Fortunately, or unfortunately, I know me well enough that while I could have decided to never race again; to drop this whole marathon thing, I was never going to consider not running. I've been in this too long AND get too many extra benefits to not run.
SO...... I devised a plan to refocus myself and set some new goals. Here's a few:
1. Mileage. I love the fact that over the fifty-one years I have been running, I average over 2000 miles a year. I consider that my "seriousness" gauge. In 2016 and 2017 my knee surgery severely "crippled" (pun intended) my mileage. Anticipating no severe issues, I expect to be back over 2000 miles in 2018.
2. Races. I really think that some of marathon success can be based in racing shorter distances more often (at least for me). I think the more you race, the easier it is to rehearse the structure of training and racing. Even just working on your training cycles for a 10K or half-marathon will help when you construct your marathon training program. My goal is to race under the marathon distance a dozen times in the coming year. Have five scheduled already.
3. Marathons. While I would love to swear these off forever, I can't. Something in me wants to hit a certain number before I croak. I have seventeen under my belt so far, and while I can't tell you the number, I have a goal. By the way, I can't tell you the number not because it's a secret. I just don't know it yet. It might be 26, or maybe 50. Don't know. I do know I want to run three next year: spring, summer, fall. Up first, Eugene on April 29.
Sunday is the New York marathon. I will watch it on TV (well, record it). I may shed a tear, maybe not. All in all, however, I want to focus on getting back to pain free running, logging miles and feeling good about myself as a runner. That's what it's about for me anyway.