Preparing for "different"

Late winter/early spring half marathon. Marathon training. Fall marathon. Repeat.

With the exception of early 2011, I've been in a pattern that I'm ready to break.

I haven't talked much about it because I wasn't sure I was sure, but I'm starting to feel really good about my decision to not run a marathon this calendar year.

trail running, Duke

I don't have that itch anymore. It's gone.

I thought running the Shamrock Half Marathon might strike up some desire to do 26.2 again later this spring or early fall.

But nope. It's just not there.

I'm pretty excited about the next few weeks of running -- the Monument Avenue 10k is going to be a pure fun event with my sister. I can't even begin to hint at what is going to happen that day because it may cause me to break out the word "epic."

A week after that I'll be tackling Mill Mountain in the Blue Ridge Half Marathon. Many of my runs in the next two weeks will be focused on hills.

Hills, hills and more hills. Except for the complete flatness in Ohio this weekend.

It may be some of that "too little too late" type of training -- similar to the speedwork I did for Shamrock -- but I'm excited about this challenging event. I'm approaching it with more focus than a year ago, but not enough that I'm taking it too seriously.

After that I have a nice huge gap on my race calendar. Nothing is even on my radar from mid-April to mid-November. That will change, but I like not having this self pressure to turn my focus on "what's next" with training.

This past weekend I realized how much I'll enjoy doing some different things this spring and summer. I did a short trail run on Saturday with Duke and a 40-minute bike ride on Sunday. It was such a nice change from a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call to go run for 90-120 minutes.

A year from now I could very well be focused on a marathon again, but I'm not peeking into my crystal ball to worry about that. For now I'm happy with what's ahead and it's been a while since I have felt that way.