Wednesday, January 21, 2009

After the finish line....

After getting through the secured finish area and retrieving my gear bag, I managed to make my way back to find my family and friends. After over 5 hours, this 'walking' thing feels a bit strange...but I'm still moving, and still unbelievably happy- and tired!

That night I went to the post-race Smashmouth concert at Tempe Town Lake Park. It was actually very well attended, I took this picture before any of the perfomances started. Given that the majority of this crowd had just run 13-26 miles a few hours earlier- this may very well have been the most mellow group Smashmouth ever performed to. It felt great to lie back in the grass, enjoy the cool weather, and know that I had earned every bit of my sore muscles.
I spent much of the evening chatting with Andrew, who also ran the marathon-- although we never came close to meeting up as he was in the 'preferred corral'. This is the corral for runners with expected finishing times just after the elite runners. Andrew also has run the Boston marathon every year for the past few years. He spent a while trying to convince me that being a Boston Marathon qualifier someday could be within my reach. I found this hilarious!! A Boston qualifying time for a female my age is 3 hours and 40 minutes. So sure, all I need to do is take an hour and a half off my time and I'm in! lol According to Andrew, this is not all that unreasonable-- he took an hour off his finish time from his first to second marathon. Still-- I think I'll just be happy with being a marathon finisher for awhile. :)

So after all that would I do another marathon?? Absolutely!!! I learned so much
from training for this first one. Throughout the process I've been keeping track
of everything I'd do differently for next time. It's hard to believe I ever
thought of running as a 'boring sport'. There really is so much that goes into
all the aspects of your training and race performance that I never even
considered (even for non-elite runners). Here's what I've come up with so far:
- keep better track of when it's time for new running shoes (esp. for long training runs)

- actually incorporate the suggested 'cross training' into my training plan
(this time around I just ran on cross-training days)

- add in some regular strength training workouts

- try training with a group
- carry SPF lip balm on race day
- do more 18-20 mile runs before race day
I'm sure I'll think of more things as I keep processing the experience.
A few weeks ago I started the marathon spring training program of the Dallas
Running Club. This has been AWESOME! It's so much fun running with an organized
group at my same pace. Most of this group is training for the Oklahoma City
Memorial Marathon at the end of April. So that may be my next goal--- but
there are a few medical things to work out before then, so I'm taking it one step at a
time for now.
As far as post-race soreness I feel really good. Two days after the race was probably the worst of it-- but thanks to a dive into a freezing swimming pool post-race, a massage the next day, and the fact that I've tired to keep moving as much as possible, I really feel great today! I'm going to try for a short 3 mile recovery run tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to getting back to my good 'ol Katy Trail runs. :)

1 comment:

Terri said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for sharing your marathon experience with us. How cool to read all about it.

Take Care,