Post-marathon comeback

The story so far: After a gruelling Dublin Marathon, your blogger takes a break from running for the rest of October – a grand gesture somewhat undermined by there being only four days left in the month. But a runner can’t stay idle for long without yearning for the road again. And today is the first of November. Now read on…

I’m just back from my first run after last Monday’s Dublin Marathon. It was only a light and easy 2-miler, but still.

One thing I’ve noticed about my post-marathon comeback run over the years: the first couple of strides always pick up from where I left off in the marathon. So, if I’ve had a storming race then in the comeback run my legs immediately switch back into battle stations: after the 2012 Paris Marathon my knees instinctively lifted themselves so high that I almost clocked myself on the chin with shock.

And so this morning’s run was a more modest affair, in keeping with how I trudged through the closing miles of Monday’s race. I’m down in the ancestral homeland of Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland, The World for a few days of post-marathon recuperation; the extra sleep meant that I felt fresh and limber for my run.

Still, I didn’t want to overdo things. I resolved to restrain myself to two miles and no further; overtraining and insufficient recovery right now would cost me dearly after a few weeks.

Shuffling along casually this morning, I realised that I had started out on a route that I used over the summer on my marathon training. All the mental processes that went on during those runs; all the planning and visualising and daydreaming! And then to realise that not only was the marathon over but that I had underperformed – well, it stung a little.

But I put it out of my mind as best I could and carried on. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the marathon is a mental effort with a bit of running attached.)

I saw some other runners out this morning; Tralee is still a town smitten by running and is a fantastic place to run. I wondered which of those runners had also ploughed the furrow in Dublin, and which were getting ready for the Tralee Marathon next March.

Ah, thinking of future races – the best way to deal with the race just done! I don’t have any plans yet for my next marathon, be it spring or autumn 2015, but I’ll be doing two 10K races in Dublin during the next six weeks – at the Run In The Dark on 12 November and the Aware Christmas Run on 13 December. (Both of these events also have 5K options.)

During November I’ll rebuild my base fitness gradually, endeavour to train sensibly and slowly, and gear up to my real objective – my traditional 13-mile run on Christmas morning. And now look: we’re getting closer to Christmas too!

Back in the game, baby!

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3 Responses to Post-marathon comeback

  1. Glad ur back on the road after the marathon last week. I was out for a 3 miler on Sunday AM too and legs felt exactly the same as when I crossed the finish line last week! I have resolved not to do the marathon without a training plan the next time! Anyway thatnks for all the tips along the way. Run in the Dark is next on my list for Mark Pollock’s charity. After that maybe some trails in the Wicklow mtns.

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