what crazy looks like: marathons 2 weeks apart

This is what life is like after you run a marathon and as you get ready to run another marathon 2 weeks later.  I signed up for the Richmond Marathon several months ago.  I haven’t been talking about it much because, to be honest, I know it is all sorts of crazy and I wanted to see how I was feeling after MCM before making any major decisions about what to do.  After assessing how my body feels and also talking with Dorothy who just did marathons two weeks apart, I have decided that crazy as it may be, I am going to go for it.
I’m really excited to go to Richmond on Friday.  My sister Jodi is racing it too and we are going to have so much fun.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to hang out with T and G and to meet the rest of their amazing “posse” that I enjoy hearing about so much on their blogs.  I don’t have a race plan just yet.  My main goals for the race right now are to (1) enjoy myself and (2) listen to my body and not push too hard — no injuries allowed!

So, as I get ready to do this crazy thing I want to document what these two weeks are looking like for me:
Recovery Week:

Last week I did a whole lot of nothing.  Recovery was my middle name and I took it very seriously.

What my recovery week looked like:

  • Ice Bath:  After getting home from the race, I hopped in an ice bath and chilled myself out for about 20 minutes.  It was cold, but necessary.  I filled the tub with cool water, put on my fleece jacket, hopped in and then Robert dumped tons of ice into the tub.  Brrrrr.  We set the timer for 20 minutes and I distracted myself by chatting with him and playing on my phone.  After the 20 minutes were over, I got myself into a nice warm shower and then dressed my three kids up for some Halloween fun as we paraded around our neighborhood that afternoon.  It was good to move my legs and I was still on a major high from the morning’s race and my major PR. 
  • Yummy Food: That night we had all of my family over and pigged out on pizza.  I later had my favorite dessert of Soy Creamy Vanilla ice cream (from Trader Joe’s, yummmm) topped with peanutbutter cups.  Deliciously sinful and hard-earned.  I am not kidding when I tell you that during those last miles of the marathon I was seriously dreaming about that meal and my dessert.  Whatever gets you to the finish line, people!
  • Self Massage:  After dinner and getting everyone to bed I had a romantic date with my foam roller and Tiger Tail stick.  It hurt and I could feel some pretty major knots in my quads and hammies but I got through it.  I am a firm believer in the benefits of myofascial release techniques.  My “torture devises” as I fondly call them, all reside permanently in my living room.  In the weeks leading up to MCM and all last week while recovering I dedicated myself to a minimum of 20 minutes massaging out my muscles even if they weren’t feeling particularly tight or sore.  After MCM the main culprits for me were my hamstrings and quads, but I also made sure to roll out my IT Bands, calves, shins and the bottoms of my feet.  By the end of the week I was feeling really good and stretchy.
  • Movement:  I didn’t go for any runs all week until Saturday, but as a mom of three I didn’t sit around on the couch all week either.  Walking my daughter to and from school, chasing after a very active, crawling baby and doing my normal chores around the house kept me plenty busy all week. 
The Weekend:

By Saturday I was feeling good and VERY ready for a run.  Especially mentally – I missed my outlet and craved a run.  Saturday morning I hit the trail for 8 beautiful miles.  I felt strong and was happy that I maintained an average pace of 8:43/mile with ease and comfort.  It was a lovely way to return to running after my marathon.  After my run I stretched and rolled and was feeling very good.  I took the day off on Sunday and spent the morning watching the NYC Marathon on TV, following runners on my computer and tweeting up a storm – it was a blissful way to spend a Sunday morning!  I love this sport called running.

NYC Marathon on the TV, runner tracking on the laptop and my cute baby eating lunch
This Week:

I am treating this week just like any other taper week.  Even though my legs are feeling fresher and I’m itching for a run, I am going to take it very easy.  The week before MCM I ran a total of 9.5 miles all week.  I will not do any more than that this week, possibly even fewer miles.  I am going to hydrate like crazy, sleep as best I can and continue to have those regular dates with my foam roller.  The marathon is on Saturday morning so we will head to Richmond on Friday mid-day. 

As the week progresses, I am going to think more and more about how I plan to actually run the race.  I am really excited about my Spring marathon (March 17 – Rock n Roll USA here in DC) and I’m intending to get my BQ at that race so I want to make sure that I head into that training cycle feeling strong, rested and confident.  Training begins in December so after Richmond I will be easing up A LOT for a solid few weeks before starting a new training cycle. 

I know the decision to run Richmond 2 weeks after MCM is insane.  As a coach I would not advise people to do this – but let’s face it we are runners and the sheer nature of being a runner and running marathons at all is a bit crazy if you ask me.  Sometimes we do things for emotional reasons….and this is one of those times for me.  I am going to do it and do it in the smartest way possible.  But trust me, I do know that I am crazy.

Have you ever run back-to-back marathons before?  Have you ever made a “crazy” decision with regards to your racing schedule?  Tell us about it!

7 thoughts on “what crazy looks like: marathons 2 weeks apart

  1. You know you're only “good crazy”, right? :^)

    I've never done back-to-back distance races, but I do think running on a relay team just three weeks out from my last marathon was pushing it for my body–if only because of the lack of sleep it caused. But it had to be done and it was totally fun in the end.

    Thanks for this post–I think I need to spend more time on my foam roller after hearing how much it helps you stay fit and flexible. Feeling a little tight these days….

  2. Ooooh- new blog design! I personally would not do back-to-back marathons. Two weeks post marathon the most I can run is 12 miles and I definitely still “feel” the marathon in my legs at that point. But everyone is different. Richmond is one of my favorites. Good luck!

  3. Jess- I like your new blog layout. Your recovery/taper looks good. I always mean to take an ice bath so I'm incredibly impressed that you can fit it in. I'm running the Richmond half so I'll look for you and cheer you on 🙂

  4. I have ran Boston and then Lincoln, Nebraska twice two weeks apart. Both times I did Boston in 2:53 and Lincoln in 2:55.

  5. I am recovering from Boston (in an extremely slow and creaky manner) and want to redeem getting under my goal time ASAP. I'm on the fence about signing up for the Ottawa Marathon in 5 weeks, and even though this is an old post I wanted you to know you may have inspired me to go for it!

  6. Just read all of the above. I did Amsterdam 5 days ago (16th Oct 2016) in a time of 4:00:06 (yes just 6 seconds outside of my sub 4hr goal) and I am doing Dublin in 9 days time. I am probably crazy to go for sub 4hr again but I may have a go and crash and burn in style.

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