The Next Steps

After 6 days of complete rest, I made a return to exercise. I still wasn’t feeling up to a run yesterday (boo, congestion!), so I headed to my gym for 45 minutes on the elliptical + ab workout. It felt alright, but I was a little hungry and tired, so my energy levels were not at an all-time high.

This morning (Monday), I joined the roommate for my first post-marathon run. We covered 4.5 miles in about 39 minutes and besides a sniffly nose, the legs felt GOOD. I’m going to take it easy for the next week and perhaps only run 3-4 times. After spending 4+ months training for the marathon (and the previous 6-7 months building a base), I needed not only a physical, but also aΒ mental break. Running is something that I enjoy and in order to keep feeling motivated and excited about the sport, periodic breaks are necessary! Even if you don’t run long races (such as marathons), taking a week off every 6-12 months is really important. It’s better to take a planned rest now than to experience burn out or injury later!

As my marathon training was wrapping up, I started to think about my future running goals. Racing another marathon is not on the table for at least the next year (probably longer). Studies show that women don’t reach there marathon peak until their 30’s, so at 26, I feel like now’s the time for me to focus on shorter distances. My immediate goals are the annual Run for the DiamondsΒ 9-mile race that I run every Thanksgiving (this will be my first long run back), followed by the Joe Kleinerman 10k on December 5. I won’t be in peak racing condition yet, but I’d like to run sub-7:00 pace for that race.

After the holidays, I’d like to return to team tempo workouts on Thursday nights and start adding in some speedier intervals on Tuesdays (this will probably be done on the treadmill, since an annual membership to the nearest indoor track is $300). I plan on racing an indoor 3k sometime in January and February and I’d like to run somewhere around 11:30 (or faster!). Once I get a few track races under my belt, I’ll switch focus back to the roads and concentrate on running sub-40:30 for the 10k. Why 40:30? That’s the qualifying standard for the National Track Club Championship Meet held in July. And although it’s awhile out, I’d like to wrap up 2011 with a sub-1:30 half-marathon. Ambitious goals, eh? It’s entirely possibly that weather, work schedules, or an injury (eek, hope not!) will alter these plans, but goals give excitement and purpose to my running, so I’m hoping for the best.

πŸ™‚

I still have lots of thoughts and reflections about the marathon distance, but I’m saving that for a separate post later this week. Until then, how about some cookies??

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies (makes 30)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (next time I would use a full cup)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of ginger and nutmeg
  • 1 stick of un-salted butter (8 Tbs)
  • 1 cup of sugar (I used 1/2 brown, 1/2 granulated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 large white chocolate bar, chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees, prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl
  • Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, mix in eggs and pumpkin until combined
  • Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated
  • Stir in white chocolate chunks
  • Chill dough for at least 30 minutes
  • Place heaping spoonfuls of dough on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 10-14 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Allow to cool on pan for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Note: these cookies are really soft and moistΒ – almost like little pumpkin cakes. It’s a variation on a white chocolate pumpkin cookie recipe that I made last year. I still don’t think that the formula is *perfect* so if you bake these and have suggestions, leave a comment!

What are your running/exercise goals for the next 12 months?

  • If I come decorate your apartment will you bake me cookies? I’m working on my running goals for the next 6 months. I’m thinking a half in March and a full marathon in May. I will never be a speed monster like you, but I love having these big distances to train for and keep me on track!

  • Those cookies look soooo good! I am on a pumpkin kick lately and want to try those. I almost want to scrap my plans for turkey tacos tonight and make those instead haha.

    Umm, for the rest 2010, I’m also running the Joe Kleinerman 10K and the Ted Corbitt 15K. I think I’m going to aim for a 50 minute 10K and 1:15 15K.

    Running the NYRR Manhattan Half in January just as a buffer for the Austin Marathon in Feb., which I’m planning to run for “fun,” meaning I’m not following a strict plan– running 5 days a week with a few long races thrown in and then just aiming to finish the marathon. I hear it’s a “fast” course with lots of downhill, yesss.

    Thennnnn doing a bunch of NYRR races before running NYC again next November, at which my goal will be 4:00.

  • Master Prime

    these cookies look awesome. I love this place.

    I’m a new runner and just terribly out of shape so my goal is to not die. By the end of 12 months, I hope to do my first 5k and transition into parkour.

  • love the cookies and whoa there they don’t look bad nutritionally either! double yum πŸ™‚

    great first post-marathon run. i think you have a great post-marathon plan. i have no idea what the next 12 months will be for me. obviously boston in april then i’m hoping to focus on shorter stuff. but i know the marathon is going to pull me back again

  • dude. i’ve been saying this forever about peaking in a decade or so. i’m waiting to marathon for that reason… and let’s face it, i’m not as hardcore as you and refuse to carve out training time. πŸ˜›

    those cookies look amaaazing. i love white chocolate a little too much.

    my goals are less running-focused and more on strength. i’m doing a lot of good work in PT lately and it’s shown me just how weak i am in many ways. i’m focusing on building strength in potentially problematic areas and doing lots of yoga. would prefer to keep the running to a minimum… or i just know it’s probably for the best. it’s all good. πŸ™‚

  • I have a few 5k’s, my first 10k in Feb and my first 1/2 marathon in May (along with quit a few 10k’s here and there).

  • You’ve sure got all your goals sorted out! Taking a good break from running once and a while does sound like a great idea. You definitely deserve it! Can’t wait to hear about all your future adventures!

    Those cookies look very, very yummy, by the way. πŸ˜€

  • I love your ambitious (but I’m sure attainable) goals! I also like to hear that our peak for marathons is in our 30’s, that gives me hope to try again!

    Your cookies look absolutely delicious! I hope you’re feeling 100% again soon!

  • Yay Kleinerman! I can’t wait! I’d love to hang at 7:00 pace or just under for that one although I need to get my stupid achilles healed up first, so who knows.

    Next year I want to get my half time in to the upper 1:30’s. 1:35 would be a PR which would be awesome – and although it’s a stretch goal, I’d be thrilled if I could do it. (Actually, I’d be happy with a legit PR of any sort next year, and I probably have the best shot at 13.1.) There is also a track series here next spring/summer – looking forward to tearing up some 1500s and 3Ks too! πŸ™‚

    Miss youuuuu! Take care of that cold!

  • I am so glad you made white chocolate chip pumpkin cookies! I have been thinking about making pumpkin cookies w/white instead of normal choco chips for awhile now. Congrats on your marathon!! I am running the Philly Marathon this coming Sunday (first one) and my goal is sub 4:20…we’ll see how it goes! You are very inspiring! πŸ™‚

  • Training for my first marathon. In DC on my 29th birthday. March 26, 2011. I’m pretty excited. Beyond that…just keep running…and eating…
    Those cookies plus chocolate chips. I’m not a fan of the white chocolate.

  • As a type 1 diabetic, I thank you immensely for the nutritional content of those cookies – you wouldn’t believe how frustrating it is at times to try and guesstimate the carb counts for things like home-baked cookies that I need to know for figuring out how much insulin I should give myself for said cookies. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • So glad you are feeling recovered and baking again! Congrats again on your race. I think you have some awesome goals. I meet with my coach tomorrow to set my goal for the next six months– your accomplishments are certainly inspiration for that process. Next year, I hope to topple my 10K PR πŸ™‚

  • Cookies look a-mazinggggg!! Do you use a certain website to generate the nutrition info?

  • I have a few running goals this next year but since I just had a baby I’m going to take things slower. Probably a couple 10K’s or something in the spring or fall!

  • Whoa, $300 for a yearlong indoor track membership! You couldn’t PAY me that much to even use an indoor track on a regular basis. πŸ™‚ What a blast that you might get to do some indoor track races though – I bet it’ll be fun to sharpen up over some of those shorter distances.

    Goals? I’m just hoping to run in every single race on the calendar in Juneau while I’m here (there aren’t many!). I’d like to break 40:00 in the 10K at some point in the next 12 months, and run my second marathon.

  • NOOOO NO TRACK 10K!!!! How can you stand it? Worst experience of my life. Couldn’t walk for two days. But good on you if you like it, I guess. I bet you’ll hit that goal in December, just my proposal. Ain’t no reason why you shouldn’t.

    I am very cagey about my running goals. So I won’t disclose them. This is a problem – everyone on the blogz is asking about goals. It’s going to be hell come new years. Suffice to say, my goal for November is to win a mug on my Thanksgiving run. Yeah!

  • I like your goals, and those cookies!! πŸ™‚

    I thought I had my goals all planned out, but it’s looking like my IT band has other plans. So who knows when I’ll be running again. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go throw myself a pity party…

  • If I’m not up to the NYC Marathon next year, then I definitely want to do at least one half-marathon before the end of the year. Maybe the Philly Distance Run in September? I loved that course when I ran it in ’08, and the weather is great!

    Oh, and I want to slather some peanut butter on those cookies and go to town! πŸ™‚

  • totally did not know that about women and their peak marathon timeframe. Very interesting. I need to look into that a bit more. My big goal for the next 12 months is to run Boston in April and properly train for it starting in December. Can’t believe training is almost here.

  • Very specific goals! That’s great to already have your sights set on future races. I’m going to start training for Boston soon and so that’s really the only thing on my mind – I’m a little freaked out because running honestly hasn’t been appealing to me lately (SO weird for me) but I’m trying to just go with it and, as you said, give myself a “mental break” from running before I start up heavily again.
    The pumpkin cookies look yummy!

  • i’m not a huge pumpkin eater, but oh I am sure I could down those!

    way to go on being smart with your recovery. I need to see if eating like you will make me run that fast

  • Ive been working on trying to do handstand…it will happen in the next 12 months!

  • Those cookies look so yummy! My running goals right now are to do longer runs 2x a week. I’ve gotten into a 3-mile rut. It’s harder for me to get motivated to run when the temps start dropping, but I found a new running buddy, so hopefully that will help!

  • Mel

    Enjoyed reading your last race report and your recovery blogs and foods πŸ™‚

    I am recovering right now too, was just looking to see what other people do.

    Right now my next race is a half in Jan. Also worked it to where I am also do the half relay with my mom, it’ll be her first longer race, her leg is 6.7 miles