Decisions ... but not before 1,000 miles

I have a lot to think about while on my journey to 1,000 miles. I don't want to rush into decisions about 2008, and that's why I am committed to hitting 1,000 miles this year before I fully plan out next year. That doesn't mean I can't start asking myself questions on what I want to do.

Four days after becoming a marathoner, my legs are only sore when going up or down stairs, and nothing else hurts. I've gone on a few short walks this week and have felt great. I'm obviously still winded from running 26.2 miles, but I never expected to feel this great in such a short time. I'm not jumping back into anything though. I'll have a couple of short runs this week and three short runs next week. I seriously contemplated a turkey trot on Thanksgiving, but I don't want to risk injury by running hard within two weeks of the marathon. I am about 95 percent sure of doing the Bedford Christmas Classic on Dec. 1 -- whether it's the 5k or 10k is something I'll decide later.

My plan between now and Dec. 31 is to have a reverse taper to get back to 8-10 miles as my standard long run. I'll smartly do what I have to do to get to 1,000 miles. I should have no problem hitting that mark as long as I stay healthy. As far as training goes for the Shamrock Half, I'll lay out those plans later. But beyond that?

You should've heard me after the 30k in October. I said I'm never training for a marathon again! My wife properly ignored the crazy talk. In my head I was preparing a blog entry on how much I hated anything past a half marathon. Those long training runs were boring; it was hot; I was running alone after moving; it was eating too much into my weekend. But after Nov. 10, I have that itch. I've seriously thought about the Charlottesville Marathon in April. That would make Shamrock a perfect warmup, and instead of laying off the mileage too much before summer, I could increase the long runs, then get some rest in late April/early May ... which would then be perfect to train again for Richmond. Basically it would be: good rest between now and late December, train January-April, rest in May and early June, then build back in July. I think I could get in the 40-50 miles a week range rather than 30-40. Or I could focus on getting better and stronger in shorter races. I haven't done a 5k in a while and I've missed that distance. 10ks continue to be a big challenge for me. And half marathons seem just the right distance. I feel I have it in me to make my current 5k pace be my half marathon pace. I'm in competition with myself, and these shorter races are so much fun to go out and try to beat my previous times. There are plenty of half marathons out there -- including Richmond next November. They're less time consuming and not so hard on the body. But then there's the endurance challenge of the marathon, and I have that one 4:13 time sitting there.

The good thing is, I don't have to make any decisions right now on any of that. I'm still enjoying my marathon experience for at least a few more days. I'll enjoy some french fries a couple of more times before signing up for something else in 2008. Tonight, I think I'll have some Oreo cookies for the first time since ... well, I don't really know when. You can bet, though, that as soon as I hit mile 1,000.1, I'll have something figured out.