Post PGH Marathon Update | The Strength Returns

If you haven’t read my recap of the race, make sure you read that first!

It’s been nearly two weeks since my very first marathon – the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. I feel like these first few weeks post-race should be more of a rollercoaster, but they’re really not.

In fact, they’re kind of boring and predictable in the best of ways. I like it. I’ll take it. I’m the posterchild for Type A personalities, so it kinda makes sense that I’m fine with the predictability. Honestly, I just didn’t expect it to be this way.

The first week after the race, I didn’t run. I took the week off. I thought about running four days post-marathon, but I was shaky on that. This is the farthest I’d run EVER, and I somehow managed to get through five months of training — and a consecutive 26.2 miles — without injuring myself. I didn’t want to push the limits even though I felt great and nothing hurt (well, stuff was “sore,” but I wasn’t injured).

Someone on Instagram (I wish I remembered the whom) reposted something from an elite runner. Her post-marathon routine was to take a week off, then complete a week of easy miles, and then get back into the hardcore training. While I don’t plan on hurrying myself into intense speed intervals, I think that’s a good plan. I’ll probably do one extra week of easy miles (totaling two) and then get back into some speed training.

In case you can’t tell, I am on a mission to beat my marathon time next spring. Obviously, I’m not starting that training now, but I do have the International Peace Race 10K along with the Lake Health Running Series Northern Ohio Half planned for the fall.

I PR’d by over four minutes in the half distance last year, and honestly, my training was shit. I ran just eight miles about a month before the race, and I was seriously considering dropping out and just not showing up. At 11:39 PM the night before the race, one of my teacher friends, told me he was signing up — so I decided I would stick it out. I’m glad I did, even if I did experience near-hypothermia after and have to steal my friend’s brand new water bottle (and chug it) because there was no freaking water left at the finish line (more here).

I also PR’d in the 10k distance by nearly a minute. Again, I didn’t kill myself — I just made a few tweaks to my training.

In other words, I learned what I can do if I try. Again…Type A Courtney. I’m obsessed with achievements, and running is a breeding ground for those.

***

I’m feeling great, guys. I ran two days this first week back (so far – Saturday is going to be my long run, probably 10k…which does NOT seem like a long run at this point, lol) and they have been great.

That first 5k after the marathon was a little challenging. I still felt some of the familiar twinges of pain that I felt around mile 23. My knees and joints were freaking done, but I obviously kept going. I took it easy, but part of me felt a little bit defeated because I rested for a whole week…so why the slight pain? When I woke up the day after that short 5k, I felt like the Tinman.

See the source image
Actual footage of me after I got out of bed the day after an easy 5K

Because I just ran a marathon, duh. Sometimes I don’t get the obvious.

Last night I ran 5k outdoors (hills included) and those pains were gone. It was so enjoyable just to run and not “think about things” like pain, pace, etc. I not only felt great, but I felt strong.

I have been waiting to feel strong again. You know — the “Yeah, I am taking it easy…but I could push myself if I wanted to” feeling.

One more week of easy miles, and then I’ll be hitting the track.

#ONWARD.

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