Marathons are hard you guys. That's why I'm doing another one right away (?)
It has been 3 weeks since I had the race of my life at Mo Cowbell. There's really no way around it... marathons are HARD. I'd love to be one of those guys that is out jogging and doing drills the day after a marathon and feeling great, but, I'm just not. As quickly as I THINK I should be able to bounce back from a hard effort like that, I'm always a bit humbled for a few solid weeks after.
My body has been bouncing back though. Slowly but surely my legs feel more and more sure underneath me. It feels like the rust has been washed off my joints a bit and I "remember" how to run again. That's a tad dramatic but mentally speaking that's where I've been. I took 8 days off after the race and then slowly started easing back in. Low miles, low intensity, days off, lots of "rehab".
I knew going into the fall that I wanted more than 1 chance to run either a PR "A race", and/or a Boston Qualifier time at 3:05, so I put the St. Jude's Memphis Marathon on the calendar back in August. You never know what your body is going to give you on race day and I wanted a plan B for for just in case Cowbell didn't go well. I wanted this race last year too but I signed up too late. Its tough going into the winter "break" after a lousy race. It feels like a "fail" and it's mentally hard to "thighburnate" (take time off) when you have to much junk to wade through up top. So I put Memphis in my back pocket just in case. But, Cowbell DID go well...it was as much of an A-race as I could have hoped for on that given day. No, I didn't qualify for Boston, but I made a HUGE leap in the right direction and went into that 8 days of recover with a mental FIRE burning. (Even thinking into next year.... OH the things I have planned for NEXT year.. BWAHAHA)
Fast forward a few weeks. I've been feeling out a few aches and pains but getting back into the training routine as best I can. Working core almost every night is giving me a routine mindset and a focus on being strong and fit for a 2nd attempt at 26.2 here in 39 days. HOLY COW MEMPHIS IS IN 39 DAYS. Sorry... I'm good. For real.
So what is the goal for Memphis? Well, that's a great question considering the fact that I don't exactly know the answer quite yet. I mean, on the one hand a BQ time is THE goal, right? But on the other hand, running solid races, celebrating a big PR from October, and running it with great friends is what it's all about. It really is and really should be. I am realistic about what it means to have only 9wks between two hard efforts like that and I know that MY body may not have two A-race days in it in that time frame.
BUT, didn't I also doubt what "my body had" before Cowbell too? Yep. I did. Mega doubt. Annoying doubt. Irrational and unprofessional doubt. And that day was incredible. You get where I'm going with this. Why shouldn't my goal for Memphis be to have another incredible day, riding on the wings of lingering fitness and another mini-peak training block? There's no reason why I can't. So, without defining some sort of concrete, minutes and seconds goal for Memphis, I'd like to say that my goal is to manage my mind and body well until race day and do everything I can (the things I can control) to have another GOOD race.
I can't define "Good race" as only being a PR. For me this race has other factors and other nuances that I want to enjoy. There's a team aspect to it and a newness in that I have never been to Memphis or run on this course before. There will be lots to take in, lots to enjoy. I want to ENJOY this sport, even during the long phases of intensity and desire to always be better and faster. So, yes, you might find me with some game-face these next few weeks as I prepare again, but I hope more often than not you find me rocking the smirk of enjoyment in doing what I love to do. More soon you guys...