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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My lunch today was a platter plate filled with broccoli, carrot, cheese, and apple.
Salsa, almond butter, and hummus on the side for dipping.