So, what’s next?

That is the question indeed… and I think I’ve got the answer, after a couple of days of good thought about it.

1) No running until at least this weekend. I built this into my schedule on purpose; it’s rather convenient that I’m going out of town on Wednesday night and am thus missing two days of work, which means I need to squeeze five days of work into three. That means doubling up on hours in some places, and rearranging in other places, which left me with approximately zero free time that could have been used to run. I’m doing this because I know my body needs the week to recover, even though it’s driving my brain crazy because it’s convinced me that I’m going to lose all of my running ability in seven days if I don’t do something. I know this is not true, but it’s annoying to have to quiet that voice.

2) My marathon training starts on July 9, which means that if I wanted to run another half marathon, I’d pretty much have to start training for it right away after my week of rest. While that sort of sounds like fun – and I know I mentioned in a prior post that I’d been considering finding another half to run this summer – I felt like I missed out on a lot of other activities while training (such as biking, hiking, playing other sports) for fear of overtraining or injuring myself. I want to do some of those things again, and I feel like I might get burned out if I make running my primary focus for another three months and then *another* four months on top of that. So, I’m going to run when the spirit moves me, which will probably be a few times a week, but I’m also going to do other stuff (and continue to lift weights because that’s never not good for y0u!).

2a) Part of my marathon training includes a half-marathon in week 9, which is the middle of September. How tickled pink was I to discover that there’s a half being run that very weekend down in the part of North Carolina where my mom and sisters live? I already emailed my mom: “Guess who’s coming for a visit in September!” I’m so excited for them to be able to come see me without having to travel too far (I’ve got them coming to see me in Richmond for the full, but that involves way more travel for them, so it’s nice for this one to be closer for them). Sometimes, the universe just aligns just so 🙂

3) “Other stuff” also includes yoga, which I’m currently exploring options for – there is a bewildering amount of yoga instruction offered in my town, as I’d alluded to previously, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to Bikram (the “hot” yoga, which, I know I said I didn’t want to do, but I’m willing to try anything once or five times if it’s within reason) or vinyasa. I’ll try both, and see which I like, and incorporate it into my week as needed.

4) MORE COOKING. Sweet Jeebus. I feel like I’ve barely had time to cook in the last few months, save some piecemeal nights here and there. I have to re-calibrate my diet anyway, since I was eating so much more – and so many more carbs – over the last few months. I’m going to start out by swapping some of those carbs gotten from grains and cereals for the ones gotten from veggies, and try out some of the protein drinks that were suggested to me here last month. I anticipate my stomach being pretty pissed at having to eat less, but I figure that with a reduced activity level, it shouldn’t be too bad… right? (I’ve found that green tea helps curb hunger pangs a lot, so I’m definitely going to continue to drink that as necessary.)

The great thing about this is that spring veggies are coming in, and our city market just opened back up, which means I can cook with fresh local stuff, which is always better than the alternative from the grocery store. I made a salad the other day with the spinach I’d bought from the market that had been picked that same morning, and it was astoundingly tasty – and made me never want to go back to bagged spinach ever again. I bought some kale there, too, and made kale chips, which HELLO why didn’t anyone tell me they had crack in them? They were so freaking good. Oh man oh man. Plus, I discovered last night that asparagus might be my new best friend: I burned the ever-loving crap out of it while pan-searing it (note to self: remember which skillets have faster cooking times than others), and it still tasted amazing. So, yes, I have more time for cooking to look forward to, and if these fresh-from-someone’s-garden veggies keep being in abundant supply, I’ve got good cooking to look forward to.

5) Maybe writing about things other than running. I know, I know – anathema! But it would feel nice to write about silly stuff sometimes, too, and I’m sure y’all would like to read about other stuff sometimes, too.

That said, I’m still so totally riding the high from the half-marathon this past Saturday. I’m glowing, inside and out. What a cool thing. 🙂

(Fun fact: I made it onto the results page! Granted, they gave results for the top 50 people in my age group and I was #49, out of only 75, but still – what a thrill it was to actually see my name on a results page. Cloud nine, indeed!)

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