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.)