Here's what I do know. I'm going to take a break from active training until March 1. This gives me the winter off (holiday/ice season) and also happens to end with my birthday. I will enjoy my running / swimming / rowing / yoga / hiking without thinking about it being for anything. I'll want to build up my distance and speed again starting in a couple of weeks, but not with a particular race in mind. Then in February I'll start to think about the season and making plans.
As for marathons, I think I need to develop some guidelines for myself. This is what I've come up with so far:
- My knee pain at the end (mostly gone now, by the way) was, I think, my usual IT band stuff, aggravated by all the pavement pounding - I had always done some of my long runs off pavement so I hadn't been prepared for that. If I want to do another city marathon I need to a) work on rehabbing that ITB more seriously than I have, and b) get more serious about my walk breaks.
- For the same reason I want to look more into trail running, my first love. That will involve needing to get my driver's license back (I rarely drive and forgot to renew it last time so now I have to take the test all over again) and then getting more comfortable driving. But we have an automatic now so I have no excuse not to anyway.
- I was so inspired by all the people running as part of a charity team that I'd like to take part in that myself. Maybe that will be how I do the other ones in the World Marathon Master series(Tokyo, London, New York, Berlin, Boston - certainly the only way I could get into that one). I have raised money through both my marathons but with both I trained and ran alone - I think it might be fun to do it as part of a team.
- And I think my goals for my next one are a) to have fun and b) to finish strong. No time goal, but to run more consistently throughout, and not needing to walk at the end as I have had to both times now.
Yours excitedly -