With my tri season now over, I'm struggling with what to do. As athletes, we are always looking down the road at what's next. Normally, its a triathlon, and bike ride, or a road race. Lots of people already have their 2010 schedules filled out due to key races filling up. Signing up for any one of those key races will motivate us to continue to pursue our athletic endeavors, whatever they may be. But suddenly, with the lack of a "goal" race, we (or more specifically, I) tend to fall apart from a training perspective. That isn't to say that I'm not working out currently - in fact, my running volume is very solid these days - higher than it was during my half ironman training, now that I can spend more time running when I want to. Its just that working toward a goal helps to determine "The Plan". And without "The Plan", training becomes less consistent and more casual (not that there is anything wrong with that!). I haven't hit that wall yet, where training without a plan becomes stale, but I'm sure it will happen. For now though, I am relishing the joys of running when, how fast, and how far I feel like running. Simply put - when I get the urge to run, I think about what kind of run to do, throw my shoes on, and go. Now that's my kind of training!
But let me back up for a second. I am a planner. More specifically, I like to have a known plan, not an open, go as you will approach to things. Myers-Briggs said so, so you know I'm not making this up. I like to know what's next and have a plan of attack. I'm sure most of you do too. For me, it's always been a challenge to just go with the flow. Typically, I am either training for something , or preparing to train for something. It's been a while since there has been NOTHING in my outlook.
So naturally, after finishing my latest race, I am faced with the question of "What's next?". The reality is that I do have one more race - a local 10k race that I ran 2 years ago where I grew up, which goes right by my parent's house. So I'll probably do that in less than a month. But besides that and the annual Turkey Trot (which Rebecca and I always run together), there is nothing else. No big "A-Priority" race on the horizon, like there has been for the past years.
I haven't signed up for anything next year, nor do I plan to at this point. Next year (at least the majority of it) will be a "play it ear" kinda of year. There may be races (in fact, I'm sure there will be). But after dedicating my season this year to a strict marathon and a half ironman training program, I'm just going to go with the flow.
I'm ok with that fact that I will enter next year not knowing what's next on my race calendar...its good to mentally stretch our comfort zones from time to time. And this is one of those times for me to just go with the flow and see where it ends up. Of course as a planner, I'd sure love to know...but then again, that wouldn't be the point.