A long trail ahead

Remember when this blog used to be about running? Turns out there’s not much to write about when you’re not running. At all. I’ve been justifying my extra time on the couch with tentative plans to begin marathon training after the baby is born.

But, truth be told, I’ve been a little worried about this plan. It takes a lot of motivation to train for a marathon. Even more when you have a breastfeeding infant. And I wasn’t sure I had that motivation. I guess I still don’t know. But I’m feeling more optimistic. It helps that I’m back to reading blogs. I’m definitely jealous of all the shenanigans folks like the (not so) Average Athlete are up to.

Then last weekend I went for a 3-ish mile walk. And I was sore for the next two days. It was hilly, alright?? Still, I’ve run this exact 3-ish miles before, followed by another even hillier 6-ish miles and not been sore. Yes, I do realize I’m 6 months pregnant. I’m not expecting to break any records here. But I also can’t expect that I’ll be able to do much more after giving birth. I have a long road ahead of me. Quite literally.

Anyway, that walk was sort of the kick in the pants I needed. And not just because it made me realize how out of shape I am. The sun was shining and the typically brown hills were green. Somewhere amongst the grazing cows I spotted my motivation. I unearthed my next phase in running right there on the trails.

Benicia-Hills-Dry-Brown

The problem with a goal like running a marathon is, well, I’ve done it before. Of course it’s no small feat, especially after having a baby (OH MY GOD, SERIOUSLY). But the novelty is gone. I need a new challenge. Trail running feels perfect because it’s new and it most certainly is a challenge. Not only that, it’s a challenge I can tackle slowly. 

I’ve run enough and experimented enough with different training methods to know that my body responds better to distance than speed. Especially when recovering from an injury or building back up from ground zero. Taking it easy will be a lot easier without the pressure of beating a marathon time hanging over my head.

I still plan on training for a road marathon*. Mostly because a trail marathon feels like a bit much to take on straight away. But I want to train a fair amount on the trails and throw in some shorter trail races. So far I’ve found about 10 – 12 million I’d like to check out. So, you know, that should keep me busy.

*I’m looking pretty seriously at the Big Sur International Marathon. In the event that I don’t win the lottery, what spring marathon do you recommend?

Photo Credit: Benicia. by Kirk Strauser is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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