Thursday, December 11, 2008

Miscellaneous Post-Marathon Thoughts

I have a lot of stuff floating around in my head and it's going to sound pretty rambling, I'm sure. How about I use bullet points and subheadings to give the appearance of order?


- Man that marathon was hard. That was the worst I've felt at the end of a race since my first one I think. I fell apart way early- mile 21 ish- and was really miserable the last few miles. Running with Zach and Aron and seeing Maritza and Tara - that's what kept me going.

- I was reeeeally sore after. Worse than previous races for sure. This spring, in Boston, I walked the freakin Freedom Trail the day after the race, and I went for a short run later in the week with Maritza and Petra. This was the total opposite.


- Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement fellow bloggers!

- Extra special thank you to Maritza and Tara for cheering us on in Sacramento. That was wonderful and had a very positive impact on my race. Thanks for the ride to the airport too!!

- Check out Zach's awesome race report, and these other race reports from CIM: Aron, Billy, Leslie, Julianne. They all tell a great story. Congrats to everyone who ran this weekend!


- For a brief moment after the race, I was really disappointed. I really thought I could run 3:35... I don't think that was an unreasonable goal. Clearly, it just wasn't my day.

- I think Zach's being sick took a bigger toll on my race than I thought it would. I was just so grateful to actually be running the race, together no less, that I didn't stop to think how the stress and lack of sleep would affect my performance. In retrospect, I should have revised my goal and maybe just tried to run 3:40.

- Plus, I was that sick only a week ago.


- In completely predictable fashion, Zach is already planning his next marathon.

- As everyone excitedly looks for another fast marathon at which they hope to improve their PR, I'm feeling verrrrry over it. I hate to say it, but the marathon is losing its magic a little bit for me. After doing 7 of them, it's just not quite the same feeling anymore. And I don't know if I can put forth that kind of effort again. I guess it comes down to the question of Why do we run marathons? I don't know why, and I think that means I should take a break.

- Oh, I don't mean a break from running marathons. I mean a break from running FAST marathons. I am only running slow marathons from now on. :) Seriously though, I have avoided running scenic, interesting, challenging courses because I just want to run fast. No more!

- I want to run London in 2010.


- I'm actually a little glad I didn't requalify for Boston, because that would mean I have to start training right away. Instead, I'm not running a spring marathon for the first time in 4 years.

- I want to do some shorter running events this spring, 5ks and 10ks. I rarely run those distances and I have a pretty soft 10k PR. I want to be that person who just races on a whim!

- We might take a vacation somewhere other than Boston, since we had budgeted for the trip and already bought plane tickets. I'm thinking somewhere beach-y.

- I'd like to do it again someday though. Maybe with Zach. :)


- I kind of breezed over it in my race report, and maybe I should have made a bigger announcement. I AM GOING TO COMPLETE AN IRONMAN TRIATHLON IN ARIZONA IN NOVEMBER 2009. Well, I'm going to try.

- In what will become a long series of understatements, let me say- I have a lot of work to do.

- I'm doing other triathlons this summer: A sprint in June, an Olympic in July, a Half Ironman (Lake Stevens 70.3) in August, and then the Ironman in November.

- I will probably devote six months to specific race training, and I will probably get some level of coaching. Until then, I am just going to try to develop a strong base in biking and swimming.


- In an effort to avoid the post-marathon blues, here's some happy thoughts and some self-back-patting.

- Lots of good stuff going on in life to be grateful for. For one, I looooove the holidays and am going to immerse myself in singing carols, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, looking at twinkling lights, writing Christmas cards, and generally making merry.

- For the first time in my marathon career I didn't gain weight during training. In fact, I lost weight! Before race day, I was down about 6 lbs and was down 2 more lbs after the race. I'm sure that was dehydration or something, but overall I'm safely in my healthy range. Hoorah! My goal is to not gain weight, or only gain 1-2 lbs, during the holiday season.

- I can't believe I have run 7 marathons. It was kind of neat to tell people that when I found myself chatting with random runners at the airport, at the race start, etc. It's a lot of marathons considering I'm only 28! And they've all been pretty fast, averaging 3:46. In fact, three of them are with 15 seconds of 3:45. Here's my marathon resume with links to the race reports:

#1 Nike Women's Marathon- October 2005- 3:55:11

#2 Avenue of the Giants Marathon- May 2006- 3:45:14

#3 California International Marathon- December 2006- 3:39:22

#4 Boston Marathon- April 2007- 3:55: 18

#5 California International Marathon- December 2007- 3:36:47

#6 Boston Marathon- April 2008- 3:44:56

#7 California International Marathon- December 2008- 3:45:00


Since I am not going to be training for anything specific for a while, my blog will probably be pretty random for a while. So bear with me! :) Thanks for putting up with it so far.


Checking into the hotel on Saturday, Zach feeling horrible.

Expo- I went by myself, but it wasn't anything special. I met Aron and her husband there. :)

A picture Aron's family took during the race. It was cold and foggy like that the whole way.

Cell phone self-portrait, right after the race

Race shirt and finisher's medal

The gang at the restaurant after the race (Tara, Maritza, Aron, me)

Me and my marathoner husband :)

Professional-caliber cheerleaders:

Bloody shoes (obviously Zach shoe wins this round, but notice I have blood on both shoes. That counts for something)


*aron* said...

check out all those marathons and awesome times :) you are amazing!! congrats again on #7. that being said sounds like you are ready for a break! the idea of scenic, challenging marathons sounds very awesome too... i am sure i will get to that point someday :)

ironman here you come!! i cant wait to follow your training for that. i am totally in awe of anyone who has that as a goal, let alone actually trains for one and completes one.

enjoy the holidays!! i am listening to christmas carols right now :) cookies are baked and its time to party! wish you were here to come too :(

have a great week jen and congrats on all that you have achieved so far! keep the random blog posts coming!

Donald said...

hey - sorry I'm late getting to all of this. Congrats on your marathon finish, even though it's not the time you were gunning for. Sometimes bad days happen - sometimes for reasons that become apparent later, and sometimes for reasons that don't.

It sounds like you're definitely ready to shift gears toward triathlon - I remember when the marathon lost its luster, too. The good news is that it (the marathon) is always there to go back to later on, and in due time your perspective of the whole event will be totally different.

Good luck with the IM training! Sounds like 2009 will be an exciting year for you.

the gazelle said...

Last year, I seriously considered doing the Timberline marathon - it sounds so pretty, and it's downhill (or at least that's what it says, I'm sure there have to be some uphills). That's in September :)

I'm still waiting on marathon #1, though.

I think you're awesome and I am so excited to know someone who is doing an Ironman! WOO!

D10 said...

I hope the feet are feeling ok. The bloody shoes are crazy!

I think it is awesome that you are going to do an ironman. You did great with the half earlier this year. Not sure if you been to Lana's blog ( The Fire Inside) or not but she just completed Ironman FL and did an amazing job. You should check it out.

I also think you are smart to put running fast marathons on hold. I truly believe if you heart isn't in it, you will only burn out. Better to really want something or to have fun doing it. Your marathon resume is so impressive. I would like to just hit one of your times!

melinda said...

Hey! Thanks so much for you comment on my blog! (I hope Michelle wins too.)

Great job on your marathon! and the other 6! 7 marathons a great accomplishment! I can't wait to hear your success in the triathlon world... Enjoy the holidays.

Beth said...

Hi, I don't know if you remember me... I came across your blog a little while ago through some other tri/running blogs and have kept up on reading yours. And now I just realized that you were from the shape board years ago! It's great to see you are still running and running well!
Beth (westendgirl)

kelsalynn said...

Where do I start? so much to respond to...

First of all, it sounds like this race happened the way it did for a reason- you have a new perspective on "running" and it might even be forcing you to try new things. Not something you thought you wanted to do before, but it's going to spark some excitement I'm sure!

Second, it's incredibly amazing how consistent your marathons and your pace are! I mean, it's hella scary (in a good way!) And yes, you're fast. I decided that when you're in AZ, we'll meet up and I'll bike and you can run and I'll try to keep up. lol

Third, I'm looking forward to some "randomness" in Jen-blogland.

Fourth, do your feet always get bloody? Mine have yet to do that, and you didn't blog about it during your training runs, so I'm wondering... will that happen to me during my marathon?


I can't wait to hear about where you decide to vacation and how 2009 will be different for you and I'm glad to be here for the ride...


KK said...

That is a very impressive marathon resume! And I really admire your ability to rationally and patiently plan a season and set goals. And that is awesome that you will be getting a coach, too. It definitely helps to reassure you when you question if what you're doing is right.

London 2010? That sounds awesome. Running is a great way to see different places and an excuse to travel.

P.S. Bring on the blog randomness-it will still be super fun to read.

P.P.S.Merry Christmas-I like your December plans (and congrats on the wieght loss; that is soooooo validating).

Emily said...

I have so many miscellaneous comment and questions...maybe I should wait to talk with you in person:

-the blood on the shoes - wtf?
-Zach looks to be in great spirits despite the illness
-7 races is OTC
-yay for Ironman training (talk w/Shawn abt coaching resources,he's great)
-if you like it then you should have put a ring on it (sorry, I can't get it out of my head - if you want to come over and wear a leotard and learn the dance, please let me know)
-the holidays are fun, but I miss the snow. Snow always gets me in the me get in the spirit w/o snow?
-I need to hear more about the chafing.

Let's get together!!!

Michele said...

Ironman?!?!!?!??! I am so excited for you. I can't wait to follow your journey, while I sit back and get fat.

Congrats on another great marathon.

Alisa said...

Ouch to the blood on the shoes!

Wow, all of your marathons are sub-4, that is awesome.

I can't wait to hear about your ironman training...that is insane! I'd like to do a sprint tri this summer maybe.

There is something to be said about running slow and enjoying yourself. I think it's a different kind of pushing's forcing yourself to look around and enjoy your surroundings, the course, the crowd, the other runners, etc.

What is Zach thinking for his next marathon? I didn't know he had a blog too...I'm trying to get my husband to write one.

Marathon Maritza said...

All I can say is you are awesome. Like, seriously awesome.

Youre awesome. That is all.

ShirleyPerly said...

Indeed, soon after my 7th marathon is when I too decided to stop being such a hard head. I'd finally broken 3:30 (my slowest was 3:45) and it was time to start having more fun!

So excited to hear you'll be doing IMAZ next year. There's a bunch of us who will be doing first-time iron events next year. It's gonna be a great year!

Jen Rife said...

Those bloody shoe pics are disgusting, yet awesome at the same time! Good job to both of you for running through the pain and not letting it slow you down! Congrats on deciding to take a break from marathoning too. Sometimes you just need to work on something else for awhile - Variety is always good and I'm sure that Ironman will keep you plenty busy!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I find it interesting that you want to do slower, more scenic marathons, and then you list London, one of the fastest courses on the planet.

It's good that you don't have to focus on training for Boston because you are going to have more than your hands full training for IMAZ. Get some rest and enjoy being 'random' for a while.

P.O.M. said...

Holy bloody toes!

Really???? That is fantastic. You can totally do it. I'm so excited for you.

And we all love random posts so bring it on.

leslie said...

I'm so impressed! Can't wait to see what's around the corner for you, but take your time choosing. There will always be races waiting for you! Again, great job on CIM and all the other marathons you've completed!

Tara said...

You are such a speedy lady!!! and 7marathons is awesome! I can't wait to hear about your training for Ironman :)

Beth said...

Nice to hear from your Jen! And I just saw Martiza's blog on your list, so hi Martiza too!

Ewen said...

Australia is beachy!

That's a great list of marathons - all fast in my book. Like Chad said, London is a fast course :)

I can see why you want a break. I had 11 years between my 2nd and 3rd marathons (3rd was a PR by 17 mins). Enjoy racing, getting faster and smashing those 'soft' PRs!

IM will be HUGE!

N.D. said...

Well clearly you are talented!!! Great times and BQs!! You'll have to give me some tips about Boston. It will be nice to take off the spring and looking ahead to a possible IM will be awesome!!!

Mir said...

Great pics and thanks for your thoughts. I'm excited to see how your running and triathloning develops over the next year.

TJ said...

Dang! Those are some smokin marathon times. Awesome racing.
Woooohooo for IMAZ!!!! Will be following along.

excessive.exposures said...

The bloody shoes just freaked me out - have you had that in all seven marathons?!?!?!

Glorybelle said...

You WILL finish that Arizona Ironman in November!!! That is a great goal to work towards. One of these days I hope to get 'balls' and shake things up with my athletic goals the way you do!

Enjoy your recovery and race those shorter distances for a while. A break from marathons will make London 2010 feel spectacular.

Julianne said...

Jen! I've been meaning to come visit your blog to say hi! And wish we could have met at the expo. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a tough day at CIM. I heard that you and Zach both had a rough day... BUT, I do agree with Aron, you have some amazing marathon times! I can only HOPE that I can get those times one day! Good luck with your Ironman training! I am following your blog so that I can keep up with your training!

Eric said...

Wow.....bloody shoes, that's hardcore!!!

Petraruns said...

I read your report well over a week ago and still haven't commented - aarggh. First off - fantastic time and effort and what a trip. Amazing that you and Zach made it to the start line given how he was feeling - even more incredible that you made it across the finish!

I can see that you're ready for the break - you really sound it. You need a fresh perspective and WOOHOO LOndon 2010! I'll be there - hopefully running it and otherwise cheering you on! Fabulous! Happy Christmas - am loving all the photos and posts. As always - you're looking great.