My first marathon: The aftermath

Marathon shoes

“Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.”

It’s been over a month since I ran my first marathon in Chicago. There have been times when I wanted to write in this blog, but something always seemed to stop me. Even though I have more free time without this rigid training schedule, that time keeps getting taken up with all the stuff I couldn’t do when I was training. Cleaning my house, getting rid of some houses junk and getting back to one of my other passions – sewing.

But I’m still running, and after a much needed two-week break I was able to settle back into a more normal running schedule. My first run after the break felt really horrible. I think since it was only 4 miles, I was thinking I could go really fast without an issue. I died around mile 3. The last mile I began cursing myself for taking this break since I felt like all my fitness had disappeared. However, that weekend I decided to run a last minute 10K that happened to be right around the corner from my house. I ended up getting a PR. I couldn’t believe how easily my legs completed these miles in less than a 9-min pace. I went back to running at my club’s weekly 5K and have been amazed at how good I feel getting my time back down to around 26 minutes. And recently I decided that my new goal now is to get faster. I was not super happy about my marathon time and I think getting all my race times might help me with the next one – whenever that might be. There is nothing wrong with being an average runner – and I’m sure I will always stay one – but improving my times feels so good.

Retired marathon shoes
My retired marathon sneakers…they got me through many a mile

Last week I had an opportunity to get into the Boston Marathon. My running club gets bibs that can be distributed to members. It is done in fairest way possible – with a lottery. The more volunteer work you do for the club, the more times your name is put into the hat. I had spent the whole year analyzing how to get more points and even created a spreadsheet to keep track and maximize my chances. It’s kind of what I do. I ended up with the 2nd most points in the club, so my chances were quite good at getting a bib. However, it’s all luck, and I never really have much of that. My name was not drawn at all – not even for one of the alternates. I have mixed feelings about it. Right when the drawing started, I felt a bit panicked. I didn’t want my name called because I wasn’t sure I was ready to throw myself into more marathon training. Then after a few names were called, I was really hoping they would pick my name. In the end, I felt a bit disappointed and I think people saw that because I kept getting suggestions for doing a charity or a different marathon. It’s funny because I really wasn’t dying to run Boston next year, but in that moment I felt like I was cheated out of something.

It’s fine. In fact, it’s good because I had already started scoping out a plan for my new goal – running a half in under 2 hours. I had started to look at plans, but felt like I couldn’t really commit to what I was doing until I knew about Boston for sure. Now this is my new goal. I want to actually find a training plan and follow it like I did for the marathon and maybe get my spring half time down to 2 hours (or one second less). My PR is around 2 hours 4 min, so I think it’s doable, but it will take some work. Right now the search is on for a training plan that I like, so far I haven’t been too excited about ones I found on an initial search.

So if anyone has one that they like or seems reputable, please let me know. I’d like one with speed workouts and drills such as hill work and track work since I think that breaks up the monotony of just running miles. I’d like to make my goal race the Providence half marathon in May since I’ll be turning 39 that weekend, but it may take me longer to actually get there. It’s all about the journey, and I look forward to seeing what I am capable of.

Send me your suggestions!



3 thoughts on “My first marathon: The aftermath

  1. I relate to your nervousness and not totally being sure you want to get in to ultimately feeling disappointed when you didn’t. Sometimes I feel like I’m relying on life to push me cause I don’t always have the courage to push myself. Sometimes it obliges, sometimes it doesn’t and leaves me to seeking out the challenges.
    The under 2 is a great goal. I finally met it in Brooklyn this year and it felt really good. I think I want to work on getting that time down even a little further now. Getting faster is exciting. I love the work that it takes. I think interval training and hill work has become my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

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