I am now in a position that I wasn't in last year, nor did I think I would ever be in. I am sitting down with a calendar figuring out which events I plan on participating in next year. By events I mean runs and rides. If you didn't know, there are runs, rides, and duathlons (not to mention triathlons, but I haven't entered that arena YET) everywhere, almost every single weekend outside of winter. At times I just shake my head and wonder what happened inside my cranium to give me this drive to be physically fit.
I remember the one day that I decided to lose weight - I think it was six or seven years ago. I had just gotten out of the shower and saw my fat, out of shape self in the mirror and decided for whatever reason right then and there that I needed to get it together. It wasn't any one traumatic event or thing that set me off, but from that day I was obsessed with eating right and exercising. Pretty weird. 50 pounds ago and several years later, I am bordering on being an elite amateur athlete. Not many people can hang with the fitness schedule I put in. Not bragging, just sayin'.
It has been about a month since my last half marathon and my body is getting happy. I am still going to wait another month before I begin serious training again. Right now I am still doing my strength circuits (oh BOY do my abs hurt today), Muay Thai, fighter training, and light cardio workouts. Funny that my light cardio stuff is now five mile runs and 40 mile bike rides, or 45-60 minutes on the bike mounted on the trainer. How far I have come.
I have limited myself to only one cardio workout per week and that has helped me out too as far as getting myself back together. I will jack that back up to two or three when training in earnest begins again. In this interim of lowering my cardio, I have put on about five pounds, all muscle which is interesting. The massive amounts of running and riding appear to not allow me to add muscle mass from my strength training. It is amazing how in tune you get with your body when you workout a lot. You just notice things that you never would think about before.
I still am not sure if I am going to do another half marathon next year. It is also apparent that I scheduled WAY too many events for myself this year. On top of my MT, strength circuits and fighter training, I did the following events (and worse yet all of the training that goes along with them): a 5 mile run, a 10k, a 20k (practically a half marathon), two half marathons, a duathlon, a century ride on massive hills equivalent to 11k feet of rise, a 75 mile race/ride, and I am sure I missed a few. After the Chicago Half Marathon my body was absolutely destroyed and still is to an extent. I just did too many runs and rides over the summer, on top of all of the other training I did.
I might also volunteer at some of the local events, sort of as a thank you to the event people for doing a good thing. This is equivalent to one of the reasons I blog - to give back to the intertubes a little.
So what to do, what to do. Carl has tossed out the idea of a "destination" 10k or quarter marathon which would be great in the dead of winter. I really wouldn't need to jack up my training any for those distances although my times wouldn't be top notch (for me) if I didn't. But you know what, that is OK with me now. I really have enjoyed my lighter cardio workouts of late. It is fun and relaxing for me to go on a slow jog or ride. I have plenty of time to beat my personal best times. I don't have to go balls to the wall every time I get out there (although it is a new concept for me).
I think no more than one half marathon next year, if any at all and one long ride, probably a century on hills. Those events and the training leading up to them are very taxing. And also it is certain that I will never do a century ride on massive hills one Sunday, followed up by a half marathon the following Sunday. That was a huge mistake. I have to spread out the major events to give my body time to recover.
I know you are probably bored to tears by this post, but I am sorry - I use this blog as a journal and it is very helpful to me to go back in time to see where I have gone and where I might need to go.