I have to write something. It’s been a week and nothing about 3M. Originally, I didn’t write about the race because I was still digesting it all, trying to gather my thoughts about it, evaluate it, process it. It was a personal thing, something I just didn’t want to share. By now, it’s just history and we’ve all moved on.
Also though, I had the post-race blues. I remember feeling the same way after one of the triathlons last summer. You work really hard for weeks or months, feel like this pressure is building up inside that’s gonna blow, and then when you finally finish the race, it’s a big freaking release, and even if you did well you feel deflated, devoid, de-energized. Yeah, it’s like that. All week I’ve just been decompressing.
But that feels lame, because I look around and see all these marathoners for whom 3M was merely a training run, or even just part of a training run. And when I stopped by Gazelles class and saw the herd just plugging away like nothing happened, it looked foreign, and I knew I didn’t want to be there. I don’t know why. But it felt like it was supposed to be a big deal for me, and well, that just feels lame. That’s a lot of feeling for such a simple thing.
Of course, this has all just been the mental side, and I haven’t even brought up the physical aspect. As I noted days before the race, my knee was giving me trouble, but it was completely fine during the race. Over the next couple of days, though, everything below the waist (well, not everything) was in some sort of discomfort. My knee/IT band problem resurfaced, my hip flexor was painful, “I had an ankle”, my calves balled up, my hamstrings were tender, etc.
I ran a nice, easy 7 on Tuesday morning (skipping class) and felt fine, but then could barely walk into work an hour later. Thursday afternoon saw another easy 7 (again skipping class), but now it seems my IT band issue has receeded and migrated to some sort of tendonitis under the kneecap.
What a litany of lameness. This blog ain’t called “Narcissism” for nothing.
So Thursday during my run I stopped by the afternoon class and asked Gilbert “what’s next?” He said, “a fast 10K.” And that little exchange was all it took to snap me out of those blues, perk me up, and get me excited about running. My knee later intruded on my good feelings.
And then yesterday, Saturday, I ran 9.5 miles with Michelle and a professional triathlete in town to train. That run really felt great and lifted my spirits. Originally, I just wanted to do another easy 7 on the soft trail, but Michelle wanted someone to run with, so I volunteered.
We ran with the ever-so-talkative and carefree marathoners up Exposition to 35th, and the plan was to just turn around there. But we kept going with them (by that point it was actually just Rich and Richard) across Mopac, and when they turned North, we knew it was time to go our separate ways. So I led Michelle and Jonathon back down 35th, Lamar, 29th and Guadalupe.
It wasn’t until near the end that I had any idea who this guy running with us was. We all had a nice conversational threshold run back to RunTex. Totals were 70 minutes, 9.5 miles, 7.22/mile average. I’d bet the start was 8.22 and the finish was 6.22. I was struggling to stay with it on the last couple of miles, and afterwards Michelle said the same thing. I guess one of those things where you’re afraid to slow down or fess up to your pain. Jonathan of course was blissfully chatting away on a Saturday stroll.
But those last couple of miles were also re-invigorating, and I thought to myself how much I loved what I was doing. I loved to run. Empty streets, sun coming up, bodies in synch, breathing in rhythm, interesting partners, physical exertion, 27 degrees, clear mind, full heart. It’s not always like that. I’m not always so mawkish.