The Marathon is Over…Now What Do I Do?

Once you run a marathon you often go through a period of not knowing what to do with yourself.  Your body needs time to recover, which is good, but once you’re ready to start working out again it’s pretty easy to feel unfocused and not know what to do with yourself.  Most likely you trained for the race for 16 weeks, so once it’s over it can be a bit depressing!  

I ran my most recent marathon on December 9th and thoroughly enjoyed my time off afterwards.  I didn’t run a whole lot or do much of anything other than enjoy the holidays, spend time with the friends and family who visited and we hiked a handful of times.  It’s been about a month and a half now though, and I’m feeling a bit lost.  I still go to the gym but I don’t have a true reason (like a race) to make myself run, so I’ve been rather listless.  My weight is still basically the same but I can tell I’m starting to lose the muscle tone I worked so hard to get, so it’s finally time for me to refocus!  Here is my starting pictures, taken today:

I have a high level of fitness and I’m happy with my body, but I know that I don’t feel my best at the moment.  I feel sluggish…something I didn’t feel just a month ago…and I don’t like it.  Now let me be clear: for me, exercising is all about how it makes me feel and I love the endorphins I get from a good workout and the sense of accomplishment I feel.  It’s been a big part of my life from the very beginning, and the only way to make improvement is by switching things up from time to time, so that’s what I’m doing!  I’m not trying to lose weight.  I just want to get back into a good workout groove and maybe tone up a tad too.  My eating habits have been out of whack since the marathon and I haven’t been as active as I typically am, and I’m ready for that to change!    

So for the next month I plan to:

 – complete the Glow Body Personal Training free 21 day 8 minute workout challenge
– run 10-15 miles a week
– swim laps once a week (one mile)
– attend one yoga class a week

I first did the Glow Body PT 21 Day 8 minute challenge last April when I was 7 months postpartum.  I blogged all about it here in case you want to read!  It definitely helped me tone up a bit last time and made me feel more comfortable with my postpartum body.  Here are my before and after photos:

So here are the basics, the plan is free and all you do are 2 or 3 of Ashley’s very focused 8 minute workouts a day.  It’s nice because you can do it all in 16 to 24 minutes (depending on the day) and then be on with your day!  I do 1 or 2 of her youtube videos every time I go to the gym anyway, so I figured I might as well just do the whole plan again so that everything is all spelled out for me.  These workouts are designed for you to do at home, so all you really need are some dumbbells.  Some workouts require a stability ball but you can do it without one.  

You can click here to get to the sign up page, and then just enter your email address and the link to the plan will be emailed to you.  The PDF calendar is clickable, so just click on each workout and it’ll take you to the youtube video you’re supposed to do!  I have it saved on “My Files” on my phone so that I can reference it quickly and just click on the workout I need to do.  Or you can go to the Glow Body PT youtube channel and find the video you’re supposed to do (and a whole bunch of other ones) there.  She is a world-class triathlete and mom of 3 so she knows how to train hard but also be extremely focused without wasting any time.  I’m starting today and would love for you to join me too!  I’ve already had a bunch of people on Instagram say that they’re interested, so if you want to join in too leave a comment below letting me know!  I plan on talking about my progress (and if I’m able to stick with it) on Instagram frequently, so it’ll be fun to know that others are doing it too.

Ashley has no clue that I’m writing about her fitness plans and I’m definitely not being paid for this, I just wanted to share a great way to jumpstart or change up your fitness in case you’re looking to do so.  Her videos really work and I’m excited to use them to get focused again!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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Leave a comment

  1. January 22, 2019 / 12:58 am

    Katie, can I just say that you look AMAZING! I love that you workout to feel good, not necessarily to lose weight. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate." You've been inspiring me lately to start marathon training… it's something I've always wanted to do but I think I need a little more pushing! I haven't ran longer than 11 miles in a very long time. Can't wait to hear more about your fitness journey… p.s. I'm starting with you today too! 🙂

  2. January 22, 2019 / 6:38 am

    Thank you so much! You are incredibly sweet to say that and I love that quote so much! When I finally learned that, (and that food should not be a reward or something to punish yourself over) my life got exponentially better and my relationship with my body finally became what it should be. I'm so excited that you're going to run a marathon! You can do it! Training is key and it sounds like you're well on your way. So glad you're joining me with the 21 day challenge too 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    January 24, 2019 / 8:05 am

    Have you considered giving CrossFit a try? 🙂 It is a great way to get super strong and functionally fit in so many different ways! It can be pricey I know, but should come with fantastic programming, coaches, and most importantly, a fitness-oriented community. (And sometimes child care too!) Opportunities to compete come up regularly so it’s easy to stay motivated on improving, and there is always something new to improve on! CrossFit was my sanity saver during my husband’s deployment, so I can kind of relate to how you feel about running 🙂 All the best on this journey.

  4. February 5, 2019 / 8:29 pm

    Awwwe THANK YOU Katie! You already look great but I'm so glad you're doing this for yourself so you can FEEL your best too. I have loved following your super raw and real journey on the Challenge the past 2 weeks on IG : D

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