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Post marathon…what’s next?

Now I’ve done three marathons. Two completed, one DNF. (Did not finish) With this last year I  was an assistant coach for the Yellow running group for Houston FIT. I’ve had some good experiences with this adventure. The adventure of running a marathon. I’ve come to realize that it is NOT just about the day in which you run the marathon. It is that cliché that they use…it’s about the journey. It is about getting up early on saturday mornings. It’s about making sure you go to bed early on friday night. it’s about being aware of what you eat. it’s about begin dedicated to sticking to the training program, whether you run solo, with a partner or with a group. It is about sacrifice of your free time. But it is also about getting to know your body, through the pain and the growth. I initially started running to meet people and get in better shape. Well I can say now that I’ve done both. I’m in some of the best shape of my life and I have made lots of friends and good acquaintances. I’ve also enjoyed the responsibility of being someone that new people can come and ask questions.
But, I’m not compelled. I’m not compelled to run a marathon in every state. Not compelled to run the legendary Boston or NYC marathons. Or run one on each continent. I improved SIGNIFICANTLY this year over last which is amazing. I do believe I have more room for even more improvement, maybe not as much, but more than just a 5 minute improvement. So for next year, I’m aiming for a sub 4 hr marathon. At this time, I’m not sure I’ll continue to run marathons after that. Because, I’m questioning do I want marathoning to be part of my identity? Is it what I want to spend my free time doing? Planning my vacations around? I can answer both of those with a solid “no”. I know I won’t stop running or doing things to keep healthy, far from it. I just don’t believe that “marathoner” is MY identity. The reason I want to do “just one more” is because I believe that I am almost at the cusp of a maximum level of physical fitness. I want to go there. I believe that many people reach that cusp and then are forever trying to improve and spend a lot of time chasing that improvement. I KNOW I have the room for another large leap of improvement. I want to do that and then move on to the “next” thing. Whatever that may be I don’t know exactly. It won’t be something more harder physically, like a triathlon or ultra run – no cause thats just more of the same training. I’m looking to find something that is more my identity that I can pour my time into. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where that leads!

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