Two weeks ago tonight, I was preparing my pre-race meal of pasta with tofu and spinach, laying out my clothes, chugging water and mentally trying to prepare for the Marine Corps Marathon. Tonight, I am doing similar things but the circumstances are much less stressful.
I am running a 10-mile trail race tomorrow out in Virginia, part of the EX2 Adventures Backyard Burn trail run series. It is only my second trail race (the first was back in the spring, on this exact same course, actually). Last time I did the 5-mile option, but this time I’m doing the loop twice for a full 10. I’m slightly nervous but overall just looking at this as a fun chance to run in the woods, under the beautiful fall colors, with no time pressures. My goals are to run strong and have fun.
Marathon recovery has been just fine. The first few days I was pretty sore and stiff. After two days, I did some light yoga, and then a few days after that I went for my first two-mile run. That felt surprisingly hard, so I took off some more time. This past week, I did a three miler, a four miler, and another two miles, and each run felt great – no pains, no soreness. I was so happy to be running in this perfect, beautiful fall weather.
I sort of can’t even believe I ran a marathon two weeks ago, it all seems like a distant memory already. Yet I already miss marathon training; while it is nice to have all this free time, I miss doing super long runs and especially the tough mid-week longish runs before work. I am thinking about doing all sorts of things now that the marathon training has finished: join a gym, start swimming, start serious strength training, get back in to yoga. But all I want to do, really, is run, and get faster. So no big decisions right now.
I just want to enjoy myself tomorrow, sign up for some fun holiday races and then figure out what’s next for the winter and spring.