How do you know when someone’s run a marathon? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
Are you sick of hearing about this marathon yet? I’m sick of talking about it. Actually, that’s a lie. I could talk about it forever, but I won’t. I do think it’s worth wrapping up (if only for my own selfish purposes) with some reflections on training and what I would change. First, let me just say, I think I had a great training plan. I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan, and it was great. It was easy for me to stick with (I never missed a run), and I felt mentally and physically prepared for the day. I know I expressed some disappointment in my time, but I finished in exactly the time I trained for, and other than a few days of soreness, my body recovered very quickly.
If I were to do one again (and I’m not saying I would!) here’s what I would change:
1) Add some speed work, tempo runs and hills.
All my runs were evenly paced. It was about building distance without injuring myself or burning out mentally, and I think that was absolutely the right approach in tackling a new distance. Now that I’ve done it, my next training plan would have to include a variety of runs. The speed workouts I think would serve two purposes. The obvious being getting faster while going longer. The less obvious would be just breaking up the monotony. 18 weeks of slow and steady runs begins to feel a little like Groundhog Day: Crunch Gym Edition. The hills are crucial because almost any 26.2 mile course is going to involve at least a few, and I find hill training to be the only type of running that almost doubles as cross training. It builds muscle without wearing me out too much for my next run. Speaking of cross training…
2) I’d actually do some cross training.
This is my fault and not the plan’s. It calls for one day of cross training, and I don’t think I ever did one. I liked that my plan only included 4 runs a week as I think it kept me injury free, and it allowed me to have some sort of a life outside of training. However, I think some weight training and yoga for flexibility could have benefit me greatly in that last grueling stretch of the race.
3) I’d eat the damn banana.
As far as what’s next, I’m trying to take it easy, but I also know myself. I like structure and schedules. Saying I’ll just work out when I feel like it is sort of panic inducing for me. Not that I feel like I always need to be working out, but I like to know what days I’ll be at the gym and when I’ll get to relax. Having a schedule allows me to take days off guilt free. I don’t know how to make that sound non-disordered, but I promise, it’s less crazy than it reads. So, my middle ground is a schedule with more variety.
I’m going to aim for 4-5 workouts a week. I want to run and lift weights and spin and do yoga. I actually took my first hot yoga class in over a year! I’m going to keep my gym membership because it’s $10 a month, but I do plan on using my basement set up (spin bike and free weights) a lot this winter.
I do have some running goals. My PRs are three years old, and I’d still like to run a sub-2 hour half. I’m not focusing on those right now though. I started training the week I came home from our honeymoon. Between the wedding and the marathon, I’ve been non stop for all of 2014. There are some other areas of my life that need focus and attention…
I start a new job on Monday. It’s a big leap for me. I’ve been at my current job for only 16 months, which is not my norm (I was at the job before that for 4 years), but it’s an amazing opportunity, and I’m really excited about it. I’m going to throw some serious time and energy behind my career because I feel like I’m at a tipping point.
Mainly though, I just need to recharge. I need to be home with my husband and my pets. I want to read more and finish up house projects. I want to do more cooking and baking and knitting and other totally age appropriate activities for a 27 going on 87 year old. The marathon was a big itch, and now that it’s scratched, I’m ready for a bit of break.
That’s all for now. Bye!