Turning 40 demands a statement. What about doing back to back marathons?!
My years may be increasing, but my determination and my resolve are only growing stronger, not weaker, with age. I ran Boston a couple of weeks before the big birthday – that was my way of anticipating the dreaded 40. Then, when my friend, also newly 40, decided to run the Mississauga Marathon, a mere 13 days after Boston, I thought – let’s live wild and help pace her through that marathon. Karen was setting out to qualify for her first Boston Marathon. I have never run two marathon’s back to back before. It isn’t exactly recommended…but I figured, if one marathon is good, then two marathons can only be better. Let’s defy this whole aging thing and stare it down into submission.
So, I did it. I ran Mississauga Marathon this past Sunday May 4th with Karen Natho (Nate). I loved it! My goal was to help Nate get a Personal Best (PB) – specifically to finish in 3:30. This would give her a 22minute PB. I am so pleased to say we accomplished this. The last 10km were difficult after fighting through some tough windy sections. Nate dug deep and kept going, though I could tell she was hurting. It was fun to be in the place of assisting a fellow runner. I have had so many friends encourage and support me in my running over the years. Now I was there to do whatever I could to motivate, challenge, assist Nate to get to that finish line in her goal time.
I have to say it was also enjoyable to run a marathon without the pressure of trying to beat my own times. I was enjoying the run and the only pressure on me was to make sure I paced my friend properly.
Two marathons in two weeks was great. I do need to ensure I recover properly now.
Some insights on how to run Back to Back Marathons:
- Take lots of epsom salts baths: Focus on recovery after the first Marathon. Take epsom salts baths to clear out the waste products and loosen up the muscles.
- Do yoga: Stretch and more stretching.
- Get a massage.
- Do easy runs between the two marathons to keep the legs loose. After some marathons I have taken the entire following week off from running. Between my two marathons I opted for easy runs to keep my legs moving and muscles from tightening up.
- Following the two marathons I will take time to do cross-training. This week I will focus on swimming and do more cycling, giving my legs a break from the pounding of running. I want to allow weak stress points in my bones and muscles to heal before doing any more intense running.
I have to admit, I am already dreaming of the next Marathon. I have not chosen one yet…which one will it be?!
I can honestly say, I can’t wait for the next one!