Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Post-race Reflections

It's been several days since the marathon.  The soreness is starting to slowly subside although it is taking longer than I'd like.  My legs are starting to recover but the pain from my blisters is awful!  My marathon recap was very stat-heavy what with all the splits and such so I thought I would do another post with some of my post-race thoughts.

- Full disclosure - I did get a little teary-eyed on Monday morning when my colleague/good friend asked how I felt about my race but I quickly tried to block out any feelings of disappointment.  It helped when my boss, who has ran several marathons, told me that I should keep in mind that I missed my goal by less than 1% and that running a 4:02 marathon is an amazing accomplishment.  I work with some really awesome people, by the way.

- After that little mini pity party, I have tried to shift my focus to what I accomplished. I'm so grateful that I was able to train for and finish a marathon.  When I was not able to run the Chicago marathon due to my stress fracture and RA diagnosis, I hated how the decision to run that race was taken away from me and I felt like my body betrayed me.  Now the ball is back in my court and I get to decide what activities and races I will tackle.  Having control is a big deal for a control freak like me!

- One of the best things I gained from training for this marathon was gaining a new friendship.  A new girl joined our club and we pretty much did all of our training runs together and got along super well.  I mean, you know it's a true friendship when you can run 3+ hours together multiple weekends in a row and not run out of things to talk about!  Forming friendships and bonds like that is what running is really all about for me.  Sure, we all have our personal goals that we are looking to achieve but the greatest gift of running is the many friendships I've formed and continue to form.

- Training for and running this marathon made my love for Minneapolis grow even more - as if that was even possible!  I was so excited to show John the beautiful running paths of Minneapolis and St. Paul during the marathon. Our marathon is known as the most beautiful urban marathon in the U.S. and it certainly lives up to that distinction!  I feel so lucky to live in a city with such a well developed trail system.

- To be quite honest, training for something like a marathon is a selfish pursuit. It takes many many hours and it seeps into other areas of your life since it impacts things like your sleep schedule and nutrition needs. Phil was a total trooper through the training and never complained. He provided a lot of encouragement, did some of my training runs with me, and put up with complaints about hot runs, exhaustion, and blister, among other things, and he was out there on race day cheering me on.  Knowing I would see him around mile 22 was pretty much the only thing that kept me going during the miles leading up to that.

- So the million dollar question is - "will I run another marathon?"  My answer is that I don't know.  I am not going to say I won't run another marathon but at this point I don't have any intentions to run one in the year to come.  We'll see what the future holds.  In the mean time, I'm looking forward to adding more diversity to my workout regimen.  I've got Groupons for a month at Core Power Yoga and 10 barre classes and after that, I'm thinking about getting a Class Pass membership for the winter. If I choose to not run another marathon, I know there are other fitness-related goals for me to achieve.


katielookingforward said...

I think a lot of people are looking at fun classes post race, and that is awesome!!!

missris said...

I think it's perfectly natural to feel all the things you're feeling. I also think it's really fun that you have some new fitness classes to try out! That's a great idea for post-marathon fitness.

Marlys said...

Great post! I am sure the sheer exhaustion of running a marathon takes its toll on a runner, in addition to the blisters which I know can be excruciating! I hope they heal up quickly! I know there are lots of products they make to cover blisters with these days. It was amazing that you finished within 1% of your goal so am glad your coworker pointed that out!
All in all, bravo for a great accomplishment and here's to more to come!

Carolina John said...

I can't wait to get back into the Hot Yoga studio. My legs are still in pretty bad shape, but I think today will be the last day it will be really tough.

Embrace the recovery time! Typically there is a depression period following a major accomplishment even if the overall goal was not met. That will either manifest in one of two ways: either you'll pick a new sport or pick a new marathon to achieve the same goal. When I missed my sub-13 hour ironman attempt by 12 minutes in 2013, I recovered from the depression by revamping my training approach and picking the next race to attempt the same goal. When I failed to go sub-13 then as well, I switched to trail running and set my sights on the 100.

The point is that you had a goal and now you may feel like you don't have anything to look forward to accomplishing. Embrace the freedom and the next goal will appear.

San said...

Sometimes I wish I had a running buddy, but then again.... you did 3+ hour training runs while having conversations??! I don't think I could run and hold a conversation for that long :) So, kudos to you!

Leigh said...

You have so much to be proud of after your marathon! So many people can never say that they ran one. That's awesome that you made a great friend out of it too. That's how my training partner and I were...only sort of knew each other and REALLY knew each other by the end of training/racing

Jenny said...

My friend and his wife just ran the Berlin marathon and I read her blog post about it ( She's been training and running ultra this year and I especially like her line: "..ran slow or fast, for most people the marathon is an achievement worthy of huge commendation. It is still a distance worthy of respect, and acknowledging and celebrating that by no means changes it in context of the other distances I’ve ran this year"

Abby said...

It is impossible for me to change what is in your own mind and expectations. But I am also going to reiterate that a 4:02 marathon is incredible, Lisa!!!! What was the time on your 1st marathon you ran when you were in your 20's?! I'm sure you crushed that time!!!

But I do know that feeling of just not living up to what you were expecting (my last marathon was exacatly that...and I still beat myself up over it!)

I hope your blisters start feeling better soon!

I'm sure you're ready for a little mental break from all the training. I get like that after I've done too many races, and yearn to have freedom in my workouts!! Barre and yoga classes sound awesome! Especially with the winter months coming up!

And yay for supportive significant others to people like Ryan and Phil! ;)

Be proud of your achievement. Not only did you run 26.2 miles this weekend, but you PR'd and had a great time!!!!!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I am amazed by anyone who can run a marathon; it is such an amazing accomplishment!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

<3 glad you are feeling a bit more positive about your awesome finish. No need to make a decision now about whether you will do a marathon again, who really knows what the future will hold! Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

Charis Faith said...

I'm glad your coworker pointed that fact out to you. I know how painful I find a half marathon so I can't fathom the pain after a full one.

I like not having to decide whether or not I'm going to do something big again, for you it's a marathon... You have so many great options where you are for staying healthy and active!!! I did a DVD that kicked my booty the other night, it was no joke!!! It would be perfect for those nights when you don't want to leave the warmth of your building!

I think you are just amazing!!!

Amber said...

The post-marathon blues are the worst. You sooo badly want to sign up for another race but you know you probably shouldn't but you just can't shake the blegh feeling you have. Hopefully your busy and super fun month of October will be an excellent distraction! I think it's natural to feel disappointed about your time especially if you had a very specific goal in mind that you worked so hard to meet, but everytime you start to think that way just remind yourself how AMAZING your time was. Also given your blisters I am in awe you finished that race, haha! So do not beat yourself up!!

You will definitely keep busy this winter with lots of other fitness pursuits and if you decided to train for another marathon in 2016 you can, but maybe don't make that decision until January :)

Anonymous said...

Such a big accomplishment regardless of whether or not you ever run another marathon. Proud of you!

Jeanie said...

Lisa, I really appreciate your thoughtful personal analysis -- I would agree that there are many more rewards to doing the marathon than simply the statistical and that the training road was very hard. Being able to write this down, really think about it is truly wise -- as are your observations. I'm still in awe, to be honest, that you could achieve this and I say again, bravo.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love people in finance..."less than one percent"! He is totally right though; you did great!

I have met some really great people while running. You know right away if you are going to mesh with them or not. After running 2 or 3 hours with someone every weekend, you feel like you both know everything about them and can still talk for days. I have had the pleasure of doing that, as well as some longer runs, and the best thing of all is pacing someone for the last section of their 100 mile runs. You have to be encouraging and keep up the chatter but not bug the heck out of them. It's challenging but fun, and it creates a bond you just can't understand unless you have done it. You see these people at their best and their worst. It's very emotional!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

It's also an exercise in self-discipline, and you are a rockstar!