So, it’s been two weeks since I ran my marathon. My body is still gently protesting from the experience, but I’m largely recovered. I’ve continued to think about my experience and recovery and have a few thoughts:
- Running a marathon is hard. And fun: Finishing my marathon was one of the hardest physical things I’ve done in a long time. It wasn’t easy. However, in the end, I think the experience was worth it. In retrospect, if I add up the training, the marathon and the recovery, I really did have fun.
- My marathon prep was fairly rushed. I decided to run my marathon on a bit of a lark. I had just finished a half-marathon on Labor Day weekend when I decided to train. I got an awesome coach (more on him in a later article) and we got to work. I wasn’t in the best running shape. My base wasn’t terribly strong and my core body strength wasn’t awesome when I started. I still weigh too much. Yet, somehow I managed to finish. It wasn’t pretty, but I finished.
- My marathon experience was pretty painful for four reasons. First, I had just finished a week of night shifts and I slept 4-5 hours per night for three nights prior to the run. Second, I got achilles tendonitis and ran very little (a total of around 6-8 miles) for the three weeks before the run. Third, I was probably about 15 pounds over my ideal running weight. Fourth, I’m still a relatively inexperienced runner with an okay, but not great base. Fix those issues and I’m confident my next marathon will be better.
- Recovery takes time. Be patient: My achilles tendonitis came back in a pretty spectacular way after my marathon. Honestly, it never really went away. I was quite sore the few days following. I’ve managed to start running this week and the runs are actually helping me feel better. However, I got a little ambitious thinking I could do a half-marathon two weeks after my marathon. Perhaps if the issues in #3 had been addressed, I could have. However, my wife and the rational part of my brain prevailed and I sat out a very cool half yesterday. Perhaps next year.
- I’m trying to decide what marathon to do next. I’m thinking the fall of 2016 is a good time. New York? Marine Corps Marathon? Chicago? San Antonio (again)? Any thoughts out there?