Sunday Sweats 45: Life After the Marathon

When I first started writing these posts, I wasn't yet training for the marathon, but it was in my sights and I was looking ahead to a few half marathons. Even though I'm not officially in training right now, I love these weekly chances to put my thoughts on paper and reflect on my week of workouts. So the plan is to keep them going! As always, no pressure to read or comment; I know fitness posts aren't everyone's thing.
November 2–8

Monday: rest
I just ran a marathon, so... yeah, I can't walk, let alone anything else. Today was for rest, ice cream, Inside Out, and flying home from Raleigh.

Tuesday: rest
I still kind of don't know what day it is. I'm walking a bit better than I was yesterday but it's still a struggle. Today was not the best day to have to do a big grocery shopping (especially since I live on the second floor without an elevator).

Wednesday: yin yoga for hips (25 minutes)
I'm finally walking in a somewhat normal fashion, and I really wanted to run today, but my legs just weren't quite there yet. I also wasn't up for a full yoga class, though my muscles are twitching and kind of wondering why the hell we're not moving yet. But I'm being careful, so I just turned to my favorite way to wind down for sleep: deep hip stretches that work so good they're almost uncomfortable, but I can feel the tension seeping out of my joints when I hold them. Ahhh.

Thursday: full body free flow (20 minutes) + 2.42 miles (9:19 pace)
My favorite home practices are the ones where I have some time set aside, turn on a playlist, and do what my body tells me. A sequence just builds itself and I can get my mind out of it. Today I did a LOT of downward dogs to work out the tension in my calves, some hip openers, and settled down onto the mat for backbends and spinal twists. The perfect warm-up for my first post-run chiropractor visit and miles!

I can't explain what the difference is, but there's a difference between pre-marathon and post-marathon running. I felt it the moment I stepped outside, I felt it in every step of my run. Something different, but I'm not quite sure what. I didn't go out with a prescribed mileage today (the first time in pretty much my entire running career) but I wanted to keep it short to not exacerbate this obnoxious runners knee I was nearly struck down by during the marathon. I just needed to get some miles in and loosen up these muscles and stop feeling so antsy. Mission accomplished.

Friday: quick low flow (10 minutes)
Stayed low to the mat with childs pose variations and some low backbends. Trying to give my hips a break but need to get my body back to some normal movements!

Saturday: full body flow (25 minutes) 3.12 mile run (9:14 pace)
With YTT (yoga teacher training) looming, I'm trying to focus on sequence-building and remembering to create free flows that could eventually be part of full classes I'm hoping to teach next year. I tried to mentally segment this short practice into warm up, "meat," and relaxation.

Again, no prescribed mileage today, but there were a few particularly beautiful streets I wanted to run so I just went with my body. My town is seriously the best to just run around, taking random turns in. One day I'll have to snap some pictures of the gorgeous houses and heavenly tree-lined streets. Anyway, legs felt good but I could have worked the calves out a little more before I went. They're still feeling all those marathon miles.

Sunday: 5.31 mile run (9:22 pace)
I didn't plan to run today, but it ended up being one of those days where I'm so, so grateful I picked up running. I was in a pretty bad mood and just kind of moping and being angry at the world, so I decided to go running. At least looking at some pretty trees would be better than nothing. And I came on a different Sunday than I left on. Just like that.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 10.85 miles
Yoga: 80 minutes

Reflections:
In my entire nearly two-year running career, I don't think I've ever gone for a run without a specific finish line in mind. In the beginning, it was the yet-to-be-determined 5k my running buddy/coach promised me I could get to. Then it was the next race, then the first half marathon, then TBD-next half marathons, and for the past 11 months, it's been the marathon. I've never laced up and run without some degree of feeling like I had to or should.

This is the first time ever that that's not the case, and it feels seriously better than I could have imagined. Of course, I know I'm racing again (in fact, I know exactly when I'm racing again, and have a tentative race calendar through early 2017), but I'm not training for it. I'm running because oh my god, I love running. I'm running because it's the best way to feel like I'm alive. I hope I never lose that.
Hey, do you guys remember that time I ran a marathon? I'll never not love looking at this picture.

Comments

  1. i'm glad you gave yourself sometime to rest this week and look at you - even after a marathon you still run up 5 miles!!! xo, biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. You'll never lose that feeling that you're alive when you're out on the road. This passion has transformed you into a you that you love and has had the power to show you a world that you love as well. Congrats on your first week of "just because" miles. They were always some of my favorites!

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  3. Yes you did run NC!!! I'm so happy the post-marathon life is treating you well! As much as you and I love finish lines, there *is* something amazing about running without one in mind. I always get back to finish line-fueled miles much earlier than I think I will, but I do enjoy them for a little bit.

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  4. I am jealous of your post-marathon running! Glad you're back at it with no crazy repercussions. So when's the next race?

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  5. that picture is the best.
    also the best, isn't it an amazing feeling running with no 'point' or finish line? it does definitely feel better than you imagine, i mean, it does for me as well.
    i enjoy reading sunday sweat posts a lot! i keep almost re-starting them, but then i never post them and keep changing my mind. i don't know.

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  6. I don't even have an NC shirt (other than NC State shirts/shorts/hoodies), I'm super jelly!!
    YAYYYYY marathon and runs with no agenda. I'm jealous. Until you brought it up, I hadn't thought about just running to run in so long. It will be nice to one day get back to that life, lol.
    Good luck with the recuperation process!

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