Feb 12, 2008

post marathon musings

i always get the post-marathon blues. like postpartum depression i guess, marathon style. the ridiculous weepies are more prevalent in the immediate hours after the race, and are more of a release and combination of exhaustion, relief, joy and pain; and i'm over it now. but after that and usually on the second day comes the obscene tiredness and the constant rethinking of everything. what if there were no hills? what if there were no portapotty issues? what if i had just pushed it a little more? what if i had not walked those two weensy times? what if? i can't help it. it was a shit hard course. the hardest course i have ever run. but still. in between the pride over finishing, i mull every mile over. and just wonder ...

but then i get amazing emails from coach, and supportive and funny comments here, and i get spirit-lifting words of encouragement and pride from my sister and my mom, and emails from friends who are not runners and don't know what a pr is but still want to know everything. all the overwhelming support from family and friends (both bloggy & real-life!) is enough to always reduce me to a puddle of tears of gratitude -- and put it all into perspective.

my coachs' sister took us all in for the weekend, and served as sherpa to our sherpas; riding her bike with my husband and marcia all over town, serving as their tour guide & riding alongside us shouting words of encouragement. and marcia, who hates hills, rode all over them (for the second day in a row, because she had already tackled them on a ride the day before) to cheer us on and take amazing pictures to document the day. my husband, who stood at various corners holding out food for me and rode a portion of the last mile - i swear, the hardest one - with me. it was so great to have them at various points along the way - its the kind of support that is so humbling and makes one so grateful to have such amazing friends.

then there are the friends at home. the friends that offer to take your kids for the weekend. and do crafts with them, get them bathed & ready for school on monday. the friends that get your 11 year old to happily do his homework and even do some extra credit. and even take a shower before mom & dad get home. friends like this make leaving town for a weekend to run a marathon a little bit easier. and anything that makes a marathon a bit easier is a gift. friends like this are good friends to have. i am lucky.

and then there's coach. he called my husband last night to go moutain biking at 10pm in the new fallen and rarely-seen-here snow. as i hobbled sideways down the stairs gritting my teeth through the screaming quad pain and heard coach was going mountain biking the day after running a marathon - i was once again in awe. and said to my husband as i grimaced down the last two steps, i want to be him.

even though there were points during the race where i hated him for roping me into it, i was glad he did. you see - soon after the columbus debacle, and before he officially told me, i got wind of his idea for plan b. i poured over every race and course review there was. and i thought he was insane. and so i went to search for another, flatter, easier race. and i found one in columbus (of all places). it was a lap marathon - 26 laps around a mile circle. i thought surely i could qualify there. but coach had higher aspirations and knew that i'd go mad running in a mile circle 26 times. that, and being able to say i qualified on a shit hard course as opposed to a flat lap course left room for a little more pride.

well, i may not have qualified, but once again and as always, coach was right. and because he had faith in me, and gave me a shit hard ass-kicking schedule, i was able to finish that shit hard ass- kicking race. and it did kick my ass, but i do feel pretty cool at having just run my third marathon. the hardest one. in the best time. i'm willing to bet that running in 26 little circles wouldn't provide the same satisfaction. and i have coach to thank for saving my pride and encouraging me to aim a bit higher. i have coach to thank for running 26.2 with me when all he had planned to do was 13.1. i have coach to thank for starting me on this crazy journey of marathoning.

as much as i was ready to hang it all up on sunday and never run again; much less another marathon - i know i'll be back to run another one. believe me, i've already googled all the tempting suggestions left in my comments. maybe the next one will be the one. and then again, i'm learning that it isn't so much about the actual qualifying, but the journey on the way to the BQ. it's a wild ride. and i like it.

thanks coach.

11 comments:

cyn said...

you are in awe?? m goes biking and you went cross-country skiing?? we are in awe.....

mom said...

I'll second that one too....

amazing

xoxo

Caroline said...

as one-who-keeps-your-children, you have to know that you are as valuable to me as I am to you. whoever said you can't pick your family obviously didn't have the right friends. sista', you 'da BOMB!

mom said...

you did ever so much better than a BQ..you endured..and found an even better place.......and pr...

love you......

Non-Runner Nancy said...

You are very blessed. I try not to be envious, but it's hard. :D Mostly I am just really happy for you though.

Vegan Run Amok said...

You are definitely blessed. What a great post and what great pictures, too! I love this one: "Why do guys dressed like this always run marathons in about 2 hours?" Ha! And you look totally calm and strong in every picture. Awesome!

Vickie said...

Anyone with this much good karma in their life will succeed at their goal. Its written in the cards at some point in time. Maybe the best part is not knowing when it will happen.

house on hill road said...

i think i am the one who is blessed. very much indeed.

anytime, suzanne. anytime.

Frayed Laces said...

I always love how you share your raw emotions about your running. I remember I first got into your blog right after Columbus. I am amazed at how no matter what happens, you always bounce right back. I can't wait to see what marathon #4 has in store for you!

nothingeverything said...

It seems you went out for a BQ and came across something bigger. Good Karma may lead to success..... then you realize that good Karma is your success.

mindy said...

congrats on a fantastic race. I get the same post-race blues. But there will always be another race... :)