As a goal turning 40 last year, I wanted to finish my first marathon. With things getting crazy at work and home, it didn't happen. But a couple weeks ago, at a day shy of 41, I completed the North Face Endurance Challenge, WI marathon!
The 2014 North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon, WI
The North Face Endurance Challenge Series is a great family experience. We participated in the series 2 years ago and once again made a camping weekend of it. Everyone except for Little A ran a race. I was first up on Saturday with my marathon starting at 9. The morning was crisp and sunny - perfect for running. The course wound up and down through Kettle Morraine forest and some prairie. I felt great through mile 18, but then my knees began to hurt. Afraid of injury I finished with a run walk, taking it easy down the hills. Best part was seeing my family at every aid station and road crossing. Munchkin ran the kids' mile run the same afternoon, and the following morning Kovas, Tazer and Gaigai lined up for the 5k - Gaigai and Kovas finished together. That evening we celebrated my birthday with a campfire and smores. The North Face put on a well run event and one couldn't ask for a more beautiful setting for running and camping - amazing family weekend!
I am proud and relieved to have finished my first marathon. Just 2 weeks prior to it, I was contemplating backing out and/or dropping down to a shorter distance because I did not feel prepared, but on the advice of a well-seasoned marathoner, I decided to stick to the original plan.
I have not run since and am enjoying the short break from runs. My plan is to start again this week...
Here are some post marathon tips from Cleveland Clinic:
Don't plan on running during the week after the race. Walking, swimming, or cycling at an easy pace will work well. When you resume running, start easy — 30 minutes three to four times per week — and increase gradually from there. Most experts will tell you to avoid speed work for a month after a marathon. Start planning for your next marathon. Review your training; determine what worked well and what presented a problem. Adjust your training schedule accordingly. Experience is the best teacher. Do not restart your strength training program for 2 weeks following the event. Allow your body to recover. An extreme athletic event like a marathon is incredibly stressful on the body. The body needs the rest; otherwise, problems such as injuries, fatigue, decreases in performance, and immune suppression can result.