Imagine

Slogged through 4 slow, irritable miles today in the chilly, damp air. Did a LOT of walk breaks for some reason and even had to stop to help a lost runner from out of town try and find her way along the Canal Loop. I felt frustrated, too hot (wore an unnecessary rain jacket), and fatigued. When I got back and mapped my time and route, my pace was slightly faster than the last couple of times I ran the same route and was faster than the pace I need to make my 2:30 HM goal. I don’t even pretend to know what gives but I will take what I got.

I am starting to think about life after a half marathon. What will I do with all the new found free time? What can I do to avoid the seemingly inevitable weight gain that most runners experience after a race?

I am thinking that since weight gain is almost inevitable due to increased appetite but fewer calories being burned in the first few weeks after the race would be a perfect time to focus on muscle building. To build muscle, you have to eat. To keep all that food from getting used as fat, your best bet is to build muscle.

So that is becoming my plan at least related to my fitness levels. After the race, I will cut back on my mileage but go way up on weight lifting. My next scheduled race isn’t until June, and that is the Henricus Dauber Dash (check the name! I have to run this!!!) where due to the obstacles, extra strength will help a whole lot.

I confess, the idea of not being in training is a little scary. I have been at this a while now, months actually, I like having a daily and weekly plan laid out for me, and I like the results of the work I have put in. When I wake up on Sunday, March 18th, for the first time since December 3rd, I won’t have a schedule to turn to. The day won’t be specific for something, whether it be rest, speed intervals, a long run, or weight training.

So after the first week after the race, I will definitely continue my “training” but not even close to the levels I am working at right now. In fact, I am most looking forward to extra time with Grace and Byram. I hope to find family-friendly active activities for us to do as a group. Walks at the park, swims at the Y, maybe eventually even bike rides together at the state park once we are all able and equipped for such a thing.

I really want my family to be active together and I have this little fantasy of Grace and I running races together when we are both a little older. How amazing would it be to cross a finish line together with my daughter one day? That thought, that visual image stays in my mind on some of those hard, long runs and helps me keep going.

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