What's Next?

Now what? This is my current situation. My legs ache. My mind is tired. My memory is fresh. And yet, my heart already forgets. I find myself in this limbo of not knowing what comes next. 2 days post marathon and I’m already antsy for the next goal, the next training cycle, the next, the next, the next. But am I really ready? 5 months of daily dedication to a singular goal is taxing, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Not to mention the toll it takes on my family as I squeeze in runs around busy schedules, throw together quick meals in order to catch a few brief moments of daylight after work, or travel to a training race to take stock. Despite all of this, I already feel that race registration itch.

As I ran the streets of Chicago, struggling at times to find the desire to keep going, but knowing I wasn’t going to stop, I debated if marathon running is even for me. Maybe it’s not my distance. I mean, I really enjoy 13.1. I’ve now successfully completed 2 marathons, setting a 24-minute PR and breaking 4 hours on Sunday. Do I really need to run another marathon? Is qualifying for Boston really a goal I need to have? Is it an even an attainable goal? And then I remembered the words my running coach fed me, “Running a marathon is a huge feat. Qualifying for Boston is reserved for the few who have the guts to keep pushing when it’s hard.”

Yep… I do need to run another marathon. I do need to have the BQ goal. And yes… it’s attainable. I want to be part of the reserved few with the guts to push through the pain. I want to show my kids that giving up on a goal isn’t an option but working harder to achieve one is.

So, here I am. Still basking in the post-marathon high, but starting to wallow in the post-marathon what next. For now, I’ll enjoy the “rest day” notifications from my coach, clean my house, and finally decorate for fall even though it’s still feeling a lot like summer. And I’ll cheer on my run squad buds taking on the MCM in a few weeks, chasing after their own unicorn.

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