On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Multiple marathons and me

I lied when I said there would be no marathon for me this weekend. I will be participating in a marathon, but I've kept it secret from you. That's because it's a TWILIGHT MARATHON! I'll be watching all the DVDs in preparation for the new movie coming out next weekend.

But now, for reals, regarding multiple marathons - in short: I'm not doing that again. Not because it was hard (it actually wasn't that bad), but more because I don't want my identity to become "stunt marathoner." I want it to become "girl who sets goals, trains for goals, and achieves her goals." The glory of just finishing has faded for me by now.

But, just in case you were wondering how it is that I ran two marathons in 8 days, here are some more details. And then I will not talk about MCM or NYCM 2011 again except in passing.

Why: I don't know? I can tell you some reasons that were not why I did it. I did not do it to join Marathon Maniacs (for those of you keeping score, I became eligible last year and have thus far chosen not to join). I did not do it as some sort of vengeance race - as in, I didn't want to give myself a second chance at a possible PR.

So why did I buy the MCM bib (during the transfer period, totally legit)? A few reasons, I think. One, to see if I could, plain and simple. I seem to recover fairly easily (ahem, largely because I do not put enough effort in).

Also, not to get too personal, but I'm going through something in my life that one might euphemistically call a "rough patch." I wanted to get out of NYC for a weekend, and the thought of seeing friends and running a marathon all by my lonesome seemed cathartic (it was).

And finally, I think that subconsciously I was trying to sabotage myself. Yes, that's right. My training through this whole cycle was actually kind of okay, and I was terrified of not living up to my potential. So how better to counter that than to set up an impossible obstacle that will guarantee that I don't do well?

How: All of my training was geared to NYCM, and MCM was an add-on. I did my last 20m run three weeks out from NYCM. In the week between NYCM and MCM I ran a miserable half and then rested most of that week.

The day after MCM, I ran a very very slow 4m. I had a massage on Wednesday. I then took the rest of the week off from running. In the three weeks prior to NYCM, my mileage was 30m, 16, and 30m (the last figure including MCM). As you can see, I took it easy-peasy leading up to the race(s).

Not really winning any mileage awards here.
And then? Honestly, I feel almost completely fine now. I had a very, very painful massage on Monday night (the only time the therapist I like could see me) and I really am not very sore.


  1. "Stunt marathoner" - I like that term, describes it perfectly. I see a lot of runners who do this and while obviously they're free to do their thing...I have to admit, I don't really understand it.

    I don't think I'll ever do more than one marathon in a year. I'd rather do one and do it to the best of my ability!

  2. I can see myself doing more than one if I wanted to do one completely for fun - like, I'd trained for one, but then I ran a second one with a friend, easy. But I agree. At this point I really want to actually train, hard.

  3. AHHHHH! That is a marathon I can do too!!!! I'll "run" the Twilight marathon with you this weekend. To make it a real marathon, should we repeat the first three movies for a total of 26.2 hours? Or is that overkill??

  4. The whole marathon thing back to back? Doesn't need to be a stunt, if you liked it (and you did), do it. If you don't like it anymore, don't do it. But who care what other people say/think/want to read about? Do what you like to do.

  5. Carla, I think that's exactly my point, but I expressed it poorly. I don't regret doing the two in 8 days thing, but I really want (for me) to train hard again.

  6. i think it's pretty freaking cool...even with my crappy, slow & ultimately time in the Detroit marathon, I was in NO condition to run for another 1 1/2 weeks. I like the idea of using the marathon as an event more than a race...takes some of the pressure off bless yer knees if yer able to do more than 1 a year. I get it & say, Bravo you crazy lady!