It was such a nice day yesterday, I decided to venture out on a brisk walk around the Upper West Side…no destination in particular, just wanted to get moving (I also laid in bed until 2pm in the afternoon, but that’s a different story). All the sudden, I found myself back at 77th and Columbus; exactly where I was 7 days ago, wrapped in a heat sheet and reunited with friends and family after I ran 26.2 miles. Had an entire week already passed? Sometimes the marathon feels like it was months ago, and others it feels like it’s just yesterday.
Over the last 7 days, I have been trying to enjoy the post-Marathon downtime. I was finally able to walk at a normal pace on Thursday, and even made my way into heels on Friday and Saturday nights. I made returns to my favorite pilates class, and tried a new total body conditioning class. I walked to work one morning. But otherwise, I haven’t felt very different. My schedule feels off.
Since running has been part of my life for such a long time, it feels like something is missing when I’m not scheduling my day around it. Certainly, I am enjoying the time off and my legs are so thankful for it, but I am looking forward to getting back in it when I’m ready.
I’ve also started to think about some goals I have for 2011, in running and in life. The major running goals I hope to achieve are:
- 1:27 in the Half-Marathon [Current PR: 1:29:35 debut, but also ran that time for my first 13.1 in the NYC Marathon..]
- Sub 3:00 in the Marathon [Current PR: 3:04:32 debut]
Are these lofty goals? I think they are incredibly attainable with consistent training and hard work, given both my previous bests above were my first time ever racing that distance. Previously, I never had raced more than a 6K. Long distance is definitely my stronger point, so I know I still have plenty of room to grow.
That got me thinking…just two years ago in my senior year of college, I would never have thought I was capable of these times. 45-50 miles a week seemed like high mileage to me, and my long run of 10 miles felt like eternity. Now, I find myself capable of 60+ miles per week (without injury-hooray!) and 10 miles was just another day…21 miles was the new long run, and I really looked forward to it.
I realized what is ‘long’ or ‘hard’ or ‘normal’ or ‘fast’ or whatever is all a matter of how you look at it. I remember learning about ‘schemas’ in Psychology, mental frameworks that shape how you look at the world. If 10 miles is the most you’ve ever run, of course that’s going to feel like an eternity. Once you challenge yourself to more, that becomes the new standard and way to view things.
Before I ran the marathon, I was hoping for a 3:10 at best. Now that I’ve challenged myself and gone better, I’ve readjusted my schema to view sub-3:00 as the next attainable goal. I never would have thought that was in sight prior to 11/7.
So as I look forward to 2011 and set these new goals, I also want to try to do more of the “extras”, such as stretching, core work, strength work, strides, etc. These things currently seem like “extras” to me because I don’t currently do them regularly as I should. Chalking it up to lack of time but it’s really laziness. Once I begin to reincorporate them into my routine, they won’t feel like extras–they’ll be just that: part of my routine.
See, it’s all how you look at it. I’ll try to keep that in mind as I look forward to achieving some new goals. Up, up and away!