Ohmygosh. I’m SO glad I took yesterday and today off of work. Not that I couldn’t have gone to work, but it was just so nice to
finally! be able to fully relax. Although, I almost feel like I’m not really relaxing…My mind is still going a mile a minute, and I’m already thinking about the next race. I’m replaying the race in my mind and so thankful that the whole experience was a memorable one. And I’m also replaying everything I did leading up to the race, and trying to make plans for the next one so that I don’t crash and burn so early – or at all!
Even though I kept telling myself to just finish…injury free…and enjoy every hard-earned minute of this marathon…there was still that goal of finishing in under 5 hours that was in back of my head. I know I could have done it had I fueled better. Before the race. But at the same time I’m still so relieved I never had the mental wall that I anticipated.
In the last 2 days, I’ve read 2 marathon recaps from Megan over at Miles over Matter, and I’ve cried through them both. She just ran her first 2 marathons this year – Lifetime Marathon in Miami, FL, and the Chicago Marathon last weekend – and I have yet to read truer words regarding running a marathon.
You go through emotions during those training runs, but there is a difference in the emotions when your IN the race. When your IN it, you can think back over the last few months of training and everything you went through, fought through, pushed through, to make yourself ready for race day. Then race day is here and you get to see what your made of.
Did your training pay off? Did you taper enough? Did you do enough long runs? Did you fuel properly? (No.) Did you get enough sleep? Did you take rest days? Did you do some cross-training? Did you get your mind right? All of these things affect race day. There is so much mental prep that goes into running, that I sometimes don’t know which it takes more of – physical strength or mental strength. But if you start running and training and don’t have the mental strength, you will. Running sends you through every emotion you can imagine. Every thought you can imagine. And you have to fight your mind to push through the negative thoughts, the thoughts that tell you to quit and that you can’t do this. You have to push through – run through – those thoughts to get to the thoughts that tell you that you CAN do this.
It changes you because it shows you how strong you are mentally – not just physically. The physical strength will come with time. But even when you have great physical strength, you are still fighting mentally. Your always fighting mentally. I LOVE that about running. It makes you able to handle SO many other tough situations in life. It gives you clarity. It brings break-through’s. You can smile because you are overcoming the battles in your head. You can smile because you are in pain and yet, you are still moving forward. You can smile because…
You are half-way there and in this race, you KNOW when it will end.
It’s life-changing. The training and work you put into a marathon starts about 4 months prior. And even though you are typically only running 1 long run a week, you – or maybe it was just me – spend the whole week prior to that long run, thinking and planning for that run. So those 4 months, 16 weeks of marathon training, consume your brain. A.K.A. your life. It’s weird to think about this coming weekend and not have “a running plan”…I don’t really know what to do with myself. This morning I woke up and The Hus asked me what my plans were for the day and I replied, “spinning tonight”. He laughed. I might have been able to do some spinning, but at the same time I figured it wouldn’t hurt me to R-E-L-A-X for a few. Even though I feel like I’m not really relaxed mentally, I’ve enjoyed the downtime.
And I definitely needed that massage last night! She really worked out a lot of the tension in my quads and calves. It was a good pain. I noticed I could walk better afterwards! haha
Today I did some yoga. I realized something today about yoga. I NEED it. But I hate it. I hate it because it is SO hard for me. There. I said it. Yoga is hard. And it hurts. It hurts so bad. But it feels so good afterwards.
Some of the poses I did today:
I just held each pose for as long as I could. It was no more than 30 seconds though. And I could tell my left side was so much tighter than my right.
And that’s that. Back to work tomorrow. Hopefully back to the gym on Thursday for strength class. And then I will figure out which race is next! :)
And this is for my nephew, V, because he told me that he reads my blog. Haha. At school. And at whoever’s computer he can get on. Just to look at the pictures. He’ll be 8 this year. And I see that he just commented on one of my posts….