“Once you’ve gone to the moon, staying home just isn’t good enough.”
– Astronaut Eugene Cernan
THERE I WAS after the Holiday Hustle last month, innocently enjoying the completion of over 30 races in 2014 and becoming the first person to run every Running Fit event in a year. Then I got asked the question.
“So, Jeff – what do you have planned for next year? Are you going to do the entire race calendar again?”
Well, that was a definite “NO.”
Now I had a really good time last year – even better than I thought I would when I set up the schedule last January. But do it again? Not a chance. Some races I will do again, starting with the Bigfoot Snowshoe 5K in Traverse City next week, and maybe one or more of the Dances with Dirt ultras. Other than that, I’m taking a more relaxed approach to scheduling stuff for 2015. But there will be stuff.
Apparently it’s fairly common for people to suffer a letdown after finishing their first marathon. They spend all that time in training, invest their emotional energy in preparation, anticipation, and running the thing, and now it’s over. It didn’t happen to me after my first (Chicago, 2011), and it hasn’t happened now that 2014 is in the books. In fact, I’m fired up about 2015 and its possibilities.
Like what? Well, there’s that 100K I didn’t finish, so another attempt is definitely on the agenda. I’m looking forward to resuming long bike rides, maybe even some multi-day, multi-hundred mile trips like in 2012. And there’s that black belt in Aikido I’d still like to get to – someday.
In addition, 2014 was a mixed year overall. One of my wife’s favorite cousins died from cancer, my wife got very sick (fortunately, she’s fully recovered), and my mom passed just after Thanksgiving. So as a family, we’re all grateful to have that behind us. A “new year” may be an arbitrary convention, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make use of it.
Above all, I will be sure to stay active. I think that whether or not you have a specific race or other goal, being active can’t help but keep you “plugged in” to life and forward-looking. To pull Newton out of context, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. In the best case, exercise stops being a chore and becomes a part of your life.
Take this morning, for example. It was 13 degrees at 8:00 a.m. in Ann Arbor, and over 30 people turned up at the PR Fitness studio to go for a run of up to 14 miles. Some of them are training for the Boston Marathon or other spring races, but others just came out to get some miles in. Why? It’s something we do to stay healthy and fit. And that’s one of the best goals of all.
Are you a non-runner who’s interested in starting, but you’re not sure you have what it takes? Here’s a great post by running coach Sarah that says. yes, you can be a runner!