Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For many, it may be the other way around

But for me, the end of the semester causes more fear than standing at the start of a marathon. But let me back track...

It’s back to normal, sort of. I was back in DC for about 36 hours, and then took at bus out to Chappaqua, NY to visit family for Easter (ah, the benefits of being at a Catholic school – Easter vacation!). This was great because it meant 3 days after the marathon, I was getting full nights of sleep every day! I definitely needed that – I was completely exhausted for the first 2 days. But I do believe that if you can get through the first 2 full days after the marathon, you are good to go. Before that, I was so sore, and it is a soreness that it is hard to explain to others. I live at the top of my apartment building, and coming down the stairs was a process. I tended to take a deep breath, and grit it out – I am sure I looked foolish to anyone passing by. But was deliriously happy!

And that’s the thing: the joy hasn’t gone away. Of course, it’s not that surreal, pinch-me-did-this-really-happen, kind of feeling, but still very happy. It’s the kind of feeling that is perfectly timed with the end of the semester: I have about 10 days to go. Surely I can take what I did at Boston and use that to fuel me/reassure me for this final stretch…

I took a few days off – no exercises, no stretches: nothing. On Friday, I went for a 50 minute walk around Chappaqua – figured it was time to start moving at least a little fast, but walking was the fastest I could go. On Saturday, I rowed 6000 meters – couldn’t quite muster a run yet, but wanted to get some form of moderate exercise. Felt good to break out a sweat – which a few years ago that wouldn’t have been a desire. Now, it’s as if when I am pushing that hard, I feel most like myself, most real.

After Mass, I so wanted to go for a run on Sunday – and so I did! 3.8 hilly miles at a relatively fast pace considering that I was less than a week out from Boston (8:06 pace). I think part of me was just so excited to get back on the road. And I did the same on Monday. Very hilly though – I could feel my quads ache on the downhills – they must be remembering going down Heartbreak Hill!

I ran 4 miles today, and that was more for my mind than my body. I have a week and a half of school: papers, exams, papers and exams to grade, and then I will be done. Somehow, I get more nervous about that than marathon training.

So I just need to sit back and remember what I have just done. Surely if I can go sub 3:30 in the marathon, I can finish the semester on a high note. And in the next week, I won't be running to train, just running to stay sane!

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