Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The post-race question I'm always asked

Enjoy it while you can
The exhilaration that comes after a race has about the same shelf-life as a loaf of freshly baked bread. Right after a race, once I've re-hydrated, re-fueled and rested, the world looks perfect. Endorphins are still plentiful and I feel proud and satisfied. The day after a race has its charms, especially for me, because it's usually a Monday and I get to re-live the experience with work friends.

By the third day, the pride is still there, but the bread isn't quite as fresh. I begin to ask myself questions like "Should I have taken two rest days as planned, or powered through and done an easy run today?" and "What's next to do after all that base training to prepare for my half marathon?" By Tuesday, not too many people are asking about my weekend.

I was asked (four times) yesterday, if I was now going to do a marathon (or in one case, a real marathon). My answer remained the same: No. If all things were equal, but I were 20 years younger, I would probably consider running a full marathon some day. But for me, the ability to run a 26.2 mile race isn't something that I feel I need to do. If I can break 2:00 for 13.1 miles, that would mean more to me. An accomplishment like that would keep me excited, long past Tuesday.

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