I ran another marathon last weekend. I know, I know…WTF?! Where did this come from? Well let me take you on a little journey though the past two weeks:
On the Monday post-NYC Marathon, while still on my PR-induced running high, my fellow running-obsessed coworker asked me if I’d want to run the Brooklyn Marathon two weeks later. “We can become Marathon Maniacs!” she said. That piqued my interest. Who doesn’t want to be referred to as a maniac?
(Probably most people.)
I said something along the lines of “let me think about it and see how my recovery goes”. I was actually rational for once and didn’t sign up that day. Very unlike me.
On Wednesday, I emailed Laura (who has finished over 100 marathons and ultra-marathons!) to ask her how she knew she was ready to start running back-to-back marathons. From the very first message she was supportive. Without her enthusiasm, I’m sure I would have given up on the idea.
By Friday I was feeling great….but I had literally done nothing exercise-related since Sunday. I wanted to go for a test run before registering, but got nervous that the race was going to sell out (which it did, the next day!). So I signed up, figuring that since it’s loops (NINE. LOOPS.) of Prospect Park, I could easily drop out at any point and go home to drink beer instead. I was 100% okay with DNF-ing. (If you’re wondering, “DNF” is what’s notated in race results if you “Did Not Finish”.) So, since I was still high on life, I signed up. I mean, if I take it easy, it’s just like another long training run…right?
I told no one. I didn’t want to get scolded. Or yelled at.
I had all intentions of trying to run 8 miles on Saturday or Sunday (in attempts to re-create my taper) but instead I half-assed an elliptical workout and sort of did yoga, laid on the couch, played video games with Brendan and his brothers, stayed out late, and ate Brendan’s Mom’s awesome chicken parm.
On Monday, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill at my gym. I was aiming for 5 or 6 but by mile 2.5 I felt like crap. At this point I started leaning more toward “eh, I’m not going to do it. This is stupid.” I didn’t keep up with hydrating or begin eating more of my calories from carbs. I did nothing to prepare. Yikes.
And that’s literally all I did in the past two weeks. But I didn’t feel bad about it. (Well, maybe a little.) I listened to all the people (okay, strangers on the internet) who wrote posts about how a person won’t gain or lose fitness in two weeks, and to just “listen to your body” and rest if that’s what’s needed. I think that’s definitely what I needed. I fully embraced the rest.
I guess it worked just fine, because on Sunday, I ran the Brooklyn Marathon. The WHOLE THING. (Recap coming soon!)
I totally surprised myself. I wasn’t even sure I was going to show up until Saturday night. My running high had turned into “I hate running and I want to sleep in a down comforter cocoon for the entire day”. Since I was Meghan’s ride and I didn’t want to be a jerk, I begrudingly showed up on race morning.
I started getting a little more excited when I got to Prospect Park and saw the medals (fabulous) and soaked up the energy of the other runners. It was such a low key race and everything was super simple. No corrals, no insane lines…it was perfect.
Still, I was fine with doing a couple laps (read: NOT NINE) and then going home to get out of the rain, take a hot shower, and be lazy. I did want to finish, but not at the expense of my muscles or happiness. It definitely hurt more than the NYC Marathon, and the vibe was totally different. I really had to dig deep mentally and the miles didn’t tick off effortlessly. But somehow, I had fun!
It was a tough mental and physical challenge, but I’m happy I did it. I’m thrilled that my body, which I’ve thought for the past couple years is prone to injury, was fine. (Shout out to Finish Line PT – couldn’t have done it without them; I’m certain of that!) I absolutely could not and would not have done this without Meghan, so I’m very thankful for her inspiration. Also, Laura. Have I mentioned how awesome she is? Even though I didn’t have a time goal, she gave me a couple pointers on creating goals as you go – to keep you going and give you something to focus on and to be proud of.
Next up on my race schedule?
Absolutely nothing. Resting. Doing whatever I want without regard to a training plan. Lifting more. Maybe getting a little better at yoga. (I know, I’ve said this before…but I mean it this time.) When I finished the NYC Marathon, I was already itching to run another marathon and was looking (daily) at my options for the spring. Now? I’ve had my share for a little while. Who knows, maybe I’ll work on my 5K PR. Or my half marathon. We’ll just see where the world takes me.