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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Marathon recovery, and what's next?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I truly treated last week's marathon as a long run, rolling straight back into training. Risky? Probably. I have mixed feelings about races as "training runs". For one thing, I like to think of myself as someone who really wants to race! with all the effort! for all the PRs! And then, I think that "it's a training run" can become an excuse for a poor performance, and I don't want to start giving myself excuses. And for another thing, unless you have supreme self-control, there is an injury risk, as it's likely that the "training run" will be faster than typical training.
For your viewing pleasure, me covering my mouth politely while choking on a gel mid-race (manners matter all the time!)
I justified Sunday's marathon-as-a-workout for two reasons: one, it's just plain stupid to all-out race a marathon half-way trained; two, I'd been feeling SO bad for SO long, that a healthy day made me want to go ahead and run the distance since I might not have another chance soon (I really don't know if my sudden improvements will last because I don't know why I have pancytopenia!).
Anyway, now that I've explained my oddball behavior, I assessed how I felt Sunday night and throughout the day Monday, and determined that, but for sore quads, I didn't feel that much different than I would after a typical hard long run. So I slowly eased back in, with four 9.5 minute miles on soft surfaces Monday, then straight back to work on Tuesday. Luckily Tuesday was an easy day for us, with some aerobic-pace loops on the Bayou bridges. But of course, the race went over these bridges, so it was kind of deja-vu in the most painful way. I survived, and by Wednesday felt back to normal. The only different thing about this week was my hunger: I was absolutely starving all week, even to the point of getting out of bed to microwave some rice at 11pm one night. I'm usually hungry after a marathon, but relative inactivity keeps the starvation in check. Not so this week: keeping a normal workout schedule made me ravenous.

If tomorrow's long run goes well (and it might not, since I have a ball tonight and won't be home until maybe 2 or 3, and it starts at 6 am!) I'll be at 69 or even 70 miles - the week after a marathon. All I can say is, this bravado better be rooted in reality, and Boston better be significantly faster than this last race!

Speaking of, Boston is up soon, but not up next. Our team is heading to Alabama to run the Azalea Trail 10k. I ran that race years ago as part of the NOTC's team, and it was my very first team experience! I thought I ran really well considering the circumstances (like, I had a FRACTURED FEMUR as it turns out), so I'm excited to see how this year's race will go. The plan is for the marathon group to stay overnight and complete a Sunday long run on the rolling hills nearby. Sounds fun, and I'm excited! Other than that, though, I might just behave myself and not do any other sudden races.


  1. I admire your approach. I agree that it's good to "race" races, but as long as you go into it with a certain mindset and don't shift that, then I think you're in good shape. Especially when there is a race in your neighborhood and you need to do a long run anyway-- why not hop in? Hope you have fun at that 10K!

  2. Dang, crazy that you basically PR'd the marathon when treating it like a training run. I know you won't consider it a PR since it measured short but I think of it as a PR! I hope you stay super healthy!!!