I Got Those "Post Goal Race What do I do With Myself Now" Blues

By: Brad Deel

For the last several months, my running focus has been on one thing – running sub 3:10 at the Wrightsville Beach Marathon on March 18.  My time was 3:08:31.  Mission accomplished.  The 3:09:59 was critical for me as that beats my Boston qualifying time by more than 20 minutes so I am now eligible to register for the 2013 Boston Marathon on the first day of registration.  I was ecstatic when I finished and that excitement lasted all day.  Of course, reality was rude enough to intrude.

Despite training better for this marathon than for my first marathon in November, 2010, I was at least as sore afterward if not worse.  I could barely walk on Monday.  Tuesday wasn’t much better.  By Thursday I was still sore but I tried to run.  I made it less than 100 yards before a stabbing pain in my left calf became unbearable and I walked back to the car.  Mission failed.  I finally managed a very uncomfortable four mile slog on Tuesday, March 27.  Wednesday and Thursday were slightly better so I am obviously recovering even though recovery is taking longer than I’d like.  Unfortunately, I am now in “what next” mode.

I have a half marathon in which I plan on racing all out on May 5 but the reality is that marathon recovery and the short time between now and then preclude much focused training.  I am planning to run 50 miles on my 50th birthday but that’s in October and I have never been able to focus my running that far into the future.  I’ll be running Boston next year but that’s even farther away and I plan to run that race as something of a “victory lap.”  I'm going to jog it, take lots of pictures, soak in the scene, run a personal worst, and finish with a big ol' grin on my face rather than my normal grimace.

To a large degree, I feel like a Couch to 5K graduate who wonders what to do after he actually manages to run 3.1 miles.  For me, it becomes a question of my training.  Should I focus on base building?  Should I focus on developing the speed that I neglected during marathon training?  Should I just run however the hell I feel like running for a while?  None of these are intractable problems but they do make it easier to skip a run if life interferes a bit or to excuse a low mileage week.

I’ve been through this post goal race let down before and I imagine I’ll experience it again.  The solution, of course, is to be disciplined and get out the door even when I’d rather not.   So, that is precisely what I am getting ready to do.  I’m not exactly sure how I will train over the next few months.  Heck, I’m not exactly sure how far I’m going to run today but I will go run.  I can at least do that.

See ya out there.

Our goal is to help our community
by promoting fitness and
raising millions for charity.

Our Featured Races

Sign up for our Newsletter!