The Chicago marathon was 3 days ago. My legs are still a little sore, my joints are still a little unsteady. I have done ZERO exercise since then. I haven't even written my race recap, but I'm already thinking about what's next! :D I trained so long and so hard, and for that? For an unexpected weather fluke that killed my time? Yes, I enjoyed the race, but my time is in no way reflective of what I CAN do, especially after my 9:30s all summer.
The problem, though, is that there are NO good options until the spring. Grand Rapids and Columbus are this weekend, but I'm not ready for another full. The only others within driving distance are the Indianapolis Monumental, which I've done twice and not loved either time. Besides, it's far. Or the Veterans Marathon in Columbia City. I like the small town feel, I like the people who run the race, but the course and the weather aren't conducive for a PR. There are way too few people, it's a 2-loop course, and the weather tends to be WINDY, like hurricane gale-force winds. Given those prospects, it looks like I won't have another full until April. Going to be a long winter!!!
I have a few thoughts though - probably do the Veterans half, perhaps in my Storm Trooper pajamas :) More seriously, I've considered many times running it without a watch. The conditions aren't right to PR, so why set up expectations to fail? Why not just run it because I like to run it? Whatever time I get, I get, and I enjoy the experience.
Another thought is to do more maintenance and less formal training. The Hansons program is 18 weeks, and I'm usually burnt out by week 10-12. The first 6-8 weeks are all base building, which I don't need every time. What if I skip those and do my own maintenance? I can run 4-6x a week, 20-25 miles, without being so beholden to a piece of paper telling me what to do. I want to enjoy my next training cycle, but I also want to be ready for my spring races (which is another story altogether :) If I follow the Hansons to the letter, that doesn't start until late December anyway.