Where Do We Go From Here?

… now that all of the children have grown up.

Anyone humming some Allan Parsons project right now?  I have to remember how much I keep dating myself with these music references.  I have to remember there are people out there who don’t remember (or never heard of) 8 track players, rotary dial telephones, life without the internet, all those things.  I remember as a kid wondering how my grandparents ever got by without all the technological advances we were so accustomed to.  And now, I’m my grandparents – kids today wonder how we survived.

Which…  has absolutely nothing to do with where I’m going with this post.  But since I digress like that enough I’m not even going to bother apologizing for that because you wouldn’t believe that I was sorry even if I did.  But… that’s the kind of thing that happens when anything happens that makes me think of a good tune.

Which brings me back to that title.  

Last night in class, Andrew (our fearless leader slash professor slash coach) was talking about preparing for these last couple of weeks of training.  He made a really good point – now is the time to start thinking about what to do after the half marathon.  He mentioned talking to someone who’d run with his spring class and how she mentioned that the time after their marathon was a lot like a post partum depression.  It’s this sense that you’ve been building up and building up with all this training and preparation for something, and then it’s here and done and… now what?

I’ve heard that about pro athletes, after winning their championship and suddenly stopping and thinking, is that all there is?

The thing is, that’s really the essence of training, isn’t it?  You are training FOR something.  You are putting all this effort into preparing to do something and that becomes a big part of your life, and then this something then arrives and then is over with and…  *blink*  *blink*   now what?

I know that happened to me with my first 5K.  I trained amazingly well for it.  And then it was done.  And I went out to run a couple three times more after that.  And then…  zip.  There was a sort of lost feeling, you know?  And so it does make sense to know now what I want to do when it’s all done, because I wonder if I would do the same thing again after this?  

So there are a couple of options that come to mind.

One, there is a fall class already started.  They are training for a full marathon, the Rock and Roll in Phoenix.  I could do training runs with them on Saturdays and work on stepping up to the next level.  I will admit that on some levels I wonder if I want to make the time commitment for that.  At the same time, I’m intrigued.  

The other option is to reverse course a little.  Because of how terribly out of shape I was, so far all of my running endeavors have been very very slow jogs.  I remember when I first started running again, just a very slow jog for several steps was enough to get me winded.  While that all comes much easier and now I’m up to several miles at a time, it has always remained this very slow jog because that is what I can sustain for long periods of time.  Alright, let’s be honest here, a very slow jog at one point was also, in my world, practically a sprint.  

There are wonderful things when you start getting more fit.  I can stand up now without having to push so hard on the arms of the chair I risk collapsing the chair.  I can bend over much more easily.  And when I’m out for a run and there’s a point where I need to actually RUN (crossing a street), I can do it and not be doubled over gasping afterwards.  Yes, even a full out run for me is still slow, but it’s gotten to where I can sustain it for more than just a few seconds.  So I’m wondering…  maybe I move back into a 5k training?  I’m thinking of starting from the beginning with a C25K type training, but this time it’s 60 seconds of doing an actual run instead of a jog, then slowing to a jog or walk for the 90 second period, and ramping that up.  So in some respects it would be starting over but more of a run and less of a jog.  So that’s a thought.  

So it boils down to either keep increasing my distance by joining the training group for a full marathon, or back up a step, pick up my speed that way for one of those end of year holiday 5k’s, and then I can take that from there to then ramp up to a longer spring time or summer run.  

Seems like a pretty simple choice.  But then I can throw in doing something like mixing in more bike riding…  oooooohhhhh…  a run bike run kinda triathlon!  Or maybe join cross fit.  Or maybe find a dozen other options and really make this ridiculous. 

What would you do in my shoes? (other than probably quickly lose my shoes because I’m not sure my size 14 running shoes would fit you so well)

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About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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4 Responses to Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. Denny says:

    Do what makes you happy! The hell with what we think you should do, do what you want to do! Once you finish your race, you’ll no longer “have” to run, so bike or run or cross fit or whatever else will bring you the most enjoyment. And you’re totally right, committing to running a full takes a huge time commitment, so if you’re not sure you want to make that commitment don’t! Maybe work on your speed a little, so if you decide to do a full in the future, the time commitment will be somewhat lessened because you’ll be able to knock to some mileage more quickly than you can right now.

    But again, do what makes you happy and all the rest will fall into place!

    • Thank you for the feedback. I’m not as concerned about finding the “right” thing to do, but I want to come out of this with a definite idea of what I want to accomplish next, just to keep up momentum. Right now I’m leaning towards working on speed and maybe seeing if any of my kids want to train with me on that for a winter run, and then taking it from there.

      What you said about speed makes sense. I know the fire’s lit now as far as thinking about doing a full marathon, and I gotta think 4-5 hours at a better pace has to be less of a pounding than 6+ where I am now.

  2. I think you have a great blog, so I’ve nominated you for a Shine On Award! http://wp.me/p3uexB-ee

  3. Thank you. I am really honored by that. Sometime soon I’ll get a good look at all that and post up everything. Thank you again.

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