Ever since the Culloden 10k at the end of October, I've been pondering my running plans for the rest of this year and next. Part of that pondering has involved taking a clear-eyed look at what has and hasn't gone well in previous bouts of training and I've come to the conclusion that even though I WILL run another marathon at some point in the future, I'm not going to be running the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2014.
London was the third marathon that I trained for. The previous two attempts saw me crash and burn with calf tears half-way through training. London was the first marathon that I got to the start line of but, even then, I was running with an injury. Looking back, my pattern has been train for a marathon, get injured, recover, start training for another marathon, get injured, recover, etc. There were some 10k races interspersed in that pattern but really, most of my time in the last five years has been spent either training for a marathon or recovering from that training. Why why why am I even considering the possibility of starting that cycle all over again???
I want this next year to be a year of learning from past mistakes. I want to get stronger, to address muscle imbalances, and to keep working on my form. I want to have at least a year of running injury-free at distances that my body can handle before I try to train for a marathon again because, the next time that I do one, I want to feel that I've done it to the best of my ability. Even more importantly, I want this next year to be a year of fun running and, at the moment, having six months of my running year taken up with training for just one race does not feel fun to me.
So, I put together a new plan but didn't want to write about it until I got the official seal of approval from Adam. We had a chat about my new goals today during my massage and he thought that I was being incredibly SENSIBLE and that the new goals are definitely ACHIEVABLE. Here's what I've come up with so far...
1 December 2013: Inverness Santa Run (5k, to be run with Lizzie; mulled wine & mince pies to follow)
23 February 2014: Malta Half-Marathon (a reward for training throughout the winter)
23 June 2014: Reykjavik Midnight Sun Run (half-marathon, hopefully to be run with Cathy & Paul)
12 October 2014: Aviemore Half-Marathon (not as exotic but hey, it's all downhill!)
I'm sure that there will be some 10k races in there too as I continue my search for the elusive sub-60min...and maybe I'll try a trail race to see what that's like...and there are a couple of interesting Scottish 10-mile races over the summer that could fit nicely into HM training...
It makes me happy to look at this schedule. And, for the foreseeable future, that's enough.