I have ZERO marathons on my calendar right now. I can’t even remember the last time I had ZERO marathons on my calendar! It’s a strange feeling.
To be clear, I didn’t go into this past year thinking I’d plan to run 6 Marathons in 6 Months. A mixture of opportunity and FOMO served me a ridiculous race calendar – I couldn’t say “no” to any of the races! And now that I’m at the end of this journey looking back, a few people have asked me about how the experience has been. Not surprisingly, it’s been harder than I anticipated, but not in the ways I thought it would be. Here’s a quick rundown.
Surprising – I missed running!
I actually ran LESS as I notched more Marathons under my belt. It was hard to stay motivated to train for my fun run Marathons as I got into the winter (rainy and cold) months and the holidays (eating and drinking) months. Plus, I needed to rest more to stay healthy for the later Marathons. As a result, I missed running and running hard. I missed speed workouts and feeling fast and strong. The more Marathons I ran, the less I was actually running. And surprisingly, I missed it!
Not Surprising – I was over long runs
After Thanksgiving (3 Marathons in) it was excruciatingly hard to find any motivation to run more than 10 miles. So, I just didn’t! This was questionable training. In our podcast episode with Bart Yasso, he recommended I run a 15-miler in between Marathons, and while I always had the best intentions to do so, I often gave myself a pass.
Surprising – My legs are resilient!
When I did try to run fast again, I still had it! I ran the BATH in early February at my Berlin Marathon Pace from back in September. I was shocked I could run 13.1 miles at Marathon Pace having done ZERO speed work in 5 months. It was a confidence-boosting moment to know I still had a good amount of fitness!
Not Surprising – My body had issues
To be anticipated, I ended up with some mild injuries that plagued me for my last 2-3 Marathons. My “knee niggle” that first showed up in Episode 73 never really went away… and it’s still with me today. Other than a bout with plantar fasciitis back in 2015-2016, this is the most persistent injury I’ve dealt with. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not bad injury-wise! But, in the moment, it was the only thing keeping me from finishing my 6-in-6 feeling strong and healthy (aka keeping me from confidently asserting, “See, this wasn’t a bad idea!”)
Surprising – I’m ready for my next goal!
Similar to missing running, I’m ready to run towards a time goal again. I’ve had so much fun-running with others in NYC and Disney and helping others get across the finish line in Chicago and Tokyo! But, I’m ready to have to dig deep and push myself as hard as I can. I’m ready to finish a race feeling completely exhausted and gutted. I’m still terrified at the thought, but I am excited for it! Sadly, I’ll need to wait until my knee niggle has passed before I start training again, but when I do I’ll be hungry and ready! I thought by the end of this journey I’d be sick of racing, but it’s made me more ready to start up again.
Not Surprising – Once I start racing hard I’m sure I’ll start missing the fun runs again
If there’s anything I know, it’s that I’ll always want it all. I want the ability to race hard AND fun run AND not get injured while doing it! Turns out, I had a pretty good run at it for a while. I probably should’ve stopped at 4 Marathons. The 5th and 6th ones were definitely more of a struggle, but I wouldn’t have changed anything about my experience. Each race has made me smarter for the next and I’ll be ready to tackle more soon!