Ask any runner, and they’ll tell you with some certainty what their first and second thoughts are after finishing a race:
1. I am NOT running another race anytime soon!
2. What race should I sign up for next?
The only real variable is the time between these two thoughts. I’ve known people who signed up for their next race a few months after finishing. I’ve known a person who signed up that same evening. Don’t think you’re immune to this…everyone goes through the same process.
Signing up for a race can be a strong motivator and way to keep yourself accountable. If you don’t have a race, you may not be compelled to put on your shoes and hit the road when it’s cold out, or you can’t be bothered to hop on the treadmill and endure that boredom otherwise. Racing keeps you into the swing of things. It gives you a plan to follow.
For myself, I usually sign up for a few things after picking my A races. NYC was an A race, so I signed up for some stuff before and after. This way it’s hard to slack off in between (though, based on how little I ran after NYC, who knows how well that worked). Right now, I’m already starting to think about next year and what my goals are.
I know for certain I will not be running a full marathon. I’ve done two in back-to-back years and I’m ready for a break from that grind. It’s not the race or the aftermath, it’s how all-consuming the training can get. So I’m focusing instead on shorter distances, from 5k to half marathons, and possibly some triathlons. I’ve already got my early season stuff on the calendar. I’m not ready to commit to some of them, but once I identify my A races, I’ll be ready to sign up for the rest.
Stay tuned for my future race plans! And leave a comment with what you’re planning to do in 2015!