So.. I realize haven’t written since before the marathon. I’m sure all of my readers thought I didn’t make it to the finish line! (totally a joke considering I don’t think anyone reads this…)
The marathon was great! Overall a wonderful experience. I finished in 4:35:18 which I was pleased with. My initial goal had been 4:30 so I was psyched to come remotely close to that. The race had pace leaders for runners qualifying for Boston, so I managed to stay ahead of the 4:30 pacer until mile 22 – I was making great time! However, I now know what “hitting the wall” really means.. and it happened at mile 22. This was the first time I walked during the entire race which I couldn’t believe. Looking back, I realized I should have fueled more throughout the race. I only had one goo pack and a few shot blocks throughout the entire race. I thought I had fueled properly and felt full of energy until it was too late. I could not run another step as soon as I got to mile 22 and was devastated as the 4:30 group passed me… I managed to pull it together and make it to the finish line, but those last 4 miles were the hardest of my life.
As soon as I crossed the finish line (where I was greeted by my wonderful family) I walked to the recovery tent where they were giving out free massages. My knees and hips hurt like crazy after running for 4.5 hours. I think that massage was the best thing I could have done after that race (along with taking 2 Advil and some chicken broth provided in the tent). Aside from moving slower than usual for a few hours, I felt great! I even managed to make an appearance at a birthday party that night. I think my runners high lasted a few days which distracted me from any pain from the race. I never crashed afterward like I do after every long run so I must have done something right.
After the race, I didn’t exercise for an entire month. I was so burnt out from training and running that the pure thought of putting on my running shoes exhausted me. I attempted running a month later but my knees were so sore that I could barely run a mile. I was hoping I hadn’t done any permanent damage. I stuck to the elliptical the few times I did exercise and felt no pain.
This past Sunday, I suddenly felt motivated to run again for the first time in many weeks – which can mainly be attributed to the fact I got a new running jacket for Christmas and that it was almost 50 degrees – but it felt great to be out there again. While I was running I started to feel guilty for taking so much time off, I had always loved running and just never had the energy to get my butt out the door. But then I thought to myself that my original goal of 2009 had been to run a half marathon, which I started training for in December (I think.) Afterward I went on the complete another half and a FULL a few weeks later. I need to be proud of what I DID rather than what I didn’t do. I had been in training for almost an entire year, no wonder I was so burnt out! I didn’t have any long runs on my calendar that absolutely had to be done, I didn’t HAVE to run for any reason and it was a great feeling.
This year I already have a few races on the horizon but I now know that I need to mix up my workouts a bit. While in training, I never did speedwork or hills or anything like that because “I didn’t like it.” Well obviously I’m not going to be good at something I’ve never tried… so while training for my next races I am going to actually incorporate these things into my training schedule rather than writing them in because I felt I had to (with no intention of doing them)
I hoping to be accepted into the NYC Half (which is in March) and will find out next week. I also entered the lottery for the 2010 NYC Marathon, I figure if I get in, it’s meant to be and I will put everything I have into training. I’m going to include other types of exercise into my schedule such as yoga and lifting weights (another thing “I don’t like.”) These are all things I read about in Runners World every month but after running the marathon I realize how important they were and how much I could have benefitted by doing them.
I can’t wait for a new start in 2010!