two marathons in two months: part one

I’ll start by answering the obvious questions:

Is it smart to run two marathons in two months?

Probably not. For me personally? Certainly not.

Why are you doing this?

It wasn’t intentional. I’m just a poor planner.

Why didn’t you change your plans?

Enthusiasm. And stubbornness.

Now that I’ve cleared that up…

A month ago, I ran my first marathon. In a few weeks, I’ll run my second. Then, after a few weeks of recovery, I’m going to start training for my first Ironman triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run). Training for that first marathon, committing to an Ironman, attempting to recover but also train in the lead-up to this second marathon — it’s been a busy few months, and I’m bringing that energy to my blog in an attempt to stay focused, while also enjoying the journey.

So let’s start with that first marathon, shall we?

How did it go?

Pretty well. I wanted to run it in less than four hours, and I was on track to do that through mile 20, but it didn’t happen. I finished in 4:11 and am really happy with that.

Uh, you missed your goal. You’re happy?

Hell yeah. I ran a freaking marathon. It really hurt, but I trained well, fueled well and on race day, I never stopped running. Even during those last six miles, when I struggled to manage a new kind of pain, I was stoked. Mile after mile, I thought to myself, “Holy crap, you’ve run 21 (22, 23, 24…) miles. You’re going to finish marathon. WHOA.”

Truthfully, keeping those emotions in check challenged me from the very beginning. Coming down from surge after surge of excitement really wore me out. It was a relief to finally let them flow during the last mile.

Also exhausting: Running 26.2 miles counter-clockwise and tackling the same hill six times. My left leg was especially sore after this adventure.

Favorite parts?

  • Having my family there all day, in the freezing weather.
  • Running miles 9ish-18ish with my friend Lillian. She kept me company and on pace during what would have been some very monotonous miles, especially on this course.
  • My big, stupid face surprising me at mile 13. Thanks, Mom.

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  • The runner who juggled the entire race. For real.
  • Post-race Pizza Plus.

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Other thoughts?

I loved the size of the race. A little more than 300 people ran the Brooklyn Marathon, so even though it was a loop course, it was never congested. Weaving can make a race miserable, and the issue never came up.

While an 8-loop course in the same direction, including six times up a big hill, really put the hurt in my body, I loved knowing the course so well. I trained almost exclusively in Prospect Park, and my comfort with the course helped me mentally.

Now what?

I opted to take it really easy in the weeks after the marathon (perhaps too easy?), even with another 26.2 coming up fast. I have a few weeks left to ramp back up, and more than anything, I want to be healthy and ready for a fun race in January.

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