It’s time to answer the question: “What next?” In the running department, that is. The past two years our plan has worked well. Having target races has been key. The running year just finished we scheduled a family-gathering half marathon during Ottawa Race Week in May and the Chicago Marathon in October, and then filled in with a few local races for extra practice and fun. We dealt with whatever injury setbacks we encountered along the way and ended up completing our goals. What made us happy? Not breaking any world records, that’s for sure. We came away happy because we could do it, and we did it.
So what next? At one time, I thought I had the answer to that question all worked out. We were going to get our names drawn for the London Marathon in April 2013, after which my brother and husband would be convinced to go for it – just one more time. I so wanted to run through London, ending up running on the Pall Mall towards Buckingham Palace. Once we had our London marathon places confirmed, everything else would fall in place. However, sadly, none of our names were drawn in the London lottery for international runners. Not one. Plus, the only tour company in North America that provides race places and accommodation for London fills up with serious runners before the rest of us have a chance. I seem to have run out of options for this particular dream.
It’s probably for the best. My hamstring injury – or whatever it is – refuses to get better after several weeks of purposefully not running since returning from Chicago. This is frustrating, but also puts lie to my previous statement that “we” had dealt with various injuries. The reality is that my husband had dealt with his and that I had simply run through mine. As we all know, that catches up with us eventually. So a marathon in April would probably have been a bit of a stretch (although I’d still rather be taking that on). Instead I will go see a physio, do what I need to do to get back out there on the trails, and be ready for a family-gathering in Toronto in May, for Toronto’s Sporting Life 10K. Yes, a 10K. And, from what we’re told, a downhill 10K – hard to complain about that.
So, for 2013, I’m changing up my running goals to allow my body to heal and then start off with a spring target race that will have us running with, hopefully, my brother, both sons, both daughters-in-law, and maybe even a niece or nephew. Plus, of course, an additional 20,000 participants or so.
Now what we need is a fall target race. We’re thinking of an overseas half marathon. What have we found so far? Did you know that there’s a marathon and accompanying 15 km race in Istanbul that runs in both Europe and Asia? And, aside from the truly big European marathons (London, Paris, Berlin, Rome), there are marathons and half marathons all over Europe, including Vienna, Budapest, Sarajevo, and a brand new Rock ‘n Roll entry in Lisbon. Actually, pretty well every city you can think of has some kind of race at some time during the year. Does anyone have a favourite overseas fall race that you can recommend to us? We like races that are welcoming to slow recreational runners, and especially like them in places that are new to us.
As soon as we have committed to a fall half marathon our updated set of goals will be complete:
- Make sure we attend to any injuries. [Note to self: that includes taking the time needed to complete the process.]
- Embrace the opportunity to run outdoors whenever possible in the winter, preparing for the Toronto Sporting Life 10K in May.
- Continue the running habit after May, enjoying our trails along the beautiful St. John and Nashwaak Rivers, preparing for a destination half marathon in the fall.
- Enjoy other regional runs as part of training.
- Remember to be enjoy and be thankful for every day that we can run on our beautiful trails. When the time comes that we can’t, we want to know that we took advantage of the opportunity for as long as we could. I just hope that time hasn’t come yet!
Happy running, everyone. And be mindful of injuries. 😉