There is a phenomenon that happens to many brides, immediately following their wedding. They have put so much effort into planning out all of the minute details of their big day...they have given so much of their active, waking (and often sleeping) thoughts to making sure that everything goes off without a hitch, that they wake up the morning after and feel somehow...empty. Deflated. Depressed even.
With the big day come and gone, there is now this big chunk of their time and mental focus that frankly, they are unsure what to do with.
I realized, about 2 months before the race, that I was at risk for succumbing to that same phenomenon. Planning for the marathon had been so all consuming that I was almost as nervous about the day after the race as I was about the race itself. When I woke up on Monday, what was I going to do? I wouldn't have a run scheduled...there would be nothing to hold me accountable. What was going to motivate me to keep going, especially given that it would be colder by then, sometimes even frigidly so, in the mornings? Without a race to plan for, without a goal to work towards, what exactly was going to entice me to roll my happy ass out of my nice warm bed, at 5AM going forward? I am only just so disciplined.
I started at that point, to look tentatively around for other races, in the months following the marathon, for me to set my sights on running.
I also decided, then and there, that I needed to set myself some new goals. Sure, I could decide upon some time goal for a future race, but until I had at least finished one marathon, that seemed a bit premature. Instead, I felt the hazy outline of two, new long range goals materializing in the back of my brain.
One - to complete a triathlon within 18 months of the marathon.
Two - to run a Boston Qualifying time by my 40th birthday. (For those playing along, that gives me roughly 3 years, to shave about 45 minutes off my first official finish time. Yeesh.)
About a month before the race, I first said these out loud, so that someone else knew about them...and you know how that goes. Once you have stated a goal out loud, you are committed to it.
No? Just me? Interesting.
So I started eyeballing other full and half marathons. And realized that there are ALOT of really cool races out there. Enough cool ones that I started a list, of races that I someday want to run...they include the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The Disney Marathon (both at Disney World and Disneyland). The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. The Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon, and a whole host of others. In fact, if I really put my mind to it, I'm fairly certain that I can find a race in just about any state that I am interested in tackling...
Now I just need to pick one for early 2013, so that I can get back to training in earnest, no excuses, no exceptions. And this time? I'm dragging my husband with me.