I like to have something to work towards. I think that is why I like running so much - if I am training for something, I have a goal to keep me on track. Something with a little structure in which my commitment level determines my success.
The closer I get to my marathon, the more I find myself thinking "what comes after?"
And I am drawing a ginormous blank.
This year has been all about "the next race" and "the big race at the end". For the last year and a half, I have been constantly in training for a half marathon. By the time I run my full - I will have 7 half marathons under my belt. But after the franticness of this year - I am starting to think I want to take it easy over the winter. Especially if I am going to be running another full next year. I think I'd like to spend a few months running whatever each Saturday and then enjoying a coffee after. I'd like to find some joy in running just for the sake of running. Call it an Anti-Goal, if you will.
My anti-goal is like the little light at the end of the tunnel.
It feels so weird to be thinking of winter already. It's only the start of August, for cripes sake. But what better time to start planning for the coldest months than when we are sweltering in the hottest months. I am finding myself looking forward to crisp air on my face (not to frosty eyebrows, mind you, but the anti-goal means I won't need to run in extremes if I don't want to). I also find myself drafting up wish lists for my winter birthday and for Christmas where I envision myself opening up a shiny new pair of running snowshoes. It's almost a comfort to be planning for the months after my full like this. To take my mind off of the three gruelling super-long runs I have ahead before I start to taper.
I find myself making lists of running books I want to curl up and read. I daydream about possible goals for next year...but nothing I need to start on immediately. When I plan my workouts for the cold months, it is more about what TV series I'll watch on the bike and how hard I'll focus on strength and core training. I am thinking of the winter as a preparatory ground for the spring instead of a training season.
Maybe this is how normal people think....