Marathon Recovery is Officially Over!

It is four weeks post-marathon, so my best EXCUSES why my running has stunk lately can no longer be used: "I'm still recovering from the marathon, I don't usually run this slowly." "My toenails are infected and/or falling off." "My muscles are rebuilding." "My body is still tired." I guess I'll have to think of some new ones....

It's been a very running-oriented weekend. On Friday night, the Vice President of my running club got married. It was one of the most fun, laid back, coolest weddings Hubby and I have been to. When we arrived, the bar was already open. The bride wore a long white dress and .... flip flops. (I love that!) They got married under the trees outside the reception hall. The bride and groom's parting song was "Rocky Top" (this IS Tennessee and we love us some "Rocky Top"). Then we all ate barbeque. It was so much fun to see some of my running buddies tearing up the dance floor. We all knew we had a 6-8 mile run at 7:00 the next morning, but we had quite a good time anyway. (Oh, and by the way, my husband stepped on my big toenail during the wedding reception and when I looked down, it was flapping in the wind. I smushed it back on, went back out on the dance floor, and later took it off when I got home. I guess if you are going to lose a toenail at a wedding, it might as well be at a RUNNER'S wedding. Now I'm down to 7 nails with one soon to go. Sheesh.)

I did find out that dancing for about 2.5 hours in high heels, eating barbeque, and staying up until 1:00 a.m. don't work all that well for me the next morning for a longish run. I went with the six-mile option. (uh oh... are those excuses? Or as I like to call them -- factors affecting my a bad way)

I started out the run as if I was BACK. Back to where I was before the marathon, back to where I was two months ago. My first two miles were 9:29/pace and 9:39/pace. Awesome! (for me) Then I slowed to 10:15 and beyond on the last four. I never even caught up to any of the usual gals I run with. I could see them in the distance, but I couldn't catch up to them. I still managed to average about a 10:25 for the whole run, but I was hoping for faster.

Today I decided to do another run in the afternoon to see if --

A. I still got it. (Or some form of "it." For me "it" means 9-10 minute miles or on a GLORIOUS DAY, a sub-9 minute mile or two) OR

B. I got nuthin'. (Still. Despite the four weeks of recovery.)

My plan calls for speedwork this Thursday with 4 X 800's in 4:24 with recovery in between. I was curious if I could even run 1/2 mile in 4:24, so after a brief warm up, I took off for a quick 800. It was tough, but I did it in 4:16. That was the only one I did, but at least on Thursday, I'll have some confidence that I can do them! (or at least one of them!) I finished the 2-mile run slowly because today was my "run easy" day.

I'll be totally honest. I'm fighting getting discouraged over the state of my running lately. I had a heart-to-heart with myself during this run. I reminded myself that I have got to run my own race, to run my own RUNS period. It's not about what anybody else can do. It's just about me and the road.

Two lessons I can't seem to get after almost two years of running: Don't go out too fast. and Don't compare yourself to other runners.


Bill said…
Sounds like my kind of wedding!

Two very good lessons, to be sure.
Casey said…
Does anyone ever learn those lessons? I still seem to have problems w/ being too fast and running "as fast as others".
Shelly said…
Great post! You had me cracking up over the toenail- hysterical! I think we all get discouraged from time to time and just have to work through it. I feel like I am kind of lost at the moment because I am not training for anything. It makes a big difference when I have a goal. I am looking forward to running with you this week.
Cheetah Girl said…
I totally agree on the Don't compare yourself to other runners... I get irritated when I see little kids who are running ahead faster than me, but I have to remember that when you race you're running against yourself and that clock. Other people don't really matter! :)
p.s. I haven't lost a toenail yet, but one is looking like it may go soon... I'm paranoid! Does it hurt??
Mama said…
Don't get discouraged! It took me forever to come back from the marathon. Heck, right now I'm having a heck of a time coming back from two half marathons, a week apart...

You'll get there soon.

MCM Mama
Absolutely. Run your own race. It's my mantra and I have to remind myself of it all the time. It is so easy to get caught up in what others are doing, but that never helps. Run your own race!!! It's the only way to get to where you're going!