look forward to! I really would have loved to do Chicago but I have a family reunion in Atlanta that weekend. All of your goals sound great and I need to work on those strength goals too! I'm sure you'll be knocking those out and making us all jealous very soon! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have loved for you to do Chicago! One of these days, my friend....

      Delete
  15. I cannot climb rope. I can't do it. I have tried many a time. And so I just avoid such situations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, but that would just make me want to do it more! Tell me no or tell me I can't and I'll show you that I will!

      Delete
  16. Yes, I had major blues after hitting my goals last year right in a row: 2015 miles, first marathon, second marathon 5 weeks later. I didn't know what to do but had already registered for races way in advance that were two weeks after the last marathon, I just kept running. Great strength goals--wish I could do a pull up and handstand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are some awesome goals! It's so hard to keep setting the bar higher. I'm looking forward to kicking back and enjoying the rest of the year.

      Delete
  17. I had to revamp my goals. I went from running for time, to now, running for enjoyment and focusing on strength. I think it's good to balance running goals with other fitness goals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty sure I'll always want to run for time! But that's fun for me. I'm looking forward to chasing some of my other fitness goals, tho!

      Delete
  18. I always feel a bit lost after an A race, and like to have another goal on the horizon (but also make sure to give myself a few "goal free" months in the winter where I can just have fun and enjoy variety when it comes to fitness). As for Boston - could you do a charity spot? That way you wouldn't have to qualify. It is a BIG fundraising minimum though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could never fathom raising that kind of $$$. So I'll put it on the back burner and think about it next year. No rush and my BQ time just keeps getting easier as I get older!

      Delete
  19. These are great goals! I also want to be able to do a pull-up - they're so damn hard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, hold up--I'm surprised that you can't do one! Well, let's make that our goal!

      Delete
  20. Can you see that I'm raising my hand here??? I'm feeling lost even without completing a major race. Still, I need to make some type of decision as to what is next at least for a few months.
    I too think I'm leaning to something in the strength department. I can't wait to see you reach your goals, they are not small at all! It's not easy to do any of them. But I'd love to say no love to be able to do just one unassisted pull up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't forget we've got PCB in December! THAT is going to be another highlight for me!

      Delete
  21. I feel the same way. I've done all the big races I've wanted to do (I didn't get the time I wanted, but I did them). I don't want to do other races just because I'm looking for something else, so I think I'll just putz around with some local races for a while. -M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you get it! One big race left on my list. Maybe I'll get there, maybe not. It's nice to focus on other things.

      Delete
  22. I've been feeling the exact same way after finishing my goal marathon last week. And handstands are on my list to achieve too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to seeing you do it!

      Delete
  23. I've only done 2 marathons in six months once and it was too much for me, too. One marathon a year is really all I want to train for - I like pressure free Saturday mornings too much. I love having a goal to train for, but really need down time as well. I don't want running to feel like a job, I want to keep loving it for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really nice to be done with marathons for the year. I'm so happy to be "just" running halfs and having fun!

      Delete
  24. I'm going to be the dark horse (again) and tell you I don't pressure myself to set goals. All in good time. I think you are wise to change it up and go for some strength-related stuff. Yay for RnRCHI!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it a date? I needed to do a race with you!

      Delete
  25. I always like having something on my calendar. It doesn't necessarily have to be a big time goal or distance, but I always have races. By the end of May I will have done 3 half marathons this spring, but I have a half in November and one in December, so I know those will be coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the half, and yes, I like to do 3-4 of them/year. What will you do over the summer?

      Delete
  26. I can not imagine running a half in July in Chicago....yes, I guess you would have to look at it as heat training and have no time / performance expectations... I've been thinking about doing a half between now and my NYC full in November, but I don't want to do one during the hottest time of the year.... Good luck with the handstand goal... It is sort of maybe a goal of mine... I can't really even do it against the wall yet.. (forearm stand against the wall is the best I got)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done races in July before--if nothing else, I'll have fun with my friends, right?

      Delete
  27. After a goal marathon I get really stoked to race shorter distances, because like you, I love to run fast! I'm probably going to run RnR Chicago this year, depending on my schedule! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that will be great to see you! Of course, you'll be done and showered before I even approach the finish line. I need to work on heat tolerance!

      Delete
  28. I feel like I have been in a state of limbo for the past 6 months since my last marathon. I haven't had enough of a desire to sign up for another full marathon yet, and in the meantime I can't figure out what else to do. You just finished such a big race that it will definitely take time for you to figure things out! But your plans for now sound great. I know everything will fall into place as time goes on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the rest of the year, I'm pretty content to just run for fun!

      Delete
  29. I have no doubt that you can do that unassisted handstand. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I had this same dilemma when I completed my first two half marathons. I had nothing lined up, and I was really not into running because I had completed my goal. I needed a new goal to get me back into it. I think sometimes you do just need to run for fun! Good luck on your handstand! I'm sure you will be able to master it quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I understand being tired after running two marathons in 6 months. If I did not have the goal of running all the majors before I turn 65, I would be backing off to half marathons too. Your strength goal is also mine, although not as specific with handstands etc. I do enjoy working with a trainer and will get back to that next week.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I struggle without goals, but am realizing I need to just take things one day at a time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's probably a wise approach. Just when I thought I had things under control, boom! my Matthew broke his leg. Life just keeps throwing us curve balls...

      Delete
  33. I get nervous trying to set too many goals, it seems the past few years as soon as I decide on something I end up hurt...for now, I have to let my big goal go, which was run a marathon before my 50th BD - it isn't going to happen, but that is okay. I still hope one of these days I get it done.
    I have been working on trying to do pull ups for a few years now, it makes me crazy it is so hard. I think you can do it!
    I am looking forward to Dec. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will get it done! My first was when I was 49. Hey, it was a bucket list thing...

      Looking forward to December as well!

      Delete
  34. This is a struggle for me when I want to do ALL the races after my goal race but my wallet is not letting it happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wallet isn't the issue. It's my FEET!

      Delete
  35. These are great goals! I would love to be able to do a headstand/handstand/any serious inversion, but I am afraid of breaking my neck/head. Fear is the worst.

    You've got all these things, though. I know you can do it! And deep down, YOU know you can do it! Now go get it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can do headstand, and no, you won't break your neck. For sure not your head. After all, your neck/head isn't what's holding you up, it's your arms!

      Delete
  36. Standing on my head is a big fear, not sure why but it does! RnR in Chicago sounds good! Hot but good! I have to work o the Panama City race, the timing is terrible! :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to go! Who is going to drink with me?

      Delete
  37. Yay to handstand! and pull ups too!!...DO IT!!!.....and send good tips. I can get up to hand stand with wall no prob. Yet I cant leave the security of the wall. sigh. And pullups with bands help.....but still a struggle. sigh again. Lets do this together!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm like you--I can do handstand with the safety of the wall! So yes! Let's do this together!

      Delete
  38. My daughter has challenged me to do a handstand and pull up. As a gymnast, she can do both unassisted. She has worked hard at both this year.

    The pull up is oe of my fitness goals too. I was hopin for 10 by the end of the year, I may have to adjust that to 5....they are really hard.

    Your summer races sounds fun even though they could be really warm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm hoping for just one pullup! My 16 year old son is a gymnast as well. He's so strong!

      Delete
  39. You hit the nail on the head with "they don't have to be big, they just have to be achievable!" YES to that. Also, may I suggest running the Las Vegas Rock and Roll half? It's purely selfish. I'm running it and would love to meet up!!! If not...maybe the Chicago marathon next year? That is a bucket list for me :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to do RnR LV--I just don't know if we can swing it this year! I know my hubs would love to go on a racecation for this one. You never know, right?

      Delete
  40. YES on Rock N Roll Chicago as I plan on running it too! I also second VITA's suggestion on RnR Las Vegas since I think I'll be there as well. How cool would it be to meet up in VEGAS???

    I'm with you on the pull-up goal. I've actually looked up a few training plans for pull-ups, and it's a lot about back strength in addition to arm strength. I have a friend who recently achieved the goal and it took her two years to do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well for sure Chicago--and you just never know about LV...

      Delete
  41. I'd say I'm definitely goal oriented, even if they're "little" :) I like your idea of strength goals and that's something similar to what I'm working on as I work towards my big goal of a marathon PR.

    RnR Chicago sounds like fun (but hot, lol!). I've heard good things about that race

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's going to be fun! I'll try to challenge myself to combat the heat.

      Delete
  42. Pullups are on my 2016 goal list...let's just say I feel like it is an insurmountable goal. I feel like I am gaining strength at a snails pace. But I won't give up! I have a doorway bar and the band for assistance and make a point to work on it every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pullups are really hard! I'm not giving up either!

      Delete
  43. I think you're taking some well deserved time off, lady! I wish I could do pull-ups... I can barely do a push up! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to changing it up a bit!

      Delete
  44. I definitely like it better when I have goals ahead. Love that you will be focusing on the half! Such a fun distance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is fun, and that's the goal for the rest of the year!

      Delete
  45. After running 2 marathons back to back within 2 months I had that feeling of hanging in the air a bit. At this point I was in Marathon training for over 6 months and I didn't realize until it was over how much I loved sticking with a strict training schedule, day in and day out. It's actually a beautiful thing. After running on my own for a week I truly started missing a training schedule and goal. I guess marathon training teaches you things far beyond the finishing line.It's great you have some races planned for this year though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like having goals, I really need them, but sometimes it's great to just run.

      Delete
  46. I felt the same way after Ragnar Trail Richmond two weekends ago, but with the Chicago Spring Half still ahead I didn't have much time to get down. After Chicago will be a whole different story because I'll only have local little races after that.

    Thanks, Wendy, for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love your strength training goals! Those will definitely benefit your running, whatever you decide. You're in that phase I love. Still basking in post-race glory and trying to nail down what you want to shoot for next. I know you're goal-oriented, and you want to have a goal, but I think you should enjoy this process. At this point in time, the possibilities are essentially endless. Have fun weighing the pros and cons and deciding what you want to do next. Don't let it rob your enjoyment of Big Sur, though!

    Also, sorry to hear North Face doesn't work for your schedule. Bummer.

    ReplyDelete