|#11 – here i come!|
I was really happy with the way that I raced MCM – coming across the finish line with a 9 minute PR on a very tough day was something to be extremely proud of and grateful for. I dealt with the day the best way that I could – taking the hills and the winds carefully and in control and then staying mentally strong and steadfast when my stomach decided to change everything on me with 8 miles to go. The thing is though, in the days following that race a lot of thoughts began to swirl through my head. My body did not feel as though it had just run my fastest ever marathon. My legs were recovering so well and my heart was yearning for another chance. A chance to run the race I trained so hard for all cycle. I had conversations with myself and with close friends and my husband (I’m sure I drove everyone nuts!) – wondering would it be silly to try to run another 26.2 before my spring marathon? Would it be foolish? Would it be ridiculously impatient? Would I be sacrificing my *big picture* running goals (to stay injury free, to take care of my body and to remain passionate about running for years and years and YEARS) for another shot at racing a fall marathon?
I evaluated my reasons and I scanned by body – as well as my heart – trying to decide whether or not this was a good idea for me. And as I did this, things became increasingly clear to me – I owe it to myself to try. I believe I can do it and that I can do it well. I would need some time to recover and I would need to handle the time between races intelligently and patiently. I looked for marathons that were still open and that were within driving distance, and right away I saw the Rehobeth Marathon and knew instantly that this was THE race for me.
SO, why Rehobeth?
* It is 6 weeks after MCM. I have run marathons 6 weeks apart before and I set a huge PR for the second race (this was last fall, when I ran the Lehigh Valley Marathon and then MCM exactly 6 weeks later). 6 weeks is enough time for my body to recover and restore and be ready to rock another marathon. If it were much closer I would be worried that I wouldn’t be ready for a PR race, if it were too much farther out I would risk losing my “mojo” and feeling burned out.
* When I was a baby, my parents bought a townhouse in Bethany Beach, which is about 15-20 minutes from Rehobeth. Every summer between the ages of 2-23, we would pack up the car and drive to the beach and live there – all summer long. I don’t really know how to explain to you how special this place is to me. It is HOME in so many ways. I cannot wait to run a race there.
* We have lifelong friends who live there, which means a few awesome things: we get to spend time with people we love dearly (my husband and kids are all coming with me!), I will have the support of loved ones there, and we also have a free place to stay!
* It is a small race and this has a lot of appeal for me. I love big races – the excitement and the support they involve – but the idea of running a smaller race entices me so much, too. The simplicity of an out-and-back course on a pretty trail with no huge crowds just sounds so nice and peaceful. Plus, it will make it very easy to find my family and friends before, during and after the race.
* The course is supposed to be flat and fast – no monster hills to climb this time. I think it will be an ideal place to run a strong fast race!
It’s been a little less than 2 weeks since MCM and I am feeling strong and recovered. I’m using the 2nd edition of the Pfitzinger book Advanced Marathoning to help guide me with my training right now. It is a great book and I highly recommend it – I have turned to it many times over the course of the last year or so, though I have never followed any one of the plans exactly, there is tons of advice and insight. In the back of the book there is a section on running multiple marathons with great advice, inspiring and informative stories and sample training plans based on how many weeks you have between marathons.
|thank you, Pfitzinger|
Last week and this week I have been easing back into running, almost like a reverse taper (24 total miles last week, around 45 this week). I’m not pushing my pace at all right now – all of the runs feel easy though some are faster than others. I haven’t attempted any speed work or tempo runs at all, and don’t plan to until some time next week. This is a really cool plan and something totally different for me. At times I question it – I worry I am not doing enough miles or that I am running them too slow and will lose all my fitness – but as soon as thoughts like that pop into my head I replace them with the knowledge, the gut feeling and the trust I have that I am doing this RIGHT. I truly believe that if I discipline myself and honor the plan and the paces, I will be setting myself up for success. Don’t get me wrong – I know there are NO guarantees with the marathon and that anything can happen no matter how *perfectly* I train or think I train, but I feel that if I do too much and push myself too far I will risk getting injured and not even making it to the start line. I have run enough marathons to know my body and to know what limits I should push and what limits I should not try to break through. This whole thing has been an incredible part of my journey as a runner and as a person. I am taking it one day at a time and am keeping the big picture clear – front and center.
Have you ever run back-to-back marathons before? Have you ever read Pfitzinger’s book or followed any of his training plans? I’d love to hear your advice and insights!