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Post – Savannah Thoughts

by Meghann on November 8, 2011

On Saturday I ran my 7th marathon (if you count my ultra) and I felt great.

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I had forgotten how much I love marathons. Last year at this time I was training for my sub-4:00 in Palm Beach and completely burnt myself out on running. Training went great, but running the race – and struggling in those last 6 miles – was a challenge. It hurt and I was pretty sure I never wanted to feel like that again.

Then I recovered.

I took a break from marathons, ran a couple of half marathons, and completed my first half ironman.

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I had registered for Savannah back in April hoping I would be out of my marathon funk by then and ready to race. What I failed to calculate was just how close Savannah was to Augusta. I jumped straight from completing my 70.3 one weekend to training for Savannah with a 15 miler the next.

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Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. That run was tough. Actually all my ‘training’ runs were tough leading up to Savannah. I wasn’t expecting much and just wanted to run with my little brother and finish.

Then race day came.

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Everything was perfect. The weather? The crowds? The company? The flat course? Perfect. There was absolutely no pressure from any sort of time goal and my legs soared.

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Isn’t it funny when we go into something without any expectations that we end up surprising ourselves? When Ben started to hit his wall in the early 20s, I kept waiting for mine, but it never came. I took that as a sign that I was running with my brother for a reason and became the biggest cheerleader I could to push my brother to the finish line. I’m pretty sure he wanted to punch me by the end (in fact, I think he screamed that at one point), but I got him across.

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The original plan was to run this race and casually train for another marathon next fall, but – by the time we made it to the finish – the only thought going through my head was that I could do this faster. For the first time in over a year I started getting that urge to train again. I mean, really train again. I thought, wait a minute, can I beat 3:59:36? Do I have another ’3′ marathon in me? Do I have what it takes?!

Maybe it’s because my body completely forgot what it was like to run a sub-4:00.

Maybe I just needed a year to fully recover from my burn out.

Maybe I just needed a little push.

But, I’m ready.

Sub- 3:59:36 or bust in spring 2012.

Now I just need a race. ;)  

Lunch

My lunch today was a platter plate filled with broccoli, carrot, cheese, and apple.

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Salsa, almond butter, and hummus on the side for dipping.

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So. good. :)

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Great thoughts, Meghann! I’m on a bit of a racing hiatus at the moment (and have been since the marathon I ran in 2009!) but am starting to feel the itch to get back into it in the spring. Like you said, maybe I just needed a little time to recover from burn out, and to re-fall in love with running again. Sounds like your race recovery is going well!
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2 Colleen @ seecmuse.blogspot.com November 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Do the Rock n Roll in Nashville at the end of April! It’ll be my first…gulp…
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3 mary November 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Flying pig! Flying pig! :) Please come run it with me! you and kelly and ben!

http://www.flyingpigmarathon.com/

Think about it.
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4 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm

SERIOUSLY considering it ;)
Meghann recently posted..Post – Savannah Thoughts

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5 Mary November 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

YAY! I’m pretty sure i’m going to sign up for real when my next pay check rolls through in a week :)

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6 Deva @ Deva by Definition November 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I’m signed up for the flying pig half – you should TOTALLY COME!
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7 Mary @ food and fun on the run November 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Awesome job not hitting the wall! Maybe one day when I run a marathon I will not hit the wall! I am hoping for that in April at the Country Music Marathon :0)
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8 Dori November 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Can’t wait to hear what race you decide on! You absolutely have another sub-4 in you, you’re a naturally fast, strong runner. Look how well you did on Saturday without having been able to fully train.
Dori recently posted..Running, But Not Finishing, The ING NYC Marathon

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9 Laura November 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Cough… Eugene… Cough.

I might be trying to recruit the entire world to come to my corner of the country. By might, I mean definitely am.

Congrats on such an awesome race. I can’t wait till I can have a race with no implosion.
Laura recently posted..Monday Morning Motivation

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10 Jillian @ sprinkle massacre November 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I need that triple condiment plate — where did you get it???

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11 michelle November 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Eugene Marathon. Dooooo it
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12 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Good for you! I hope that’s how I feel after my half in less than 2 weeks!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Sweet & spicy butternut squash soup

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13 Bri November 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Go for sub-3:50 – you’ve already done sub-4. :) You’re short-changing yourself! My (totally unsolicited) advice is to first train to run a really fast half. Whatever that means to you; I’d say definitely sub-1:50 if you want to PR without fainting in the full. The half is an awesome predictor race if you give it a good effort. Otherwise it’s hard to guage your fitness level and see improvement. As an illustration: I began training for my first marathon a few years back with the general goal of finishing it. I got talked into doing a half a couple of months before the full and really focused on training for that race (but still did the marathon training long runs). I ended up pulling out a 1:45, which clued me into the fact that “just finishing” the marathon was far too easy a goal. Without having prepared for the half, I would have probably set out at a 10:00/mile pace for the marathon. Would have been cool to finish it nonetheless, but it was much more rewarding to achieve a more calculated, challenging goal.

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14 Bri November 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

By the way, I’m not making light of finishing a marathon in under 4 hours or any finishing time. All awesome accomplishments., without a doubt. The real point of my comment was that you’re a great runner and seem capable of pushing yourself to get even faster.

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15 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Thank Bri! Trust me, my next immediate goal is a sub-1:50 half. I have a few lined up that I want to tackle in the early spring and I know I’ve got it in me. I think part of my mind just remembers how tough it was to finish under 4 hours, but I’ve gotten to the point where I know I can do faster. I may even have that sub-3:50 in me !

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16 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm

NOW that is a lunch worth having! Looks delicious!!

I totally understand the burnt-out feeling. SO not fun. Our bodies need breaks, and then they come back even stronger!!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Easy Butternut Squash Soup

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17 Candice November 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

You got this for sure!! Way to make a new goal so soon after completing your last;) Come and run this one with me!! http://www.getoutandlive.org/ogden-marathon Its an amazing course! Great support and just beautiful the whole way!

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18 Tess November 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

You should consider running RNR New Orleans! Great city, completely flat course, well-organized…I ran the half last year and LOVED it and am running the full this year and I can’t wait! It’s the first weekend in March. :)

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19 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I thought about it, but it’s a little early for me. I was thinking April or May. :) Good luck on the full!
Meghann recently posted..Post – Savannah Thoughts

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20 Hillary November 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

This is kind of the best possible thing that can happen after a race, isn’t it? Instead of feeling like you never want to race again, you feel energized and inspired to get out there and kick ass. Go get ‘em.
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21 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Exciting! I know you can do it. :)
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22 mel November 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

You snack plate looks delicious but its like no food!! You need a piece of ww bread and some protein like greek yogurt. Did this fill you up for long? I’m not picking on you at all! Just seriously wondering

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23 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

The snack plate had almond butter, hummus, and cheese in place for protein. I’ll admit it was missing a whole grain carb, but I thought the plate did good at filling me up.

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24 mel November 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

It all does balance out!

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25 Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

It’s the things that you have zero expectations for that always turn out the best! That lunch looks so gourmet with the little sectioned dip plate. Where did you get that plate??
Liz @ Tip Top Shape recently posted..Xoco

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26 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I think I got it from Homegoods earlier this year. I’m not 100% sure though. :)

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27 Lauren November 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Nice post, but your brother got himself across that finish line.

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28 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

You’re right! He totally did. I just helped him with the little motivation to keep him going.

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29 Krissy November 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Woohoo! Go for the Publix Georgia Marathon March 18th! Fun scenic course through Atlanta and all the cute neighborhoods it has to offer. This will be my first full marathon, but I have run the half of this race! Would love to see you there!
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30 Krissy November 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

PS- I would love to see a post on goal setting. Like how do you know what you are capable of? I know you have done 7 fulls, so it is easy to say just break my PR. But coming from having done 2 halfs…..how do you set a goal for a full? Bri above talked about setting a goal of just finishing and then short changing herself. So how do you set goals based on other races and really know what your fitness level is. Make sense? That would be a helpful post.
Krissy recently posted..Week ending 11/6

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31 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Thanks for the topic idea! I would say for your first marathon to base your goal on your training runs and how you feel, but I know it gets more complicated than that.

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32 Vikki November 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I’m curious. How do you plan to incorporate the nutritionist’s suggestions into your diet? I think it would be an excellent blog series if you tried to follow exactly what she suggested for a month and recorded how it was working for you or not working for you.
Vikki recently posted..Rejection Sucks

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33 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I’ve been slowly working those points into my blog posts, like adding protein to my breakfast and at lunch. I am going to try and keep it up, but I like you idea of monthly updates on my thoughts. Thanks. :)

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34 Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

yay for training goals!!! And LOVE that lunch!
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35 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I definitely tend to enjoy things more when I don’t put too much pressure on myself, which is hard for me to avoid sometimes!
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36 Katie @ Livehalffull November 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

7 marathons? Wow!!! Way to go!

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37 kathleen @ the daily crumb November 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

have you thought about running chicago again? the course is just so flat… and FAST! definitely a good BQ course!
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38 Christie November 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Awesome goal. That will push you through!
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39 Emily November 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

You’re a great cheerleader, you can certainly push yourself to a sub 4:00! Good luck!
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40 SkinnyRunner November 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm

we got plenty of good races out here on the west coast :)
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41 Grazia November 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Hi, I’m from Italy and I recommend Rome Marathon:
http://www.maratonadiroma.it/default.aspx
Just picture this: start and finish are in front of the Colosseum, you run close to Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, S.Peter’s basilica, the Roman Forum and many other historic and architectonic treasures. You must run it once in your life!

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42 Carissa November 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I love, LOVE you determination!

I’m going to push myself too! My herniated disc self…..haha….to a sub-2 half! There said and done. Registering for Clearwater NOW! Thanks for lighting a fire under me
Carissa recently posted..Is milk bad for you?

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43 Heather November 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm

rock n roll NOLA! VERY VERY flat, great PR course, its first weekend of March. I am doing it for the 3rd time. havent decided if I am doing half or full this year…
Heather recently posted..Lacing Up

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44 Beth S. November 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm

You need to come run the Little Rock Marathon in Arkansas! Runners naturally love bling, and it has been voted by Runner’s World as having the largest marathon medal around. I plan to run the half, so there is always that option too! :-)
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45 Emily@SavoryandSavage November 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm

The races I have enjoyed the most were the ones where I went in with no expectation.

I think it is so easy to psych yourself out of a great performance when you have expectations.
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46 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) November 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I love your drive with running/training! I’m sure you’ll smoke it this spring! :)
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47 Feisty Eats November 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Fargo! North Dakota – super flat and fast.

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48 Melissa @ TryingToHeal November 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

SAN DIEGO.

That and i want to run it to redeem my race from this year. :)
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49 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I don’t know! It’s hard because there are so many other marathons out there that I want to do. Want to meet me somewhere else and run?!? ;)

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50 Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT November 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm

This is so encouraging! I just ran my first marathon sub 1:50, I have another one coming up this weekend … Not sure if I should push it crazy style or just ENJOY it?!
Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT recently posted..Buck Furpees!

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51 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm

That’s such a tough call! I would say just enjoy it, but it depends on how your body feels.

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52 Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT November 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I meant to type HALF marathon! ;) I got 1:48 :)
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53 Mary November 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I loved reading your race recap, and I’m glad you did so well following Augusta. I signed up for my first half ironman next summer (Vineman in July in California) because of following your training and race in Augusta. You made me feel like I could really do it (I hope I’m right!). I am still considering the challenge of a full marathon, though. I did my first half this fall and loved it, but 26.2 is a LONG way to run. You made it look easy though! Good luck with your new goals.

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54 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Woo hoo! I like to think if I can do a half ironman, then anyone can do one. And 26.2 miles isn’t that far. ;)

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55 Lauren November 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm

COLORADO MARATHON! it is a point to point race with a slight elevation LOSS through out the course. It has the highest percentage of Boston Qualifiers because it is such a fast course. The RD describes the downhill as “not aggressive enough to hurt your knees, but aggressive enough to help your time”

http://www.ftcollinsmarathon.com/

I am running it and also trying to go under 4 hrs. We could make a weekend out of it since I moved to Denver last month! ;)

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56 Meghann November 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I have family in Colorado Springs, is that close? Sounds like a good race. Definitely bookmarking!

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57 Lauren November 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

yup! So I live in Denver, and an hour north is where the marathon is in Ft Collins and an hour south of Denver is Colorado Springs. I got an email yesterday saying the marathon is 55% sold out and expects to sell out by the end of the year. Let me know if you decide to do it!

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58 Heather November 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Getting caught up from the weekend, congrats on the marathon!
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59 Theodora November 9, 2011 at 6:58 am

Congrats again on still pulling out a great time in Savannah! You absolutely have another sub-4 in you!
Theodora recently posted..After the Marathon

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60 Lee November 9, 2011 at 8:38 am

I vote for the Georgia Marathon! But you’re right, it is hilly. Atlanta is really pretty to run through though.
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