Back to Back Marathons

Word vomit and picture-less. Lame. BUT.  I potentially have the secrets of how to run races so close together probably not but you should keep reading regardless.

When I was on the bus heading to the start at the California International Marathon,  I started to chat it up with the nice man sitting next to me.  We went from talking about the race weather and how often we run and that sort of thing….to talking about our last race.  When I mentioned that I had just completed a marathon exactly 8 weeks prior his response was “WOAH there, soon to be doing another one, no?  AND you are trying to qualify? ha”

How I interpreted it was basically “good luck sucker”

Now, when I finished Steamtown and missed my goal I immediately started weighing out my options.  I also stumbled across this article from Runners World.  I took it as a “How To” on running races so close together. I immediately freaked when I saw it say I should take a considerable amount of time off if I had a tough first race.  I emailed it to my coach, we talked about it quite a bit.  I threw around the idea of taking time off and waiting till the spring or following fall.  Ultimately I knew I wanted it now, not in 8 months.  So, CIM it was.

Flights weren’t crazy expensive. I had a bit of vacation time to use up.  My family was in the talks of going somewhere for a long weekend away.  Why not kill 2 birds with one stone and race the same weekend we vacationed.  Perfect.

My coach was 100% on board.  He reminded me, several times after several emails saying “are you suuuuure this is ok? are you suuuuure it’s not too soon?” …He reminded me that as long as I was very careful with my recovery I would be ok to race in 8 weeks.

First week post marathon:

+Tons of cross training.  and not just any cross training.  easy cross training. I sat on my bike and at a low resistance but high cadence I just moved my legs.
+I was attached to my foam roller and I was stretching non stop.
+It wasn’t until a full week after the race that I had my first run and it was a short, easy 30 minutes.

Second week:

+A couple of easier, shorter runs no longer than 30 minutes.
+I continued to spin at an easy level but this week I added a tempo run with a few short repeats ( no longer than 3 repeats of 5 minutes at tempo pace).
+2 weeks post marathon I ran my first longer stamina run.  1 hour at just about race pace.  I died.  Hardest run all training.  I wasn’t ready for it yet.  2 weeks later and I still wasn’t recovered completely

Weeks 3-6:

+I took a few light days after that craptastic hour run and continued to cross train.  Eventually my tempo runs got longer…and harder.
+Each week the intensity and duration got harder and longer.  These 4 weeks were the working weeks.  I made sure to run harder than I had when I was training for Steamtown.  Every hill sprint I pushed the pace at least 5 seconds faster. Every long run I made sure to go a little faster.
+I basically trained like I did for Steamtown…I just gave it that much more.   My last long run of the 4 weeks of work was 19 miles with another 3 mile run later that day.

Weeks 7 & 8:

Taper.  I was pretty much panicking because it was only two weeks.  I mean, looking back I should be happy because the idea of a 3 week taper makes me itch.  But I was worried that I wasn’t going to be ready.

Race day:

Mentally relaxed and ready to do this. I trusted my training.  I didn’t once question if I was ready.  I knew I was.

I ran a race I am proud of. I enjoyed the run so much it almost didn’t feel like I was pushing it as hard as I was.  Seriously.  Did you know I love to run?

Post Race:

WALK!!!  After Steamtown I sat and cried.  And sat. And laid down. Andddd.yea thats about it.  This time I made sure to walk immediately after I finished.  I refueled with some chocolate milk, yogurt, granola and water.

*** I think I wrote this post for myself.  As much as I hope someone gets some sort of benefit from reading my blog it is also nice to be  able to look back and see what worked for me and what didn’t.  It’s nice having a place to keep track of this stuff.  And HOPEFULLY you can learn from it too 😛 ***

So… Thanks to those of you who believed in me.  Who supported my crazy decision and helped my calm my shit when I would have a freakout episode   And….Despite all the haters and the people telling me I shouldn’t try and I would never qualify because the races were too close together or the weather was shitty or whatever the excuse was….




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