So…Now What? Or, Accepting that Chicago is Over

This past weekend I went to cheer on my dad (and a bunch of other people I know/don’t know) at the Duke City Marathon.  I came bearing big race signs and I wore my Chicago marathon shirt so people wouldn’t think I was a non-runner just because I wasn’t racing! (just kidding…sort of…).

My dad had a great first half and finished in 2:06:something! AND he wasn’t even sore the next day! Pretty sure an addiction was created.

I rarely spectate at races (I know I should probably be volunteering more), so it was interesting to experience it from the other side.  For one, cheering is kind of awkward.  I have the same two phrases, and I was stressing the whole time that I was saying the wrong things and causing runners to lose motivation in the home stretch.

I was also pretty stir crazy, standing there with my race signs watching all of the runners coming into the finish line area.  I wanted to be racing!

But two weeks after Chicago, I’m still not able to run.  I have nagging issues in my calf/shin area.  As far as I can tell, it is just muscle tightness, but it is pretty annoying.  I’m doing all the usual rehabbing efforts, but I have to keep in mind that supposebly it will take 26.2 days for me to be all better.

Luckily, I don’t have anything to train for until the second week of November, so I’m able to not run without affecting any future race times.

I’m trying to really enjoy this time off, but boy am I really taking it off.  My workouts have included walking the dog, “weight lifting” (and by weight lifting I mean squats and curls), a single elliptical workout and my 1st swim lesson (attempting to put my head underwater without plugging my nose with my fingers…I think progress was made!).

I’m amazed at how sluggish I’ve become just from not working out regularly.  I always feel tired and I can feel my body slowly getting more lard-esqe.  Luckily I think I’m over the post marathon blues because of the excitement over the upcoming holiday season (OMGSOEXCITED), otherwise the combination of not working out and depression might have driven me to eat lots and lots of ice cream and potato chips.

On the plus side, all this lack of activity has given me the chance to reflect on what I’m going to do now that Chicago is over and establish what my goals are for my upcoming races.

First, in mid-November I will start half marathon training for Rock n’ Roll Arizona (January).  I’ve decided I want to train into running a fast half (1:35 or 7:15 average pace).  9 of my marathon miles were sub-8, so I feel like this is a reasonable goal to reach for.  It will require a lot of speed work (more 400’s instead of 800’s! Hooray!), but it is nice to have a base established.

I will start training for Boston the week following Rock n’ Roll.  I want to have a completely separate training plan for each of these races.  Instead of the 16 week training cycle, I’m going with a 12 week cycle.  After a training into a fast half, I should have the speed, so I’ll just have to work on re-building the endurance and focusing on becoming a strong downhill/uphill runner.  Unlike Chicago, Boston is not flat.  That little tiny hill felt epic at the 26 mile marker at Chicago.  I’m dreading the Newton Hills.

I’m not quite ready to call my Boston time goal.  I obviously want to put in my best effort and train hard.  EVERYONE is fast at Boston so I’d at least like to not feel like the one slow person in the bunch.  But now that I’ve qualified, I don’t know if I want the same pressure to hit a certain goal. I kind of want to see how Arizona goes before I start thinking about whether I’m ready to prepare for a sub 3:30.

I do also want to learn to swim by the end of the year, per my bucket list.  Saturday showed that I really have a looooong way to go.  But with coach Aaron leading the way (did I mention he’s also an accomplished swimmer?) and a new-found confidence that I can do anything I put my mind to, I think it can be done.  I’ll consider myself sufficiently schooled in swimming if I can make it across the pool and back using proper free-style stroke, and employing a solid breathing strategy that doesn’t include keeping my head above water at all costs.

I also want to get back some of that muscle definition that I’ve lost ever since I started running half marathons last year.  It was near impossible to do any quality weight lifting while training for a marathon because my muscles always felt fatigued, but now that we’re back in half marathon land for awhile, I want to focus on a supplementary workout program.

I’m also excited (surprised but excited) to see most of my marathon buddies signing up for a second round! We must all be nuts.  But it will be awesome to follow everyone’s training again come spring!

What’s your winter/spring race schedule?  (or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere…your summer/fall schedule!).  

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

32 thoughts on “So…Now What? Or, Accepting that Chicago is Over

  1. I haven’t been able to run much either since Chicago. I have tendonitis in my foot… and some arch issues… I’ve been on the elliptical most of the time. Im so jealous your running Boston! I’m shooting to run it in 2014… so far away!

    • Ewe. Tendonitis is no fun. I think a big reason why I wouldn’t want to make marathons a lifestyle is because of the long recovery time!

      You were so close in Chicago, so I’m sure you’ll qualify this year! Good luck!

  2. “Lard-esque” — haha. I’m going to have to start using that soon. 🙂

    I’m also really awkward about cheering. Once, I couldn’t decided what I wanted to say before I said it, so it was like, “Nice…looking…job..keep it up!”

    Enjoy your break and good luck with your training!

    • Haha! I kept saying “almost there!” which was pointless since they could see the finish line, so it was completely obvious that they were almost there. I also started to feel like I was annoying everyone else around me, which wasn’t too concerning since I was there to support runners, but still. I’d much rather be on the running end.

  3. Congrats to your pops, that is awesome. Next, of course A is an accomplished swimmer too…sheesh, that man of yours is an athlete and you reap all the benefits!

    I am hoping that my body isn’t as banged up as yours after NYC, I want to try and set a 5k PR at a holiday Turkey Trot, not super aggressive but I am hoping I will be able to run within a week and a half of the marathon to get speed work in…after that, my nest race is the Pasadena Rock N Roll HALF Marathon in February.

    Feel better!

    • The sad thing about all of this is that Aaron’s dominant sport is biking. He’s also an amazingly patient teacher. Not every man would spend half an hour trying to teach his wife how to blow bubbles in the water on a Saturday!

      I think I’m one of the more rare cases. My calf was bothering me BEFORE the marathon and even though it didn’t hurt during, immediately after it tightened up. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was limping while walking for 3 days because I couldn’t walk on it. My suggestion is to spend a good 10 minutes right after crossing the finish line stretching out. I didn’t do this, and now I’m STILL paying for it.

      • OF COURSE HE is best at cycling…when is the Ironman?

        As for stretching, I am terrible with stretching, before and after…trying to focus on that these last two weeks, Pilates is back in full effect! I will try and remember to stretch once I cross the finish…right after I vomit and pound a beer.

  4. This weekend: Monster Dash 10 miler! Nov. 10: Diva Dash (5k), Thanksgiving: Turkey Day 5k, March 2: Point Bock Run 5 miler, End of April: Get in Gear 10k

    I love swimming! I just wish I had easier access to a pool. Also, would you be willing to share some speed training workouts with me?

    • It sounds like you have some great opportunities for some costume pictures!

      For speed workouts, we do 2 a week (Tuesday, Thursday). Tuesdays are usually intervals: track workouts (400’s or 800’s with one lap sprinting, one lap recovery repeating 5-10 times) OR hill sprints (sprint up the hill, jog down repeating 5-10 times). Thursdays are either a tempo run or 3-5 miles at half marathon pace (for the half training, I’ll probably do 10-K pace). We were also doing an additional mid-distance run (6-10 miles) on Sundays at marathon pace. Let me know if you need any specifics!

  5. I might do the Peterhead 10 km November 11th, but there’s a big rugby match in Edinburgh (Scotland Vs. New Zealand!!!!!), and I’m an All Blacks fan, so I think I might miss that. I’m going to do the Aberdeen Santa Run 6 km in December, and hoping to find another 5 km in the new year. If all goes well with back rehabbing, hoping to start training for my first half marathon, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival half, which is in May. You, Rachel and Shantalie have inspired me to enter a (half) marathon 🙂

    Regarding your calf, have you been wearing your compression socks? I’ve read that some marathoners will live in their compression tights for the week after their marathon. Also, what about a massage?

    I can’t believe you don’t know how to swim???!?!?!? With that said, I think it’s awesome you’re learning now, keep at it!

    • I don’t want to say I told you so….but I told you so!

      I have been wearing compression socks (and I did live in mine while we were in Chicago! I put them on immediately after the race and didn’t take them off until I had to dress for work). I’ve been doing a lot of self massage, but I truthfully don’t have the money to spend on one right now, so I’m waiting it out and hoping that it heals on it’s own with the foam roller and massage stick. It is improving, but I think I’m not as worried because I have no reason to run right now and it doesn’t feel like anything is broken.

      And yeah, it is embarrassing to be at the gym pool getting remedial swim lessons. But hopefully next time I go snorkeling I won’t have a panic attack! Because that’s embarrassing too!

    • Yay Danielle ! So glad your gonna be doing the Edinburgh Half Marathon ! I am waiting for pay day to sign up for the full… all the London Marathon rejects like me will be there.

      • Nothing’s definite yet, even 4.5 miles right now leads to quite a stiff and painful 17 hours-ish post-run; the plus side is that I used to feel like that for up to 2 days post run, so things are improving. I’ll know more come December, and make my decision by February at the latest. Just something to think about right now and get my mind around 🙂

  6. Running is still kind of niggly for me too, and I have an extra week on you! We are also both totally bonkers for planning a second marathon, but I too am glad I wont be alone! 🙂

  7. Summer for us here in SA – I gave my self a month off from races in Oct and I am bored with running aimlessly now.

    I’ve signed up for 2 half marathons next months – Landmarks on the 4th and Winelands on the 17th. Maybe two was a little ambitious (can always drop out of the 2nd one I think)

    Also… so very close to signing up for my 2nd marathon.

    Good on you for learning to swim…useful skill to have and who knows what next for the Lavenders ? Triathlon ? Iron (Wo)Man ?

    • First, have I been calling you by the wrong name this whole time?

      I would like to go the triathlon route (more so than ultra marathons). And yes, very useful skill. Even an Ironman is sounding appealing, but it will take me lots and lots of years since I have NO biking or swimming experience.

      • Shantarella is not my real name. Its Shantalie. But Shantarella is cooler 🙂

        Well if you ever get into the whole ultramarathon thing you should convince Aaron to bring you to Cape Town for Two Oceans Ultra – I can honestly say it is probably the most stunning route ever. Sadly, I’ll never qualify but I will live vicariously through u 🙂

        I am possibly think triathlon/iron man when I am thirty…. that gives me 3 years to master the other two skills.

  8. Congrats to your dad- that is awesome!! Hope your shin/calf pain subsides quickly. You’re smart to take such a complete rest. I had the same pain post marathon and didn’t allow for enough time off, leaving me with a stress fracture last fall. Lesson learned!
    I love your big goals! I’d like to go after a 1:35 half later this spring. I’m running one in December, but know I won’t be there yet.

    • Thank you! It is driving me nuts that I’m not running, but thanks to stories like yours, I know it will be the best decision!

      I’m not so sure I can pull off a 1:35 by January either, but might as well try. It will be harder to train with all of the Christmas stuff, so we’ll see.

  9. I think my first post post marathon last year…was Now What? I felt the same way and had to sit back recover and reflect a bit. I missed the structure of training and even missed the long runs. Enjoy your rest (maybe you can find a good book) and congrats to your Dad!

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