After the Marathon

Almost a week has passed since MCM. That passage of time has brought so much clarity and a new appreciation for the effort I put forth last Sunday.

Screenshot 2013-10-30 08.03.42
(Though I may have thought that I didn’t enjoy MCM, my official pics tell a different story.)

Here’s a little back story. I alluded to a strange tightening in my right knee and even wrote a whole post about how I let go of my original goals. (Surprisingly, that’s one of my most popular posts ever.) I didn’t mention the battle that took place in my head throughout the whole week leading up to the marathon.

It was not a pretty place to be. I felt so disconnected from running, so afraid that it was all going to be taken away from me.

God taught me a lot through that week and the week after. He taught me that fear is the absence of faith or temporary atheism. Someone I know posted that on Facebook this week and it resonated with me. By succumbing to fear, I acted as if God no longer existed, as if He no longer had a plan for my life and a purpose in giving me this injury.

By the time the marathon arrived, things were feeling better and I had a new mantra. “Faith not fear”

Screenshot 2013-10-30 08.03.26

I felt excited to run and savored that feeling while it lasted through the first few miles of the marathon.

The rest of the marathon took a lot out of me both physically and emotionally. (Hormones are such a lovely thing to deal with as a woman.) The next few days I devoted solely to recovery, no thoughts about what I would do after.

Screenshot 2013-10-30 08.02.52
Capital building in the background (and Napoleon apparently). How cool is that?

I started to struggle again when my right calf did not bounce back as quickly as my other muscles. Then I read that post on Facebook about fear being temporary atheism. I decided right then that whatever it took I would have faith not fear.

I took the week off (sort of, I’ll get to that in a minute) and did some thinking about the next step in my running.

Screenshot 2013-10-30 08.02.26

I realized that I’ve been training for something since I started training for Savannah more than a year ago. After Savannah I started training for Harbison but backed off. Instead I trained for the Hilton Head Half Marathon before jumping into training for San Francisco. I inserted a recovery cycle after San Francisco but considered that part of my training for MCM. If I hadn’t changed my goals I would continue this extended training cycle until the end of May.

That’s a good way to burn out. I almost got there. I’m glad I have the opportunity to regroup.

Screenshot 2013-10-30 08.02.04

I’m still planning to run the Hilton Head Island Marathon but not with my original BQ goal. I’m not there yet. I need to build a faster base after I give myself a chance to recover.

So what’s the plan?

#theidearoom aftermath ... of a marathon and possible injury, training plan set aside to revamp later

After all my careful planning and arranging, for the first time in my life I’m leaning towards a “no plan” approach. That’s a big deal for me. Of course, I will have some guidelines. I plan to come up with weekly mileage range goals as well as plan out my long runs. So, there is a little bit of a plan in this “no plan” training plan. (That was too many “plan”s in one sentence. Sorry.) I also want to make sure that I’m getting regular strength training in to build my legs and core.

I’m actually really excited about this. I could feel a difference in my run today. Yes, I ran. I had planned to take the whole week off but felt so good yesterday that I decided to run 6 this morning.

It was one of my most favorite runs ever but not because I felt perfect. Far from it. I just ran a marathon five days ago. My right calf/achilles were a bit tight, especially on the down hills. My left hip ached a little through miles 3 and 4. Mile 6 felt almost like mile 26 of a marathon. I didn’t care. I was in a good head space and happy to run. That’s what I want more than a BQ though that will come eventually.

There’s probably more reflecting to do and I really want to write a race review of MCM but this particular entry is getting a little long. I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.


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Filed under marathon, Reflections

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