What’s Next?

Well, I just finished one of the most successful races I have ever run, so what now?  Is there more?  Oh, there is always more to be had even if you think you have done all that you could do to improve.  I’m not sure if I could get any faster (and I’m not sure if I even want to), but a half-marathon in under 2 hours now seems very realistic.  Do I want to run a faster marathon?  Sure.  I guess for a runner it is always about beating your own PR (personal record) for each distance.  You could definitely focus on this type of goal for years.  Everyone has their own idea of “fast” and “slow” and I think that regardless of what you choose to focus on you have to ENJOY it.  I know that I will never be as fast as an elite runner, but that isn’t a goal of mine.  I just want to be faster than myself 🙂  Okay, faster than my husband also works (even if only for a day)!

It is often difficult to focus on speed at the same time you are trying to increase your distance.  It just isn’t realistic to run a marathon at a 5K pace.  Speed training does help you become a more efficient runner at your slower pace though.  Therefore, I would recommend it for anyone who is a runner.  It also makes running more challenging and fun!

I also realized today that another challenge is running while pushing a jogging stroller.  Yep, my pace was significantly slowed due to the extra effort of propelling the stroller forward in a straight line.  It also feels awkward because you can’t really swing your arms to provide that extra momentum.  I’m sure that my running form was not improved with this new addition.  I guess this jogging stroller challenge gives me something else to work on.  There is never a dull moment.

In the long term, I have another goal of helping others train for and finish half-marathons and full marathons.  This means that I will need to shift my focus from my needs to the needs of others.  When I am out there running with my group, I want to help them become better runners.  I think that anyone can learn to love running if they just give it a try.  It does take a few weeks to get into the grove, but the payoff is well worth the effort!  I think the best part of it will be watching my team cross the finish line, especially if they previously thought that they could never finish a half or full marathon.  If I can do it, then anyone can.  Many people don’t know that I was not at all athletic during my childhood.  My mom did force me to run a few races, but I complained the entire time.  In school, I focused on my academics and dreaded P.E.  I did try out for volleyball once, but got DENIED.  Yes, I was the nerd, not the jock.  It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a history of athletics in order to become an athlete.  And yes, when you are out there running at whatever pace you enjoy, you are an athlete!

So, what’s next?  Well, there is still plenty to achieve.  I guess that means that I will always have something to write about.

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