It has taken me several weeks to sit down and finally write this article. After 18 weeks of training for and then successfully running the Chicago Marathon, my post-marathon thoughts and attitudes about running changed. Suddenly I didn’t have a long run mileage goal every weekend; my life didn’t have to revolve around every single run. And during this mental transition period, I came to rediscover moments of joy in just running, in having my body move seamlessly through space.
I loved training for the marathon this past summer – truly I did. I am a type A personality who diligently follows a training plan and is set in his routines. Once the marathon was over, however, that changed. Suddenly I had several months to just enjoy the freedom of running by feel. If I want to run fast, I do. If I want to run longer, I do. I watched the leaves continue to change colors and fall from the trees. I noticed the days getting shorter and shorter (which did not make me happy), and enjoyed the crunch of leaves underfoot and the start of cool fall breezes.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have more races on my calendar. I am doing the Disney World Marathon in January. But my plan for that is to just have fun – to stop for every character picture that I can and to really enjoy running through all the theme parks. At this point, there is no need to push for a PR or set a time goal, and my training hasn’t been as intense as it was for Chicago. After that, training starts for my spring marathon (Boston).
I can really take this time to just enjoy being a runner. Winter seems to already have arrived, and I realize that I need to be grateful for each day we have now where I can get outside for a run – even when the snow is blowing against me and I wish I was instead home by the fire.
It’s hard to believe that two months ago I could run through the city in a sleeveless shirt. Now, more often than not, I’m dressing in multiple layers of clothes to protect me from colder temperatures. But I’m still enjoying each day I can go out. I know I’ll be ready to start training again in the new year. I hope that all of you are enjoying your post-marathon running. I’d love to hear your post-marathon thoughts and what you enjoy best about this time of year!