What’s Next? Finding new fitness goals after big achievements.

I love the fact that the Seahawks ended their post-Super Bowl locker room speeches with the cheer “1-2-3-What’s next!”

It’s what I’m thinking about on this Thursday morning, three days removed from what I’m sure will go down as the most memorable race in my life.

Keep calm and…take it easy.

With still-tired legs, there isn’t going to be a whole lot of working out going on today. But there will be stretching and walking. I’m away from home and my regular gym setup for a few more days, so I’ll make it work with the tools I have available to me.  Running shoes turn into walking shoes. Clean laundry (finally, after 10 days of living out of a suitcase) means workout clothing is there at the ready. And the physical recovery process from any big effort can be a long process. I’m nursing a bit of soreness in both knees and my left calf muscles too…so it’s “take it easy and let your body recover” week at Every48.

Numbers work, except when they don’t.

Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned in the entire time I’ve been taking care of myself well – five and a half years, and counting – is this one: Listen to your body. When I was first starting to look very critically at nutrition and at the things I was putting into my body for fuel, I had to be very careful not to fall into the trap of answering every craving for a heavily processed food. Those products are engineered to get us addicted to them. (Read the excellent book Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss for more on that subject.)

But when my body craves oatmeal and fresh fruit, I’m thinking I can trust that craving. When my body craves an extra bit of sleep after a hard workout, I’m good with that. And when, even as the author of a blog that recommends no less than an hour of intense exercise every 48 hours of our lives, I’m still really sore from having run 26.2 miles in the surprising heat of an early-spring day in Boston – I’m okay with not forcing myself to get in an hour-long workout today. I’m not ready yet. I’m still really tired.

So I’ll look for new goals.

New goals for the remainder of 2014…hmmm, there’s some great stuff out there. I keep promising myself that this will be the year I finally do a triathlon – I like the cross-training aspect of swimming and cycling, and the challenge of training for three events. And even though I previously told myself I’d only do one marathon in 2014, Boston got me thinking…if I just put in a little more focused training, I’d love to give the qualifying standards another shot. I felt really good out there until the heat started to take a toll in the late miles. All options are on the table. We’ll see.

And once I’ve decided on those goals, I’ll set up a calendar and a training plan to get me there.

Right now I’m leaning towards looking at the year in thirds: first third (January to mid-April) is devoted to getting ready for the Boston Marathon, the second third (mid-April to probably August or so) is try-a-new-event time, and the last third (August to December) is devoted to training for a second marathon and Boston qualifying attempt.

But don’t quote me on that. I just happen to be thinking that way this morning. There are, literally, miles to go before we figure all of this out.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: That little 30-minute elliptical workout at the hotel gym. Just enough to get moving a bit. Race recovery in progress.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lisa says:

    Just writing to say thanks for your inspirational blog! I linked to it from the seattle times and have read every entry. I feel so many similarities with you! Used to be an “athlete”; am now 40-50 pounds overweight. Started running with a friend in January with the goal of doing the st. Paddy’s day run. We did that (walked a few times on inclines!), and are now consistently running 3 miles. Am learning to praise myself for getting out there, no matter what I do. I almost didn’t get up to workout this morning, but then I remembered what I read on your blog last night and got my fanny moving! Thanks! And, congrats on another Boston marathon! Lisa


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