Sunday, May 20, 2012

Two weeks later

Two weeks ago today, I ran my third marathon. It was a gorgeous course, with a super-fun and scenic 18 miles... then a hill... then a relatively flat bike path. But since my quads were toast from the downhill, then from trudging up the hill I refused to walk, it was like they had forgotten how to propel me forward on the flat parts. My legs had no "go." Mentally I was fine, other than annoyed at my lower half. I had hydrated and fueled *just right* the whole time. I just couldn't make my legs move. And for the last four miles, walking won out more than I would've cared for. I decided that slowing down to catch my breath was the way to go. There may or may not have been a text to The H around Mile 23 that said I was dying, or something close to it...

Still, I crossed the finish line running and smiling (after a moment of mild hyperventilation when I found The H waiting for me at the final straightaway), and got the same medal I would've received if I'd clocked a wicked fast PR. After that, I just wanted to SIT DOWN. And he snapped a picture of what I *really* look like post-26.2, just for future reference.
I am not disappointed in the least with the overall experience. You train for weeks to do the best you can, but you can't always predict what will happen on race day. I didn't realize what 18 miles of downhill would do to my legs, but now I know. The medal that's hanging next to my others is identical to the ones those who qualified for Boston had around their necks. It's the same one I would've gotten if I'd run faster, or walked the whole thing. I'll always find a way to pick apart a race performance, but I hope it doesn't come across that I regret any of it.

The rest of our trip to Colorado was gorgeous. We got to see Pike's Peak, the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, and Garden of the Gods, not to mention our friends who moved out west last spring. It was a really nice week--one that felt so much longer, but not really in a bad way.
Since then, I've logged a 10K PR (53:44), and a 1st-place age group finish in a small 5K (24:01, not a PR). I guess there's no lasting damage from that downhill stretch. :)

Today's race, the 5K, was sunny, humid, and hot, with no breeze until the end. And thus begins the summer racing season! In the past month, I've run a 5K, 10K, half marathon (PR), and a full. Rest is probably in order now. While I know I'm not done with marathons--I almost registered for another in June--I'm excited to sign up for some shorter distances, probably until the weather cools down again. The idea of a marathon relay with my mom and some other female relatives has been tossed around. Anybody running Detroit this year? :)


  1. Congrats on #3! I'm SO happy to not be in marathon training right now. Definitely feeling you on the shorter races...

  2. Sorry the race was so hard but you have a great attitude about it! I can only imagine the pounding of 18 downhill miles. Glad you enjoyed your time in Colorado. It's a great state.