Now That I’m a Marathoner, What’s Next?

Since crossing the Chicago Marathon finish line last Sunday, I’ve been asked some fairly expected questions:

What’s your next goal race?
Was Chicago a one and done, or will you run another marathon?
Will you ever run Chicago again?
Will you run with a charity group again?

Maybe its because I’m delirious from the runner’s high of having run my first marathon, because I’m thinking that someday I will run another marathon.  I’m not sure when that will be, but it definitely won’t be anytime soon.  After spending 18 weeks training for Chicago, the bulk of which was during my summer vacation, I’m realizing that despite running long distances in heat and humidity that training for a fall marathon fits best with my schedule.  It was incredibly challenging to balance school, family, and marathon training once the school year had started.

Just 0.2 miles away from crossing the finish line of my first marathon

Running Chicago was an absolutely incredible experience, which is part of why its taking me so long to put my race recap together.  Despite it being a challenging day for me and not being able to run the race that I had hoped to run, I had such a fun time running Chicago.  I loved the course, the crowd support was nothing short of amazing, and I’m beyond thankful that I had the opportunity to make my marathon experience meaningful by running for a charity.  I will most certainly run the Chicago Marathon again.

Not only will I make it a priority to run Chicago again, but I will also run with a charity group again in the future.  I had nothing but a positive experience running on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and running with a charity group made my first marathon that much more meaningful.

At the RMHC booth at the Chicago Marathon expo

As for what’s next, my focus in the short term will be on continuing to recover from Chicago.  I went for my first post-marathon run last night, and it was obvious from the start of my run that my legs are still tight and tired.  I plan to resume regular exercise this week, but will be putting more time and focus into cross and strength training over the next couple of weeks.  I plan to run once, maybe twice, a week during this break from being “in training.”

Last night’s run with little man was more challenging than I thought it would be, but it felt good to get back out and run again.

I am not currently registered for any other races this year, and if I do run anymore races it’ll be a local 5k or 10k.  My next big races are in February, when I’ll be traveling to Disney World with my friend Kathleen for a girls weekend.  We’ll be running the Princess Half Marathon, as well as the Enchanted 10k the day prior.  The focus of both of these races will be on having fun, and although I’ll train for these races the focus of my training will be on crossing the finish lines safely.

Kathleen and I ready to cross the start line in Chicago

Although I have a long list of possible races for 2018, I haven’t committed to any yet.  My family already has quite a bit on our spring calendar, so it’ll be a matter of finding the right race that fits into that calendar.  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the mental and physical break of being “in training” and am excited about shifting the time and focus that training takes to other things.

QOTD: What race is next on your calendar?

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40 Responses to Now That I’m a Marathoner, What’s Next?

  1. I’m so happy for you that you’ve completed your first marathon and it was such a positive experience for you!
    I have registered for one race so far in 2018!

  2. Karen :0) says:

    Taking a break is completely reasonable, especially after all the training and race preparation you went through! Congrats again!

  3. Great idea to take a break and let yourself recover a bit. HOpe to see you at a local race soon

  4. AJ says:

    Glad you had such a positive experience. Definitely a good idea to take a mini break so the next will be positive too:)

  5. Lesley says:

    Enjoy your break! I take time off after each goal race to have a break from training. It’s nice to take things slow, especially on the weekends, and not stress about skipping a run.

  6. C. P. says:

    Congratulations on this achievement. I can’t imagine that feeling crossing that finish line of your first marathon. Is amazing realizing that you are capable of doing that a more. Good Job! My next event is in 3 weeks… is a 5k to honor veterans!

  7. I think it’s really smart of you to take some time away from intense training. I know I always need it after the marathon! Giving yourself plenty of time to rest and recover will make getting back into it so much more rewarding.

  8. The “in training” mode is a tough one for me. I respect the need for a timeline to prepare for a race (especially if it’s a new or challenging distance), but I also feel trapped when all of the “workouts” are decided for me. Maybe that’s why I do most of my training on my own…so I have one (and only one) person to give credit to (or blame LOL) for my performance. 😉 It’s always refreshing to have the big race done, and I eagerly welcome back the flexibility with my schedule.

  9. Angela says:

    I didn’t plan on taking a break after my marathon I signed up for lots of smaller races while still high on the marathon buzz but ended up not running much at all. Take your well deserved rest, you ran a MARATHON!!

  10. Rachel says:

    So happy for you! I’m so glad you had a wonderful first marathon. xxoo

  11. So great that you had such a good experience for your first marathon! Enjoy your downtime – you deserve it!!

  12. Wendy says:

    I’ve run Chicago 3 times and that’s because it is a great marathon. I hope to do it again next year–I know I need to decide soon. I’m glad you loved it too!

  13. Gabriel R Esteban says:

    So true me also. It was an amazing experience for me and I feel truly blessed to be part of a great group / family of runners.

  14. Coco says:

    I’m so glad you had a great experience. I’m seeing so many people running already, but I’ve also heard taking 2 full weeks off is good too.

  15. kookyrunner says:

    Congrats again! Chicago is such a great city and they did a great job with the marathon. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again, only because I want to run in different states/races, but liek you, I would totally recommend it to anyone!

  16. agsignor says:

    Congrats on the Chicago Marathon. That is really something to be so proud of. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

  17. Chaitali says:

    That makes a lot of sense to take a bit of a break from hard core training. Princess sounds like it will be a fun weekend 🙂

  18. Congrats on Chicago and definitely savor a much needed break, Marathon training is rough and takes up a lot of time.

  19. Congratulations, I’m so excited for you! I know a lot of experienced marathon runners had to change their strategies, so know you are not alone!

  20. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    Congrats again on becoming a marathon finisher! Since finishing my goal half last weekend in Brooklyn, I’m in off-season mode too and it’s a little weird but definitely refreshing! Glad to hear that you want to do this again, and I know you’ll have a blast at Disney Princess Weekend next year!

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