Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Space Between

Immediately after running the Golden Gate Trail Marathon, I really didn’t feel too bad for the rest of the day.  And the day after, not too bad either, well, sorta.  Starting to move after sitting still for a while was difficult, and walking downstairs was quite the opposite of pleasant.  But I had the notion that a short, easy run that morning would’ve loosened me up and I’d be right as rain once I got back on track.

But it didn’t happen that way.  More than any other time I can remember, it’s been difficult recovering from this last marathon.  Ever since then, I haven’t even come close to a 6:30 pace.  Not a single “good” day.  And more often than not, I wind up stopping in the middle of a run, not necessarily because I’m tired.  My legs aren’t sore.  I’m not out of breath.  I just stop anyway.  I think it’s mostly mental.  But I also get the idea that my knees might be a little weak.  This also happened in the weeks leading up to the Boston Marathon, and I wound up setting a PR there.  So I dunno if it’s really a bad sign.

On my only long run since, on the only weekend between my last marathon and the next one, I set off for 17.5 miles.  For the first 11 or so, I was doing alright - holding about a 6:35 pace.  Not bad at all for a long run!  At that point, total failure.  I spent probably as much time walking as running for the last 6 miles.  I couldn’t tell if I was in a caloric bonk, or if my legs didn’t have it in ‘em that day, or if I’d just lost my grit and gave up when things got tough.

Just to add to that, my family lost a duly loved and respected matriarch this week, putting all of us into a bit of a funk.  I know some people might consider it a little strange to still run a marathon only days later, but I think it’s exactly what I should do.  Show strength.  Carry on.  And live while you can.  This one’s for you, grandma.