And I am well.
I know that I've been pretty quiet. I have been collecting my thoughts and emotions on Wisconsin and trying to pull a common thread together for a post (or, in typical Able fashion, three or four posts!).
I've found it to be hard to find the right thread to pull...there are so many different pieces and parcels of the experience. Focusing on one seems to paint only a partial picture. And maybe that's the key for now, to be content with an unfinished painting. Allow for more growth. Leave space for more life. But it's a challenge to not want to gather lonely tendrils of thought and make some sense of conclusion from the pattern.
But I've missed talking with everyone in the mean time, so I'm back to report. Not on my Ironman story, but on my post-Ironman story.
Because that's how it goes, yes? We all move forward and onward. And I am moving forward like usual -- with brash resolve and eyes full of hopeful ambition.
We wouldn't have it any other way, would we?
So, The Plan.
First, The Plan was going to have an iron distance jammed right into two weekends after Wisconsin. No, seriously. I was being tempted by an elf and still had images of glory on my brain. But finances would not allow. And my reasons were a tad tweaked. I wanted to redeem myself with a distance -- to just get through -- rather than put together a good race. Coming off of a couple weeks of taper, practically a week in the car, and nearly three weeks since my last solid run, another iron distance would have likely resulted in injury. Or disappointment. And I have no room for either right now. Emotional plate is full, thankyouverymuch.
The next thought was another triathlon -- maybe a half? There was one I could do locally that was flat and fast and tempting. Definitely a PR in the making after the West Virginia hills. And definitely a chance to have fun in a wetsuit and on the bike to close the season. But I had something else that was catching my attention and this weekend sealed it for me.
But what IS your next goal?
To that, I say Yo.
Bring on the Philadelphia Marathon, baby!! This has been on my schedule for the whole year, but this weekend I was out on the course for the Ovarian Cancer walk and was reminded how much I love Philly and love running there. And now I can finally focus on putting together a solid basis for an injury free marathon in the city of brotherly love this year. Last year mile 16 cracked me like the proverbial walnut, specifically at my left knee. But not this year.
This year I have a solid year of fitness under my belt. I have a ton of wisdom I've soaked up from other bloggers and hundreds of dollars worth of magazines, carefully paged through on Sunday nights. This year I know about how to execute hill repeats (form not speed) and how to spin up your strides (be the Kenyan). This year I will not miss a single long run and I will make sure to focus on quality rather than quantity. This year I will actually use the pacing charts when going out for a session, rather than relying on my old speeds of "slow" and "stopped." This year the Garmin will be my BFF, as well as stretching and (gasp) core work three times a week.
THIS YEAR...I have a lot more understanding of the training that goes behind training for a marathon.
And this year I have a partner in crime, so long as we can keep his knees together in one piece! And there's always the motivation that my favorite nugget -- Mighty M's niece and Adam's first born -- will be out there spectating. I'm seeing visions of pom poms and toothy grins. Put that and a Fall full of great local running events and the slow and beautiful creep towards changing leaves and crisp long runs ... well, it's a no brainer.
I'm running the Philly Marathon.