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Time for a Little Reflection – Race Recap Part III

Last time we “talked,” I was in a pretty bad way – grouchy, mopey, more than a little bit bratty and generally pretty disappointed. What have I done this week to work out my feelings? First of all, I’ve prohibited myself from making any decisions about my running future for at least two weeks. I instated this moratorium for the sake of my (and the Huz’s) sanity, mostly. But also because it just wouldn’t be smart to make big decisions about something that, at the end of the day, is supposed to make me healthy and happy.

At first, I spent time crawling websites like Runners World and Cool Running, hoping to find another marathon I could sign up for to exorcise my 4:42 demons. Then, I thought about ending my running career all together, telling myself that maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a runner.

But then I thought about all the support I’d gotten from my friends and coworkers:

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And about the sweet bling:

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I also invested in some KT Tape after trying the sample from our swag bag. Aside from feeling super cool (yea, I’m totally as much of an athlete as an olympic volleyball player!), I also totally believe in the concept behind kinesio tape:

The tape is used in therapy to relax overused muscles and in rehabilitation to facilitate underused muscles. The wave pattern found on the tape’s adhesive has a lifting effect on the skin which can reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation and reduce pain by taking pressure off pain receptors. (Source: Wikipedia)

I applied the tape on Tuesday and have been wearing it since, with great results:

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And what really turned my mood around was having a day off on Friday. On Thursday, we took Bodhi to the animal hospital for his first heartworm injection. Since I knew he’d be pretty miserable on Friday, I decided to stay home and keep him company (and make sure he didn’t react poorly to the injection). First, we watched some really bad TV. Second, I made some amazing chocolate chip oatmeal pancakes:

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Third, we napped for about three hours. Finally, after all that, we went out for a short walk and then I decided to put the KT Tape to the real test. With no watch, no music and no plan, I headed out to the Promenade for a run. The weather was so lovely and all I wanted to do was feel the cool, crisp fall air on my face while I took an easy jog along the river. I promised myself that I’d walk as much as I needed and not allow myself to get frustrated. What would be, would be. And what it was was a 2.5 mile jog and about 25 minutes of sheer bliss. My legs felt strong and loose. My lungs were still a bit tired, but I kept a relaxed pace to alleviate any strain. And most importantly, I felt HAPPY. I smiled for the whole run. When I felt tired, I refused to feel negative. As I got close to home, I told myself “I’m so lucky I get to run 12 more blocks…11 more blocks…etc). Instead of psyching myself out, I reveled in the strength of my body and how fortunate I am to not only be able to run, but to enjoy it so much.

Does this run mean I’m going to sign up for another marathon next month? No. Right now, the moratorium is still in effect. But I think I can safely say I’m not going to give up running for good. However, I’m definitely going to incorporate more forms of exercise into my repertoire – pilates, yoga, long walks, etc. I will continue to nurture my passion for running and if racing is in my future (or not), we shall see. At the very least, hopefully there are many happy miles ahead!

Oh, and one last thing – GOOD LUCK MELISSA!!! You’re going to ROCK the NYC Marathon tomorrow!!!

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8 Responses

  1. thanks darling! great post!

  2. Great attitude!

  3. First of all, I am going to be that annoying person that says running a freaking marathon is a HUGE accomplishment in itself. I’m not healthy enough to run at all right now, and would kill to be able to 1) have your healthy body and endurance and 2) brag to everyone that I freaking ran a marathon. Give yourself some credit and wear short skirts to show off those great legs you work so hard for (okay, maybe that’s just what I would do.)

    But second, I totally get what you’re saying. I, like you, always have high expectations for myself and although it’s always “an honor just to be nominated,” so to speak, anything less than what I expect is a disappointment. However, life goes on and you learn from it.

    Was your goal realistic (I haven’t been reading your blog that long, so I’m not sure)? Are there things you could do next time–different pacing? Training? Use this as a learning experience and motivation for next time…and make sure it’s something you want to do. If you ever feel forced, it will show. I always think you have to want to do it for the right reasons–because you like it–and not because you feel you have to.

    • Thank you so much for your comment – I don’t think you’re that annoying person at all! I’m definitely feeling better about the whole marathon experience at this point, thankfully. And I’m learning so much from this, especially about managing my expectations and accepting the challenges I face. I suppose it should all be about the process right? 🙂

  4. I think anyone who runs a race as tough as a marathon takes the chance that things might not turn out as planned. I, too, fell apart during the last few miles of a marathon (Boston last April). When this happens, not only do you feel awful physically, but it’s so easy to feel defeated mentally as well. But keep in mind that you FINISHED. You perservered. You did not give up even though your body wanted to. AND you went for a run a week later and enjoyed it. All very good things. The bad races make the good ones that much sweeter 🙂

    Let’s run sometime soon. Central Park? Morning? Let me know which day works for you!

    • I totally agree that the bad races make the good ones that much better. Thanks for the reminder!

      How does Thursday morning in CP sound? What part of the park is best for you? And what time?

  5. […] invaluable and they’ve nourished my mind and body through six half marathons and two full marathons (not to mention a fabulous winter season of 5k neighborhood races (with beer!), turkey trots, trail […]

  6. […] a few grouchy days right after (probably just withdrawal from the endorphins!), I have some really incredible memories of this […]

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