Thursday, November 19, 2009

Running on Empty

"Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I'm running behind"

I have been running. I've run 4 of the past 5 days, for a total of 16 miles. Not a lot of mileage, but due to it getting dark early and not having any long distance races in the near future, it doesn't really matter. My times are ok, anywhere from an 8:39 per mile pace to a 9 minute per mile pace. Slow, I know, at least for a short distance. Problem is, I have PMS. Yes, PMS: P ost M arathon S yndrome. Ever since I ran the New York City Marathon, running just doesn't mean as much to me. I spent six months preparing for it. I raised nearly $2700 for Autism Speaks, due to the generosity of you guys and friends, family, and co-workers. Now that I'm two plus weeks post marathon, I'm in a running funk. I'm still stuck on my slower than anticipated finishing time. I could have done better; I should have done better. At least I've read the race reviews and read how other runners also had slower than expected times. That helps me feel better. But I'm so stuck on my 4:39:31 finishing time. I didn't want it to end that way. I wanted to PR with a time of 4:22:18 or better. Even a 4:30 would have been ok. As much as I want to accept the 4:39, and keep saying it's only a number and I'm happy I finished, truth is, I'm not happy. NY was supposed to be my grand finale; my race of all races. Dammit, I can't let go. I feel like I let myself down, and even disappointed you guys. All my training, all my run-walk-run reading and training, and I did worse than I did in the 2008 Hartford Marathon. My PR is from that marathon. I didn't train nearly as hard, hit the wall at mile 18, felt like crap the last 8 miles, and still finished 17 minutes faster than I did in NY. During these past weeks I've weighed the pros and cons of training for another "one last" marathon. The cons outweigh the pros. I always go with my gut feeling. I know that deep inside I don't have the desire or motivation to train for another marathon. I don't want to be held captive by a training schedule for six months. There aren't any marathons close by in the near future, so I can't even give it one last marathon run before my distance training and endurance disappears. I'm done venting and complaining. Moving forward, I'm probably going to sign up for the Manchester (CT) Road Race on Thanksgiving. It's a 4.75 mile race that I've run the past two years. It has about 10,000 runners, and it's as claustrophobic as the NY City Marathon was. Actually, it's worse than NY. Smaller roads with a long uphill for the first mile. A hill that a lot of runners end up walking. Last year I was able to maneuver around all the slow pokes and finish in 39:56. The race is televised locally, and taped on NESN. Plus the crowd is fantastic. I'm watching the weather forecast, and if it's going to be a decent day, then I'll enter it. I need motivation. I need reasons to run. This will be a start.


Lisa said...

Isn't PMS a common thing amongst marathoners? I've read a lot of race reports and it seems most people get in a funk after their races. But you are running and that is a good thing. You don't need to run long distances, nothing wrong with 4 and 5 milers. Maybe find a half marathon to train for? Halfs seem to be so much easier to train for and don't monopolize your time. I'm glad to see you post again and that you are considering another race.

Meg Runs said...

How fun, that race will something to look forward to! I need that right now! By the way, I didn't know that NY was going to be your final marathon. Guess you'll need to do one more to get that 4:22!

Rookie on the Run said...

Oh, man... my PMS funk lasted for nearly five months! It was a tough time for me. In my case, it wasn't so much that I was disappointed in my run (I knew I'd be doing well just to finish), it's more that I felt directionless afterward.

I'm back to training for something and focused on just having fun with my running.

I'm sorry you were disappointed in your NYCM time. For what it's worth, I think you did awesome!

lindsay said...

you didn't let us down, but i can understand feeling let down yourself regarding missing a time goal. happens to all of us. whether you decide on another marathon or not, i know you will keep running! you can continue to train for half's and 20k's and 10k's and all... i'm sure you have pr's to beat there :)

enjoy the un-structured-ness, or well try to at least. are there possibly other hobbies/activities you wanted to get into but didn't have the time because of marathon training?

Jill said...

I think we all need time off after a marathon to chill some. I came off of Portland marathon and jumped back into it but I wasn't ready and I'm feeling the affects and I have another marathon in a couple weeks. ugh. Maybe do some shorter races for awhile...or maybe just run for "fun."

Happy weekend! :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

it didn't end the way you wanted, but you still found a way to get into a race that you wanted to do, accomplished your fundraising goal, and completed the marathon. A huge accomplishment in and of itself! You may find the desire to run another once you get your mojo back... maybe another race is what you need, but even if you don't run another full, know that you've inspired and helped many, and aren't a disappointment! Have a great weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Irish Cream said...

Hehe, I ALWAYS get into the worst PMS funks after marathons . . . that is, unless I have another one to train for immediately thereafter! And that, my friend, is why I am all about running back-to-back-to-back (etc.) marathons! :) I think the run on Thanksgiving will be a good way to get your mojo back! And please don't feel like you let US down! I for one cannot get past your incredible fund-raising efforts and contribution to Autism Speaks . . . so you could have dropped out at 0.5 miles in, and I STILL would have been proud of you! I understand your disappointment, though. As Lindsay said, it happens to all of us. Hang in there!

Lisa said...

Remember, it takes approximately 1 day to recover for every mile you race. Your body won't be recovered for 26 days. As far as PMS, I think we all get it. The only reason I ran within two weeks after my June marathon was because I was training for a half soon after. The year before it took almost a month before I got out and ran.

I am sorry that you weren't happy with your time. I can relate. I wish I had advice on how to move forward. My first instinct is to say to run another... but I really don't think that is right for you.

You really should be proud of yourself. You ran a good race and raised money for a great charity.

Anais said...

Just so you know, guys get (actual) PMS too :P I read that somewhere...

I've never run a marathon so for me all I can think of is: you RAN the NYC marathon. That is AWESOME in and of itself. :)

Btw, I intended to wait to run my first half-marathon until fall 2010... but among other reasons, your experience made me want to do it earlier... I think I'm going to run one in May!! I'm a bit scared though :)