Why I’ll Never Run Back-to-Back Marathons Again

NYC Marathon Cafe Tallulah

Any day you finish a marathon is a good day.

That’s what I’ve told a lot of people who’ve asked me about my NYC Marathon experience this Sunday, and that’s true.

But the truth is a little more complicated than that.

I had an amazing experience the first two times I ran it: I was well-trained, I had clear time goals and I executed on them. (2011 recap | 2013 recap) I felt great most of the race because I had a solid base of training.  Physically, my legs were used to the demands of the course. Mentally, my brain had been trained through a handful of crappy long runs and some tempos that really pushed me beyond my limits.

Also, each of the previous times I’d run it, I hadn’t run a marathon in more than a year. It was a familiar experience, but enough time had passed for the novelty to return.

I didn’t have a great day Sunday, but I didn’t have a terrible day either. I truly enjoyed most of the race, but I didn’t finish with that same endorphin high I usually do. EXCUSE ME, WHO CAN I CONTACT ABOUT MY MISSING ENDORPHINS?

I finished feeling generally content but not as excited as I had been to finish Chicago. When I finished that race, I hadn’t run a marathon in more than two years. It was brand new again. When I finished Sunday, it was like “cool, did that a few weeks ago.”

For that reason, I’m not sure if I ever want to do two marathons in one season again. I think running a marathon — especially the NYC Marathon! — is such a special experience, and I truly don’t want to ever lose that. Because then what’s next, an ultra? No thanks 🙂 (Don’t worry, Mom.)(OK, maybe a 50K one day.)



16 comments on “Why I’ll Never Run Back-to-Back Marathons Again

  1. Ash Diamond

    This is why I love you – you’re honest and candid. You still rocked 26.2 like no one’s business and to the person on the sidelines, make it seem SO easy! You amaze me!

  2. Jen @ Mom's Gotta Run

    I think sometimes people make things look too easy, or maybe it just is for them. I appreciate that you are honest without being negative. That said, you can knock 2 marathons in a month off your bucket list and move on. Congrats on two great races and I hope to celebrate with you soon! And talk about fall 2016 races 🙂

  3. Sana

    Umm, you are amazing. Also, you might need to do something a bit more crazy to get endorphin wasted! Either way you can totally do it!!

  4. Liz H

    Yeah but you were about to get that sweet white jacket (seriously, love it.)! Also love the nail polish. Creepiest comment here? Probably.

  5. Laura

    Aww, I’m so sorry that NYC wasn’t a great experience! For me, I was really surprised to find that doing marathons so often didn’t take away from them – I feel like there was at least one point in every race that I got choked up with excitement. Sometimes it was at the start, sometimes at the finish, and sometimes somewhere along the way (usually when I was listening to an awesome power song). I definitely did lose my sense of “I wonder if I can finish” at some point, but I did always feel that races are magical places 🙂 Hope you can get that sense back for your next one, even if it’s not for a year! XOXO

  6. Meghan

    Good to know! Since I had to defer Chicago and missed running with my friend this year, and we both want to run NYC again, I was trying to convince her we should try to do both. I am sad that the experience wasn’t as exciting as it could have been, but I still think you earn a badge for being pretty badass! 🙂

  7. Steena

    Interesting.. I recently did back to back marathons but didn’t lack that endorphin high myself. I finished quite proud of finishing a second marathon seven days later! We’re all different though, I can see your point on how you feel about it.

  8. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I love that you posted this! Everyone is running back to back marathons these days and I’m just sitting here recovering from Chicago, thinking how much I want to do another one too! But I know better! It’s hard on your body to just do one. Thanks for posting this!


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