Monday, February 22, 2016


A marathon takes so much out of you.  The training, the time, the prepping, the planning, the execution, all of it spins together into this massive vortex that you tend to dive into head first on race day.  The whole process kind of chews you up and spits you out on the other side.  And regardless of the outcome, you're left mentally shellshocked and physically wiped to the core, a state of being that is slightly inhuman and insanely rewarding.  Then the dust begins to settle and the high begins to wear off and you're left wondering, now what?  I've run 13 marathons, and LA was no different than the rest.  Sure, I put in more work in for this one which took more time and energy.  And, yes, I pushed myself further than I've gone in the past.  But, the end result was ultimately the same.  The "week after", just like it was for the last 12 marathons, has been an ongoing attempt to process all of the very deep emotions that were flowing through me the minute I crossed the line.  Happy, sad, tired, confused, satisfied, angry, fired up and more smacking me in the face on a daily basis, often all at once.  There's a lot going on there and it's not always easy to navigate.  And, of course, the same damn questions that pop up every single time popped right up again, did I do enough to prepare, did I go out too fast, did I have more to give, can I do it better next time?  You'd think, having done so many marathons, that I'd be able to stop, unwind and, most important, just give myself time to mentally and physically recover.  Ha!  Instead, I found myself furiously typing up my 2016 race schedule last night and sending it off to my coach.  My next race is a half marathon on March 20th.  I want to stay sharp and try and run a good time for this one I wrote.  After that I'm running the BAA 5K in April.  Well, naturally, I want to PR there, too.  Maybe, finally, break 19 minutes.  And then, there's my next marathon which is in October.  So much to do, so little time.  And my coach's response?  Easy tiger.  Well, he didn't say that, but it's how I interpreted it.  He really said this:

"Rebecca, I don't think you should have high expectations for your March race.  I know you always want to run well, but it is important to dial it back a little after a marathon to make sure you recover properly.  You can roll right off that fitness, but it increases the risk of injury and isn't worth it long term."

Oh, right.  Long term.  That's what we're going for here.  Thankfully I have someone to remind me that I plan to be running and racing for many years to come.  I'm 41 years old and as a competitive master runner (40+) I'm really just getting started.  If I'm going to do this right, I need to be patient and have respect for my body which may or may not be up for this 'long term' challenge.  So today?  Today I have four easy miles on the schedule.  Which, believe it or not, after taking a week off, is kind of painful.  I would love to do more.  I'm eager to reset and get back to work.  Let's go, go, go.  You can laugh.  I did, too.  Then I told myself to calm down and chill the f*** out.  The good thing is I'm not totally off my rocker and I do have a little perspective.  When I woke up this morning it was a beautiful, mild, sunny morning.  I made myself a cup of coffee and stepped outside to soak up the vibe of the day.  I found myself smiling and feeling a little giddy about heading off to run just for the fun of it.  No watch.  No agenda.  No pressure.  A gift to both my legs and my head.  Because I need both long term.

Listen to this:
Come Alive - The Jezebels


  1. Wise and fierce. Running to run is one of the hardest things to do when chasing down PRs. What a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the journey.

  2. Aren't coaches wonderful? Enjoy running easy and free!