Friday, November 30, 2012

I ran a marathon! Now what?

A week and a half ago, I ran my first marathon.  I still almost can't believe it and have probably had a huge smile plastered to my face since just before crossing the finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon.


I usually get the post-race blues after my goal race, and while I haven't had the blues, I've been trying to figure out what to do next.  While I said I wasn't going to run a Spring marathon (don't let me!) I've been so tempted by the idea of racing another. Until the last few miles of Philly, I felt like I was running pretty conservatively and now wonder what else I'm capable of. However, if I were to sign up for a Spring 2013 marathon, that would basically be two years of constant marathon training for me. I'm going to run a Fall 2013 Marathon (Chicago? NYC? Wineglass? Something else?) and then Boston Spring 2014 (as long as it doesn't fill up before I'm allowed to register!), so this is my only chance to take some time "off".  I plan to focus on speed and maintaining/improving my current fitness level so that I'm ready to start training again in the summer.

Since the marathon, I've debated the idea of getting a running coach.  Here are my thoughts:

For getting a coach:
- All the cool kids are doing it
- All the cool kids are running awesome races with the help of their coaches.
- My times would probably (hopefully) drop faster than without a coach
- I love following a plan. Probably especially when it has been made just for me.

For not getting a coach:
- I have been getting faster on my own, and know I still have more to give. Part of me wants to see how much I can do on my own.
- Adding more speedwork/days per week/miles per week on my own will make me faster
- I don't know exactly who I'd want to coach me
- Costs money, that I don't really have (least of my concerns, but still a factor)

I have a friend from grade school that qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon (but didn't run because she was pregnant) after her first marathon. I asked her to coach me, but she unfortunately said she doesn't have any experience coaching.  However, she did give me some advice and things to try out, so I think I'll stick to those for now and see what happens.  Maybe I'll reassess the coach situation again next year.

My next "big" race is the NYC Half Marathon in March. I think I tend to run better when I put my goals out there (I have something to live up to!) so my goal for this race is 1:35-1:40. My half marathon PR is 1:43:23 from the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May and know I'm definitely capable of setting a new PR, I'm just not sure by how much!

I'm also in the lottery for the NWM Half Marathon in DC in April, am planning on entering the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and am thinking of running the NJ Half Marathon, depending on what happens with the lottery races.  Those races should keep me busy, and hopefully also keep me from signing up for a Spring marathon! :)

For now, I'm still taking it easy and keeping my mileage low until I'm totally recovered from the marathon, but I can't wait to get my mileage back up and run fast again!

What races do you have coming up? Are you running a Spring marathon? What are your thoughts on running coaches?


  1. I am in NWMDC also! I am leaning towards Cleveland this spring an Chicago this fall. I live near Wineglass and will do the 1/2. I love Cherry Blossom 10 miler! It is my most favorite race ever! Great job in Philly!

  2. I put my name in for Nike 1/2 in DC too! Maybe we'll have a few of the Oiselle ladies there! I'm going to focus on 1/2's instead of fulls for 2013. I did 2 marathons this year, and I want to back off a bit and get faster.
    I've been toying with the idea of a running coach as well. I'm not sure if I want to spend the money though.

  3. CHI-CA-GO! CHI-CA-GO! :)

    And so excited for NJ and Cherry Blossom 10 miler!

  4. Well done on your first marathon - what a great time! That is amazing for a first marathon! Good luck with the decision making and with your next half. I'm sure you'll PR just fine! :)

  5. Congratulations on your first marathon! I've been debating getting a coach too, in the hopes that it would force me to stick with a training schedule. So far I haven't decided though.

  6. Congratulations on a great marathon and a BQ - wow! I don't know what my spring plans are yet, but I'm thinking I will stick with a half. Though if I do sign up for a marathon I think it will be Grandma's. (I haven't really admitted this anywhere yet...)

    I've never really thought about a coach because I just know I'm not able to put the time in to running right now to make it worth it. I do have a fellow blogger I follow who recently got a coach, and she seems to love it.

    Before that she was online coached, and I think she had a good experience with that too. Good luck with your race decisions!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! And also thanks for the info about the coach- will look into that! Good luck if you run Grandma's! :)