What’s next?

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, my level of whining was probably at a 9. Maybe generously at an 8.5 for the times when I kept my whining to myself. This morning marked the return of the run to my workout load, and while I did run for 15 minutes in the Y-Tri on Sunday, it wasn’t quite the same as driving to meet my friend Sue in Orchard Park for a 5:30 a.m., 23-degree, pre-dawn run.

This week continues recovery for me after the ING Miami Half Marathon. The phase is now active recovery — movement and workouts but at a comfortable pace. I’m basically left to my own devices for one more week before I start official training with my new coach, Peter Pimm, of Toronto.

Every so often, change is good if for nothing else to see what else is out there, what other options are available. I have loved working with Mary Eggers and Train This!! for the past 2 1/2 years. Mary helped guide me from being a girl who wrote about sports to being a girl who was part of the sporting world. She patiently helped me go from bobbing up and down in the shallow end of the pool and run-walking intervals to completing a marathon and a 70.3 race while gaining the confidence to try for an Iron Distance completion. I am grateful for her friendship and guidance.

As athletes do from time to time, I decided to change things up for 2010 and work with Peter Pimm who has been coaching runners since 1976 and triathletes since the mid-1980s.

The next goal for me, and my first big race with Peter, will be 70.3 Galveston, Texas in late April.

But before the intensity of the training begins, there is one more week of getting back into the swing of things — of returning from rest, relaxation and vacation into the reality of training in winter weather, workouts full of drills and the anticipation of another build.

My run this morning was certainly a festival of whining. The small inclines around the village route seemed cruel and the pace was slow. My form was off a bit. But all that’s just fine. Because this is the time for slow runs and form checks. These are the enjoyable miles before the work begins again.

What’s next? New race, new coach, new approach.

The work has me excited. And that’s the best feeling.

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