...that's a good question! Despite struggling in my first easy run today since Sunday's race, I think my mind and body have just about recovered from the Half Marathon and the previous 13 week programme so I feel the need to refocus and find something new to aim for!
Half of me wonders whether I should just keep on going upto a full marathon whilst I'm already 'half' way there although I haven't enjoyed the last few longer runs beyond 6/7 miles and my body/mind certainly begins to struggle more noticeably after this distance but, perhaps the best way to tackle this is to keep pushing out my long run distances? I have also read that by increasing endurance and distance, my speed with increase over time...and perhaps my enjoyment of longer runs once I become accustomed to them, this is where races might help in terms of the atmosphere and alternative surroundings.
Alternatively, the other half of me feels like I need to try and improve my 5k and 10k times in the short term which may help me achieve longer distances in the future although I have struggled to find a suitable/any training plans that work within my requirments i.e. 3-4 runs per week and for a runner who has achieved 13.1 miles.
The other consideration is that once my breathing is under control in terms of the longer runs, I can just run and forget about my asthma and in the end its my legs/mind that gives up first, but the moment I try to quicken my pace, my breathing and heart rate becomes more difficult to control and therefore my asthma becomes more of an issue, this puts me off aiming for 'speed' and puts be back into the 'endurance' way of thinking. Decisions, decisions!
Another consideration, is that I want to lose a bit more weight, approximately 1 stone to get down to my target weight of 13 stone. For that to happen I need to keep running within the 'fat burning' zone achieved in slower/endurance runs as opposed to the cardio vascular zone which is reached during speed/tempo training.
Another idea is maintenance runs, apparantly I can maintain my current level of fitness by running 15 to 20 miles per week over 3-4 runs...but, I don't think I am keen on just maintaining the status quo as I worry that it may make my running boring as I have nothing to aim for.
Although at the time I said I wasn't interested in running any more races, I have read that the turnout for the race on Sunday was quite poor and that races with larger numbers of runners can have a significant affect on the race 'atmosphere' in terms of helping you keep going so I'm not going to completely rule out any more races at this stage and it may help in the future in terms of achieving goals.
So I am still none the wiser as to what I am going to do next....I'll have another think over the next week, in the mean time I'll aim to gradually build up my runs.