Before I ran marathons, I had a more romantic vision of what the ‘day after’ entailed. I hadn’t exactly thought it through, but it definitely involved couch time and ice cream.
That was before.
Now, I coach runners. And their training can’t suffer because I’m tired.
Tonight, my 5k-10k students were doing their final long run. 6 big ones. Their longest so far. Quite an event as most of them only started Couch to 5k this summer. I thought I was quite clever, though. I scheduled them to meet me at Lock 29, and I planned to have them run 1.5 miles out, turn around, wave to me on the way by, and then go 1.5 miles the other way. Everyone wins, right? They get my support, and I get to do nothing. Ok maybe only I win, but at any rate, that was the plan.
The best laid plans…
As I was on the way there, I got a text from my friend Connie. She said she was meeting us there. Well this can’t be good.
Connie is Connie Gardner, 11 time National Championship Ultrarunner. I tell you this not to name drop, but so you’ll have a full appreciation for what I’m saying here. Also, I wrote that Wiki article, so there is that.
Anyway, I was not bothered, I figured “great! Connie can run with them while I’m waving at mile 3!”
Pfft. She showed up like “oh no, you’re running”. Oh boy.
The first 2 miles were not my favorite. Be careful not to complain, though. She says “do some butt kicks”. I figure she’s giving me a helpful hint to loosen my legs or something. I do a couple. OW WTF. She laughs. “worse, isn’t it?”. Lord, help me.
The next 2 miles were just regular awful.
The last 2? I might as well have been back at the marathon. I honestly thought it would never end. And I’m supposed to be the supportive and helpful coach. Not the “how much further?” whiny coach who didn’t have a GPS watch because she forgot to charge it after the race.
So, yeah. 6 miles the day after a marathon? I ran it. And wanna know what else? After that, I feel fine. Definitely better than before I ran. Is she on to something? Perhaps. And you know what else? The Towpath is so gorgeous in the fall you can almost forget how miserable you feel. Almost.