Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life Post Marathon

It is amazing how much free time one has in their life once their brain snaps out of training mode. For the first time in months I have been enjoying a week free from scheduled madness with the ones I love. Not having to think about how late nights and poor nutritional choices are going to effect my workouts has been delightful. Quite the pleasant distraction at the appropriate timing for me.

When not running 1 million miles a week it becomes easier to take in the city.

2 days post marathon, this was as high as I could get off the ground

The second I finished the marathon and saw my husband, who somehow made it into the runner only finishing area, out of my mouth spewed out the words "I really don't think my body is cut out for marathons". 24 hours later I was already mentally planning tactile moves for the next marathon and letting my imagination wonder as to when and where that would be.

But not without a few new marathon lessons:
  • I had to pee something terrible while standing at the starting line and knew there wouldn't be enough time to wait for the bathroom. I held it for the entire race. Who does that? There was a point in time when I considered peeing in my pants but then reminded myself that I do have some standards, so I didn't.
  • My stomach wasn't feeling the gu and I had to abandon my fueling plan. I carried three with me, used 1, picked up a free one at 18 and never ate it and I had them stuffed into my bra and pockets. Oh my the chafage gu packets can leave in the weirdest areas. Never in my life have I had to put band aids on my stomach until this year. This would be incident #2 for a stomach filled with band aids, #1 was just because I'm clumsy
  • A man dressed in a banana costume beat me. This is slightly humiliating. NOTE TO SELF: BANANA MAN WILL NOT DEFEAT ME AGAIN!
  • There is no need for an iPod at the Chicago marathon. I think that it overstimulated my mind and it was running on a shorted circuit near then end.
  • HUG THOSE CURVES!!! Somehow I managed to run 26.54 miles last Sunday.
Really my most important lesson last week would hands down be does not always happen on my terms.

It is a tough pill to swallow when the blueprints we've spent months working on, studying, and perfecting do not just magically jump off the page and happen. Yes it still sucks that I finished a whopping 16 minutes off of my goal time for the Chicago marathon, but it really could have been worse. Even though my groin was in a full on revolt, my hip is now resembling that of a 90 year old woman's, and my calf that was stiff as a board is now sending shooting pains up and down my leg every now and then...I'm still here to live to tell about it. I wanted that sub 3:10 like a foamed mouthed maniac, and now I'm beginning to think that's why it didn't happen.

Putting everything into perspective this week has been how I have been spending the majority of my time. There is more to life then the races I run and the times I finish them in. The Chicago marathon served it's purpose for me, I trained like an animal, I kept my focus on what needed to be done when, I put in all of the work, and then on race day the Lord put his hands on my shoulders and said "not today my child". One race plagued with challenges that I couldn't physically overcome doesn't define the running year that I've been having.

This year I ran

It would be a shame if I didn't appreciate all the moments this year where I felt inspired and empowered to move a little outside my comfort zone in running and in other areas of my life.

There will always be another race to sign up for, another PR to chase down, and another goal to shoot for. Right now for me I think that it is time to get back to the bones of my running for awhile. 

Love when I have the lakefront to myself

Hard to find fall in the city, but if you look enough you'll hit it

Go for a lot of fun runs.
Take some time to enjoy the way my body feels while in motion.
Strengthen the weak areas that have been popping up as of late.
Work on that stride from the foot strike up.
Whip out those spandex and winter hats.
Back to the basics.


  1. You have such an awesome attitude...I love reading your blog as you've inspired me to approach my running in new and better ways. I look forward to reading more!

  2. What an awesome post!!!

    "Not today my child." Love that. That's a hard one both for ourselves and for our children... Just you wait. ;-)

    Sadly, I've peed in my pants during a race. Haha. It's easier to play off though when you're wearing running capris. My coach tells me that there's no such thing as porta-potties in a race.

    Enjoy your fun runs!

  3. Love your attitude. LOVE IT.
    Enjoy the fall~

  4. Your perspective on life, running, everything is uplifting. :)

    I just read your recap and was so inspired by your tenacity to finish and your "forever runner" comment. I hope you heal fast- you have so many more PR's in those legs. :)

    I am also super excited to have the lakefront to myself.. Cold weather/wind= No cyclists and no clueless others! Yippee!

  5. Great attitude Britt. I didn't realize how how many PR's you've ALREADY set this year--you've had such an amazing year and this was one small setback.

  6. I was just staring at the PRs you've set this year, drooling over them. A 1:27 half is just outstanding! And to think you've broken 4 PRs in one year! Amazing! You are truly inspiring!!! I wish you the best of luck in your recovery and I can't wait to see what your running future holds. I predict great things!!! :)

  7. Such an uplifting post!! Great reminders for marathons and savoring the time a free training schedule allows.

    You have had an amazing year!!

  8. You are freaking amazing Britt, you should be so proud of yourself and enjoy it! You have such a great mindset! Good job on all your races this year!
    P.S. You live in such a beautiful city, I really hope to visit there one day!

  9. You are so level headed. Love hearing your reflections on moving forward and looking back.

    Aaand love the jumping photo, cute!

  10. I like your plans! I also applaude your standards by choosing not to pee yourself. I pee when needed because I'm worried I may not have a choice to make. Eeeee Plus a slow person peeing themselves is a whole other level of sad.

  11. I love your attitude moving forward! And all of the lessons you learned are ones we can all learn from. I agree big time on the music during the marathon. I think it is overstimulation and I also feel like it distracts me. The last thing I want is to be distracted when I'm trying for a PR. Instead I like to be completely in tune with my body and what is going on. All that music makes it hard to hear my body.

    Back to basics... I like it. :)

  12. 1) I freaking LOVE Chicago.
    2) sub 3:10 in 2012 for you and me.
    3) Those Mayan's were so wrong about 2012

  13. Awesome jon enjoying the recovery, learning the lessons and moving forward. I always say that I don't have the built for the marathon, yet I always go back. There is something about the unpredictability of the event that is so similar to life. Hope your body is recovering well. Excited to follow your journey

  14. This might be my favorite post that you've ever done.

    You have had an insanely good 2011 with 5 PRs at all the race distances, you can't ask for much more than that. Hopefully the hip and groin feels better soon.

    As for a marathon - is there a flat and fast marathon somewhere near Chicago in November before the snow hits? It seems like every year Chicago seems to be pretty hot on race day, maybe aiming for another marathon next year during the fall in Nov might be an idea?

    This is far away from you, but the 2 Cities marathon in Fresno, California in November always seems to have perfect weather (mid 40s to 50s on race day). I haven't done the race yet, but hopefully I'll be able to do it next year.

  15. i love this post so much!! enjoy your relaxation period and extra time :)

  16. So much to say! First of all, good for you for looking at all your accomplishments this year! What a list! Wow!

    Secondly, what is up with your hip/groin? Do you think you just need rest?

    I am totally not surprised that within 24 hours you were planning your next race. I felt like that after Milwaukee even though it was a great race. Marathons are just mentally hard.

    The peeing thing - I am surprised you didn't lose the urge to do! That happens to me with #1 (not #2 though).

    The GUs - I have scars from pinning them to my pants! I am going to lube up all around those suckers if I do that at NYC.

    And lastly - I never seem to run the tangents and add a bunch of mileage on too. But I just saw this thing about NYC - they actually paint a line with the course tangent on it for you to follow. Ha! I will try! :)

  17. Love this! Back to the basics! I just finished my first full mary and I am so looking forward to the same thing - forget the trials of the past season and just get back to loving the run.

    I hear ya' on not meeting the goal though. It can be tough, especially when it seems like it's because of something you had no control over. Let it go, learn, and come back to kick the banana's butt next year!

  18. I had a GU scar on my breast from putting one in my sports bra last year. Who would have thought!

    I love your amazing PRs. I realize we have lessons to learn sometimes but I sure like it when God says "Today my child" so much better! He keeps telling me "Not today" every time I run a 10k though. I have struggled through all of them that I have done (2) :) but then I can fly through a 5 mile like it is nothing. Sigh! Someday..

    I am back to basics right now too and loving it. Feels good after training so hard all summer!

  19. You are doing the right thing by taking a step back and puttin everything into perspective!!! Great PRs!! Awesome!