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Let's Try This Again

This past week has been so bizarre. I was on such a high after running in Myrtle Beach, and all I could think about was the marathon. I actually had a hard time sleeping (despite the fact that my body was exhausted!) because I kept replaying the final stretch in my mind and seeing the numbers 3:51:15 float by every time I closed my eyes.

Yes, that makes me sound crazy. I get that. But I really was on cloud nine.

And then....the inevitable crash. It sucks, doesn't it? An amazing PR, a new distance record or an incredibly fun race can often leave you on a roller coaster of feelings. After the rise, the weeks or months of anticipation and then the event itself, you find yourself at a loss. What am I supposed to be doing now? What am I supposed to be eating, sleeping, training?

Monday through Wednesday was basically me being a whiny bitch, struggling to focus on my work, eating far too many bags of mini eggs (early Easter candy FTW!) and finding ways to fight with my husband.

I turned a corner today and decided to stop regretting the great things that are over and focus on the great races I have coming up. Plus, you know, my happy marriage, adorable cats and great job. I guess they count too. So here are the races I have to look forward to:

Delano 12 Hour: (2 Weeks from now!) Well, this should be fun. It's a timed race, so I can run as much or as little as I want. The race takes place on a one-mile loop (unpaved but flat) and I can stop at any time. I'm excited to push myself a little and see just how far my legs can take me in that time period. Plus, it was just $45 - that's just good value per mile, if you think about it.

Scenic City Trail Marathon: (Mid-May) I've run this for the past two years, but I have only run the half. This year I'm excited to tackle the full. It's a pretty fast, as far as trails go, it's organized well and it's just beautiful. Plus, it's 45 minutes from home. Can't beat it.

Jill & I post-race in 2012

Same race in 2011

And, uh...that's it. It feels weird not to have races planned for the next year like a lot of runners do, but I am happy to be taking it just one step at a time. Come May, I may decide to focus on speed, tackle longer distances or maybe take a break, and I'm happy to wait and see how that works out.

Do you like being signed up for races months in advance, or it is stressful/a burden/a potential waste of money?
I wish I could sign up for races at the last minute. Although having them on the calendar helps me stick to a training plan, I don't like shelling out $ so far in advance. Big races require some serious commitment!  

I feel that a lot of runners put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to being happy - does that make sense? Do you agree?
When I'm stressed, I run. When I am worried, I run. So when you can't run/are injured/aren't supposed to run, what replaces that for you? Other types of fitness, or something else entirely? 


  1. I'm ALL about signing up for stuff at the last minute (well, except Boston which was the opposite, I did sign up for that during the first minute.)

  2. This year, my goal was to run less races, I usually go crazy and sign up for a whole bunch throughout the year. I do have several races coming up, but only through the first half of the year. I have no idea what the summer and fall will bring and I kind of like it that way.

    Glad you are blogging again, even if only a little bit. Congrats again on your amazing PR! Seriously, so excited for you :)

  3. A 12 hour race?! I'm so interested in how that one goes! I tried to plan my year but then I just stopped. I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing in the fall/winter so I'm trying to just go with it. I do have a couple of spring races but they are just 10k... The only one I booked in advance is the Lululemon half marathon in Vancouver. The race is in August but I figure whether imready or not doesn't matter. I've always wanted to go to BC and it was just convenient that the race was there! If I PR that's great, if not, I'm still in BC!!

    Please say you are here to stay now :)

  4. The downside of running to relieve stress is figuring out what to do when running stresses you out.

  5. Welcome back! Yes, I am already planning my races for 2014 to keep me from being depressed all of 2013 since I won't be able to race at all this year!!! :-( Good luck in your training and future races!

  6. I usually sign up ahead of time...I'm running my first full in May and my hubs signed me (and himself!) up right when it opened, THANKFULLY, as it sold out in hours! But this is the most expensive race I've done ($80 a pop) so I'm SO nervous about something coming in the way of me being able to do it! I love your blog, by the way! Check mine out if you have time =) ~Anna

  7. Made my day when I saw your last post in my RSS feed. Really missed your writing.

  8. I registered for a BILLION things last year, and thought it was SUPER stressful. I felt like I was always always always worried about not getting too far behind in training, or worrying about recovering enough before I started training again. And because I was registered for EVERYTHING so far in advance, I couldn't just not run.

    And then I decided to DNS my 3rd marathon in 3 months last weekend, and it felt.... fine. No regrets.

    Now, I only have a a couple races on my spring/summer - a charity half that I fundraise for pediatric cancer research with, San Francisco, that I just love, a mountain half that has no oxygen, so it's just for fun, and I'll run with a friend.... and one marathon, to hopefully PR. And that's it. I have nothing else scheduled.

    1. Feels kind of nice and freeing.
    2. Terrifying - what if my PR day is just a bad day? All my eggs in one basket.

    babble babble I'm conflicted.

    PS, hope you're back for good!

  9. I think the best motivation I've found is having a few races on the calendar. That helps me drag my body out of bed early in the morning.

    I'm anxious to hear about the 12 hour. I really want to do one of those but there just aren't any around here. Also, congrats on the awesome PR!

  10. Having another race to look forward to really helps me out. Otherwise I slack and eat too many brownies. :)

    When I was injured last year it SUCKED! Sadly, I hurt myself so badly that I couldn't even do some of the typical 'injured runner' activites - walking, biking, swimming etc. I did a lot of whining. And eating. hah...great outlets for sure!

  11. so glad you are back... and congrats on that awesome pr!!!!

  12. I have to keep races scheduled to keep my motivation up, especially after reaching a big PR like you did!!!

    There is a 6 hour trail race at Daucet Trails (Jackson GA) in September. Google it, we plan to do it. We are going to set up a tent and make a day of it.

  13. 2 posts in 1 week - eeeeee! I can't wait to see how the 12 hour race goes….I have no idea how you even start to have any idea what to expect. I like having races scheduled because I find it structures my training, holds me accountable when I want to slack off, and gives me motivation. Good luck! And if you rethink Chicago, let me know :)

  14. Good luck Vanessa!
    I've not registered for SC full yet; still not positive I could make the cutoff although I'm a bit more confident after the 50k. I was happy to see out picture. Congrats again on your PR! I am really proud of you. Xoxo.

  15. This time last year I was registered for sooo many races but this year I'm taking it 6 months at a time. I've planned out January-June and in May I'll probably start figuring out the second half of the year. Not to say that I'm not doing a lot of races because I am but I have a tendency to be lazy so if I don't sign up for races then long runs don't exist!

  16. I have already started my yearly jelly bean binge...nothing but sugar until after Easter my friend lol
    Hopefully I can keep my other eating habits up!

  17. For the first time in I can't remember how long, I have no races on the schedule, and it is positively glorious. I'm enjoying the break so very much. I'm not planning on racing again until the fall. For now I'm enjoying running how far, how often, and how fast or slow I feel like!!!

  18. I don't have any real races on my calendar and it sucks. I console myself with eating, like any healthy person.

  19. I totally have a sheet of paper with all the races I plan to run throughout the year. Between triathlons, running, and bike races I am already committed to 15 (that is paid for) I love planning them all out and looking forward to the next event.

  20. should I assume you are back...hang on I am putting my party hat on!

    I sign up early...for 2 some money and I am a planner. That used to be my job. I need to have a plan... it is good for me. So far I had to DNS once ..Big Sur..because Bill had lost his I have been quite lucky with singing up early.

  21. Hey congrats!! I just found your blog and love it!! Thanks for detailing exactly what you wore and ate for your marathon...I'm currently obsessing over that for my first marathon this April. If you're remotely interested, I'm blogging about it:

    Anyways, congrats again!!!!


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