We've all been there with something. Whether it be that recital that us musicians work our arses off for, a gigantic project due at work/school, college graduation, it all culminates to one big moment. The moment is awesome, but then it's over. And we're not really sure what to do next. Some of us jump into the next project head first. Some of us take a little break while searching for the perfect next step. Some of us don't like the calm after the storm, and actually get a bit depressed. I'm a strange combination of them all.
Now, that's not saying that I'm actually depressed in any way. I'm very proud of myself and my accomplishments, for sure! I want to do more more more, but I know that right now my body is still repairing a tad. And the down time is just kinda sucky.
I began running again just four days after the marathon. I had high hopes, and I was so excited to run as an experience marathoner! I got on the treadmill, busted my ass, and set a record time for a 5k that day!! I was more than excited, and I went back the next day for more. I noticed that afternoon that my shin problem (not splints, but feels like a very very tiny fracture) had returned. I hadn't felt it since upping my mileage in March. I walked with a hobble again, and I suddenly got scared to run. I ran a total of 11 miles last week. Nothing near the 30-40 I'd been running the months before. I chalked the crappy week up to running too hard too soon, and I didn't attempt to catch up with a long run. This week, I'm still suffering. I've done two 5k runs, and that's it. If all feels well, I'll try for a 10-miler this weekend but that may even be pushing it. Needless to say, it feels craaaaaaappy. My motivation to find another immediate marathon, my dreams of becoming a Marathon Maniac this year, my hopes of doing a sub-2 hour half this month, all seem to sound pretty ridiculous now. And I'm kinda fine with that. Just kinda. I know I could've probably done it, had I stuck with the slow-but-long plan I'd had for a while. But alas, I learned a lesson, and it's one that I want to pass on to everyone who is pushing towards a new goal:
Once you reach your goal, don't try to change things up too soon. Give yourself a chance to recover, or at least keep doing what you were already doing. Your body just did something huge, and trying to make it do a different something huge will just piss it off. Trust me. Everyone needs a break sometimes!
So now I give my sad little shin some down time. I'm easing myself into full-body strength work slowly, and it seems to be working so far. It is helping me burn a few of the calories that I would be burning during longer runs, but I'm not going so hard that I'll strain something. I've managed to give myself wonderfully sore muscles for three days in a row, and to me that's a big win. I've also slowed down my shorter runs to my pre-marathon tempos. It isn't as exciting, but my body appreciates it.
So yeah, that's the excitement that is post-first marathon. Not really that exciting at all, huh? But at least I get to do it all with that 26.2 sticker on my car!
Now for this weekend, I plan on getting out there with my family and just having fun together! I hope to get in a fun hike at the local nature preserve. Maybe a picnic or cookout would be nice, too. Tell me what your fun outdoor family plans are for the weekend!