Monday, January 20, 2014

On life post-marathon

So this is what it's like, life after the marathon.  Yesterday was Houston's marathon day, which, as you can imagine, is one of my favorite days of the year.  The weather was incredible -- 65 degrees compared to last year's miserable 33-and-raining.  And there I was, cheering from the sidelines, watching more than one of my friends break four-hour times.

Watching the runners was total pleasure, and the nature of the day had me fielding (and pondering) more questions than usual about my post-marathon disposition.  The main question: When would I run another?

…I don't think I will.

Don't get me wrong, I love marathons.  I love training runs, I love early Saturday morning wakeups, I love the mental aspect of reviewing the course in my mind, and I love the connection a group of runners can have.  But (at the risk of sounding like a jerk) my marathon was too good.  It holds this very sacred place in my mind... and I just never want to spoil that.

I didn't come close to breaking a four-hour time, and there were certainly points of frustration along the course. But the overwhelming feeling I got (still get!) from that day was one of pure joy and happiness.  I had never been so proud of myself, never felt so supported by family and friends, and never been so awestruck by pure human force than I did that Sunday, as I ran up First Avenue.  It was perfect.

So, life after the marathon.  There is less running, as you would expect.  I actually only run once a week now, at my beloved Monday-morning bagel runs; I'm a total group-running convert.  There's a lot more yoga, later Saturday wake-up times, and evening workouts have made their way back into the mix.  There are no water belts, and my peroneal tendonitis is, from what I can tell, completely gone.  Then there's missing my Saturday-morning running buddies -- that's real.  So is missing the quiet of Westheimer before sunrise.

Most of all, I miss the anticipation of the marathon.  I had two years to simmer in it, and now it's over, which brings a different kind of happiness.  But the joy of looking forward to the marathon, not quite knowing what was in store?  That, I'll never get back.

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