Generally speaking, running a marathon is similar to childbirth in this way: after you finish it takes a long time before you are ready to do it again. An hour or so after Squish was born, when they were wheeling me up to the mother/baby ward, some of the nurses were congratulating me on a job well done. “See you in 18 months!” one of them said. I could have puked. There was no way in heck I was going to be back there in 18 months, pushing out another squirmy little being. The very idea made my skin crawl.
And I remember after our second marathon, The Hamptons, I had a similar feeling. I was glad I did it, I thanked the heavens I made it through, and I didn’t even want to think about it for a couple of years. But this time was different. I finished Utah Valley on Saturday, mourned the unexpected turn it took, then woke up on Sunday with surprisingly little soreness, and a bright remembrance of the Plan B we had formulated early this year. Plan B involved running another marathon this fall. And despite the freshness of marathon pain on Sunday morning, the idea was not repulsive. In fact, I welcomed the thought of taking another shot at it.
I do remember that training for Utah Valley was hard. I bemoaned the time it took, the early mornings, the stress of getting all those miles in. But somehow, having done it so recently makes it seem like it would be easy to do it again, starting now.
I’m not quite sure I’m ready to commit to it (mostly because I feel like I should want to take a break, but I don’t really want to take a break) and Micah wants to get a professional opinion on his knees before he pledges them to another 26.2. But our minds are open to the idea. We’re eying Hartford, Connecticut in mid-October to qualify for Boston in 2013. (A Saturday race that doesn’t rise more than 125 feet above sea level? Rare. And yet there’s one less than 3 hours from where we live.)
After all, training for a marathon only takes 4 months, not 9, and recovery is days, not weeks. Plus it’s not like I’m going to have to wake up every 2-3 hours to feed it. Or decipher its babblings in two years, or answer its incessant questions in four. And I can push through a marathon a lot more quickly than I push through labor and delivery.
So why not? Have I convinced myself yet? I guess we’ll see . . . .