I did not run a step last week. Well, except for the 26.2 miles on Monday. You know, that little footrace they call the Boston marathon. Recovery from a marathon is a strange time. Like most others who have trained to run the distance, I am in really good shape right now. It would be great to take advantage of that to run a good time at some other distances. But instead, I'm trying to recover and get my sore muscles to start feeling normal again. Oh, and figure out what to do with the rest of my life.
Marathon training is such an all-consuming pursuit. Like many others, I have been focused on the race for months, and most anything else that happened in my life, I viewed through the prism of how I expected it to affect my training and race. It's a very abrupt change once the race is over and you have nothing to focus on. I'm sure I'll figure it out.
I plan on running a 5k this weekend, the 'Race to Remember' that benefits the families of Chicago Police Officers killed in the line of duty. And I expect I'll be recovered in time to try to run well in the Soldier Field 10 miler at the end of May. But in the meantime, I have plenty more thoughts I want to share about some of what I saw in Boston.
I have run lots of marathons, but usually, when it's over I find the nearest party and start enjoying myself. That's usually followed quickly by a search for the nearest place to lie down and rest for a while. This time, I stayed around the finish line area visiting with different friends until the awards ceremony that evening. I wanted to see my friend Kurt Fiene accept his award as the winner of the visually impaired division.
I've run with Kurt in training a few times, and I know how hard he trained for this event. His primary competition in the division was from 32 year old Adrian Broca from California. Kurt is 15 years older, but proved that experience trumped youth in this race. Kurt ran the race of his life: a p.r. of 2:43. I had the privilege of helping guide him to the stage to accept his medal, accompanied by a standing ovation. It was really a special moment.
I also got to see the other winners accept their trophies. One of the highlights was seeing two Americans honored. In the women's race Kara Goucher ran courageously and finished a strong third, just 8 seconds behind the first two, who were separated by just one second in the closest finish ever. It was about as exciting as finish as you will ever see in a marathon.
My friend, Liz Plosser from Time Out Chicago, did a great interview with Goucher. You can find it at this link.
The men's race was pretty exciting as well, and the loudest cheer at the awards ceremony were, once again, for an American who finished in third place. Ryan Hall led the race for some time, after going out hard, but that strategy didn't work. He did, however, make a strong recovery late in the race to hold on to third place.
I only watched replays, of course, since I was quite a way back still on the course when they were crossing the finish line. And I was having my own fun back there. But it is very encouraging for American distance running to see the two run so well.
Meantime many people are starting to think about training programs for fall marathons. The cycle continues. I won't be doing any 20 milers for a while, but I will see you on the roads...