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So, hmm, now what?

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pictured: random non-running related snippets of the last few days, reminders of how I’ve been really busy, you know, not running.

I had heard of it before. That hiatus that settles in after a big run. You train for months, run the event you trained for and then… well, then nothing. You tell yourself you’ll definitely hit the road again as soon as you recover but, really, the recovery excuse gets used for far too long.

In the period since the Big O Trail Run on May 26 and today, I have run a grand total of around about 26km (of which nearly 16km of those were yesterday). Lame, I know. It’s not even that I was in pain (I was only in pain for a couple of days following the run). My legs just didn’t want to run. I ran a shameful 3km a week after that event and, despite not sore, my legs just didn’t feel like moving.

I don’t even really have a good excuse. I’ve been allowing myself as much crap food as I want (although, surprisingly, I haven’t been craving as much bad stuff as I used to) and I’ve been taking time out to do stuff I hadn’t done during training (stuff like sleeping in or taking a nap on a weekend). I’ve also been reading more and spending a lot of energy trying to stay warm. I’ve even taken a ballet class (a good 20 years after the last one), and found a way to relate it to running and, somehow, justify in my head being in that studio rather than out on the road (exercising different muscles, stretching, yadda, yadda, yadda).

What I need is a new challenge. The Wellington Half Marathon is coming up this weekend and I’m ready to fly down to the capital and get blown by the wind gusts as I try to run along a mostly flat course along the waterfront. I haven’t exactly trained for it, unless you count weeks of chocolate intake as training for a half marathon. And once that run is finished this coming sunday, I’m in serious danger of having no goal to work towards.

One thing I know: I want to get back on the trails. The road does very little for me these days and I find myself looking up bush tracks online in my spare time. I need something big and something better, something that will force me to panic and work hard for it. After two months of obsessing over that 35km distance, there’s an emptiness that comes with having no set goal to train for. With the cold days of winter well and truly here to stay, I either find a new challenge soon or I risk taking up hot-chocolate-drinking as my new sport.

This week’s self-imposed homework: get out there and run (no tapering needed when training was non-existent) but, most importantly, pick a new challenge to work towards.

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3 thoughts on “So, hmm, now what?

  1. I’m in this hiatus RIGHT now! A 10km race 2 weeks ago and a 28km cycling/running challenge last weekend, followed by nothing. No desire to run. Still in the carb-load mindset (ie eat what ever I want – whats UP with that after races??). Please tell me how you get out of this!

    • I feel your pain! My carb-load mindset lasts a good two weeks! No bueno! The only solution, for me, was to find a new event online to sign up for. Trail half marathon coming up in August. Nothing overly challenging compared to other stuff before but at least it is something to train for! Good luck! :D

      • Ahh good idea. I am thinking focusing on weekend adventure over the summer here – hiking, cycling and exploring will at least encourage some good outdoor activity for Jesse and I. Trail half marathon sounds good! You’ll nail it :)

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