“Tomorrow is another day, and there will be another battle!” – Sebastian Coe
I have never trained for back-to-back marathons. I ran Boston on April 18th and the Kentucky Derby Marathon is approaching (this Saturday). Initially my plans were to race my heart out in Boston and run the Derby Marathon for fun (no worries about pace or time). However, something changed in Boston. After the grueling 26.2 miles of constant decline in elevation and enduring Heartbreak Hill, I felt like a million bucks! Not once did I hit the wall nor did I think about quitting (this is a first for me). I ran with my heart and paced myself the entire way (by pace I mean when the road was flat I ran faster and when I was going up or down hill I held back). I took the advice of the pros and kept my feet under my hips with a slight lean forward. Each step I took my mid-foot struck the ground (saving my legs) followed by a quick turnover (well, quick for me). All the studying pre-Boston paid off because I had a great race with a great finish. The Tuesday following Boston I still felt good, my legs were “tired” but not sore or in pain. Over all my body felt amazing considering what I had just put it through. I realized I could potentially race the KY Marathon maybe even PR (better than a 3:32). I had a few training challenges in front of me, “How do I maintain my running without overtraining. How do I run and recovery at the same time within 10 days?” I still do not have the answer but I hope I have made smart and sensible decisions recently.
My approach has been SLOW and steady runs (more of a jog). I ran 7 miles (8:40 pace) 2 days post Boston, took Thurs off, Crossfit on Friday (plyos and stretches), 6 mile recovery run on Saturday (8:30 pace), took Sunday off, 6.5 mile recovery run (8:48 pace) on Monday, Tuesday went to hot yoga, took Wednesday off, Thursday 3 mile morning run with hot yoga in the evening, Friday 3 mile recovery run (is planned) and Saturday is race day once more. I normally do not go to yoga (mainly because I can’t afford it) but I had no choice after my Monday night fall. That’s right, I ate asphalt (and part of a tree). I saw the curb I tripped over but was not able to pick my feet up high enough to maneuver over it. Within the first .12 miles of my run I was flying in mid air and crashed onto the sidewalk and landed partly on a tree. I quickly picked myself up and ran a few blocks up the road (I was so embarrassed I didn’t want anyone to see me. It hurt my pride more than anything). Once I felt like I was far enough away from the accident I stopped to examine myself. My left leg and arm were sore, bruising had begun and I had a little road rash (which I am completely okay with). Nothing appeared to be broken or out of place so I continued on. My left arm throbbed the entire way as it began to swell. I think God felt bad for me because he held the strong thunderstorms off until I step onto my porch. At that moment the grey sky unleashed sheets of rain and high winds. In one run lasting less than an hour I learned, “You win some and loose some.”
The following day I noticed the fall hurt my body more than I knew. When I awoke my neck and shoulders were tight and sore, my left elbow was sore to the touch and my legs were bruised worse than I remembered. I assume I tensed up on the way to the ground. It was like having DOMS (but not from running). I was worried my fall could throw a wrench into racing the marathon. My solution was hot yoga. I use to go to yoga all the time and rarely suffered from injuries. Since I gave birth to Sloane there is little time and money for extra activities (it was run or yoga but not both). I forgot how slow and calming the classes are (and how extreme the heat is). I enjoyed stretching and the warmth of the room but I did not have the patience for the duration (it was a test of pure endurance). Before I had a family and it was just me I had all the time in the world. Now that the world does not revolve around me I am constantly thinking about all the things I need to do or should be doing. It was tough for me to relax the full hour and thirty minutes. I wish I could enjoy it the way I use to. I made it through the lengthy class and was happy with the results. The next day I felt renewed. I was no longer locked up, the only evidence of my fall was a little tenderness.
After weeks of severe weather this morning was nothing but clear skies (it was nice to see the sun again)! I was excited to lace my shoes up and run in the clear without wind or rain. The morning was cooler than I expected, 46 degrees with a nice breeze. For the first time since Boston I did not feel like I was picking bricks up with every step. I was able to move swiftly (what a great feeling). I only covered 3 miles but it was better than nothing. I am returning to the 180 degree room at hot yoga tonight for one final stretch before the Kentucky Derby Marathon. I hope I was able to maintain my running ability and recover at the same. I will soon find out, until then happy running!