Thursday, May 3, 2012

On to the Next One

It’s been almost four weeks since my marathon. In that time, I’ve slept in, splurged on junk food unworthy of training days, gone for some embarrassingly short runs, and tried to enjoy the time off. Except that, I’m a runner. So I spent my time off thinking about when I could get back to running.

For one thing, I’m not entirely satisfied with my Charlottesville performance. Yes, it was a win and a PR, and I’m still thrilled by that. I gave my best that day. But, as you know, I have big goals, and a PR of two and a half minutes isn’t going to cut it. Yes, yes, the hills, they were terrible. But there’s no way to tell what I’d have done without the hills until the next one. And so, on to the next one...

A few days ago, I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon. It will be fast and flat and hopefully I can get a solid PR. Also, there was something about Charlottesville that didn’t make it feel like a real marathon. My legs felt it, for sure, but the atmosphere felt less like the Main Event that I make marathons out to be. Philly is bigger and more legitimate than Charlottesville (10,000 in the marathon, visible mile markers!), although not quite as big a spectacle (read: expensive) as NYC or Chicago. Hopefully there will be a bunch of women that I can latch onto; I’m not looking to run alone again. Also, I’m excited to run a race I haven’t run before; the last three have been repeats. And as Team Teal has its roots in and around Philly, hopefully they’re happy to hear this news.

So I’ve signed up and secured my spot, but training won’t start until mid-July. In the meantime, there’s fun to be had at shorter distances. I’m hoping to run some 5ks and 10ks in the coming weeks and to try to improve my PRs so they are not so embarrassing next to my marathon one.

But first I’m running the Broad St. 10 miler in Philly this weekend. I’ve never raced this soon after a marathon (4 weeks), but I couldn’t resist signing up since I’ve wanted to do this one for a few years. A bunch of friends and family are running, including my Brother who has challenged me to a sibling rivalry. He lives in Philly and is intent on winning on his home turf. In the last few weeks, he’s been getting into shape, while I’ve been seemingly decomposing (see above). I’ve been running a little, but always watchless, not caring about the pace, just how my body feels. I’m always impressed with people that can run successfully a few days after a marathon, pick back up their mileage, run some speedwork. I am not one of those people; I feel beat up and slow after a race and I’m careful to give myself all the recovery I need. Last weekend I was feeling like the old Runner Teal again, so yesterday I wore my watch for the first time. I was hoping to do a mile or two at the pace I want to run Sunday. I thought it would help boost my confidence that I hadn’t lost everything. It backfired. I don’t know if it was the humidity, the little sleep I got, or the chocolate bars I’ve gorged on since the race, but I bombed. I couldn’t keep the pace for one mile, I’m not sure how I’ll handle ten. The good news is I’ve never run a 10 mile race, so automatically I’ll PR. (This is the standard line of thinking. But what if I run slower than half marathon or even marathon pace? Then my ten mile split from those races will still be faster. This is seeming more and more realistic.) I know I can’t base a race on one workout, but I haven’t been doing any workouts so that's all I've got. I keep thinking about a 10k I ran a few years ago on very little training a few weeks after a marathon. I surprisingly PRed and Brother said it was because I hadn’t lost as much fitness as I thought I had. (It’s all mental!) This is what scares him going into Sunday. Either way, instead of thinking of this as a race that I’ve stayed in great shape for, I’m thinking of it as a race to kick off summer racing. And if the sibling rivalry fizzles, I’ll be back in Philly in November. Just saying.

Dream big,


  1. Psyched! Phila Marathon is a blast. Since the sibling rivalry trash talk has begun, I can add that your brother ran the Phila Marathon a few weeks after the Iron Man in Hawaii. That was amazing.
    You may run with some locals in Broad Street you'll see again at the Marathon. Get pumped!

  2. Your so hip hop! :-P