September 8, 2013

After the Marathon: What's Next?

I always tend to look towards the future and think: What's next?

It's a bad habit of mine. I won't even be finished with a task and I'm already thinking ahead. I never seem to live in the moment - always thinking of after, or before. That's why I like yoga so much (more on this later), because it forces you to think in the present moment.

I've been thinking about 5Ks more often, especially after my app told me after my tempo run that I had completed my fastest 5K ever, at 24:21. Granted, they were all downhill... My official PR is 25:08. I'm feeling the itch to be faster.

I go back and forth between wanting to go fast and wanting to build endurance. My obvious goal right now should be to build endurance, as I'm training for a marathon. But my next race after the marathon will be the Turkey Trot 5K, about a month after the marathon. I don't have a specific training plan for it, and I'd be pretty embarrassed if, after all of these training runs in the 8s, I could barely finish a 5K in under 25 minutes. I foresee me taking a sizable break after the marathon, and not exactly training for the 5K, just kind of running it and seeing what happens. I don't exactly expect a sub-24 minute 5K if winging it is my plan.

There are a few things I could do to make sure I keep running and keep up my endurance and speed for the Turkey Trot. I could train specifically for it, keeping in mind that I have to recover from the Nike Women's Marathon before tackling a 5K training plan (that has to be shorter than 6 weeks, I might add). I could train for another (half or full) marathon in the far future (Spring 2014), and make one of the training runs the Turkey Trot run. Or, I could train for a marathon that's not that far in the future at all: The Seattle Marathon.

I have until October 14 to decide about the Amica Seattle Marathon before the price increases. Hal Higdon has a training plan for marathons that are 6 weeks apart, which I would potentially follow. Am I crazy for thinking of doing my first and second marathons only 6 weeks apart from each other? Should I maybe just do the half? Am I biting off more than I can chew?

The main appeal is how well I think I would do at the Turkey Trot 5K. I tried training specifically for the Hot Chocolate 5K, and I finished at 26:06. Not a fail by any means, but still not a PR, which is what I was gunning for. For me, the problem with training for 5Ks is that, unless you pick a rigorous training program, your training runs will never go very far over the 5K distance - 5 or 6 miles is usually the longest.

For me, a 5K becomes so much longer when all of my runs are under 6 miles. When I PR-ed at the Turkey Trot last year, I was training for the Amica Seattle Half Marathon, so I was used to double digit runs. A 5K seemed like a piece of cake, so I sprinted through it like it was nothing, and BOOM! I PR-ed.

The other appeal of training for another race is to keep myself in shape from mid-October through December, where I haven't decided what I want to strive towards, fitness-wise. I can then use the Turkey Trot on Thursday as one of my last small runs before whatever distance, half or full marathon, I end up racing that Sunday.

The only other snag is that I bought a 30 Days of Yoga Groupon from Get Zen Hot Yoga that expires on December 10th, (I've never done yoga for 30 days in a row!), and to be able to use it while I was in town (meaning, before Thanksgiving), I'd have to start by October 28th at the latest. Now, I could totally do yoga and running at the same time... but should I??

Would you ever consider doing two marathons, 6 weeks apart? What about a marathon, and then a half marathon? Ever done yoga every day while training for a race?


  1. I can never decide what I'm training for, either, or even if I'm training for anything at all for that matter. My 5k PR, which is within 2 sec. of yours, actually in the middle of my half marathon training last year. I do think those long runs help doing the shorter races, both mentally and physically. I also think 5k's are really crazy hard to run! Stumbled across your blog today from your comment on it!

    1. 5K's definitely are crazy hard to run, especially popular ones because of the sheer volume of people! Thanks for the comment :)