Almost two weeks post-Philly, and I'm a big mess of emotions.
I'm sad the race is over. I'm anxious about what I'm going to do next. I'm happy to be running just for the sake of running, but antsy to get back to training with a purpose, too.
Basically, I'm all over the place.
And it's been a stressful few weeks for other reasons, too, so I'm truly thankful just to be able to run - my head and my heart desperately need the clarity that running affords me, and I'm craving it more than ever. Truthfully, it's proving very difficult to not run more than I should.
I know that I need to be smart and recover well from this race, or I'll pay the price, and I'm giving it my best effort. I waited until 6 days after the race to run again, and ran 7 miles, and felt fantastic.
And this week I've run twice so far, and will run tomorrow also, but am keeping my runs to 4 miles, so that I can get in a long run of 10 this weekend while still keeping my weekly mileage total on the low end.
Where I'm not doing so well is pacing. I know that I should really be doing these runs at slower, easy paces. And I've set out each time with the intention of doing so.
But the aforementioned stress and anxiety work their way through my body, and before I know it, I'm seeing nothing but 7s on my watch. Every run I've done this week has ended up with an average pace between 7:30 and 7:45.
It's not feeling difficult - maybe just slightly challenging - but I mostly feel great running those paces. But then after I finish, I think about how I should have focused on really taking it easy instead.
To that end, I'm going to try to run with some slower-paced friends this weekend, so they can keep me honest and keep me to an easier, more conversational pace. And of course the company will be nice, too : )
And in an effort to combat my post-race blues, I went and found three races that I'm going to run this month. This weekend is the first one, but it's a Christmas 5K (on the beach) that I'll be running with Dante, so it'll be a truly easy run/walk.
Next weekend will be only my second 10K ever, and I'm really looking forward to it. And anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I'd be a big fat liar if I said I was just going to 'get out there and see what happens.'
I'll be three weeks out from Philly at that point, and judging by how good I feel right now, I know I'll feel good enough next weekend to get out there and race. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. My 10K PR is 44:09 - it would be nice if I could even come close to that.
And to close out the month and the year, I'm going to run the Nooseneck 18K the day after Christmas. I've only run it one other time, and that time it was in the spring, when it was held as a fundraiser shortly after Boston 2013.
It's a seriously challenging, hilly course, but I've always liked a good challenge. And the post-race party is one of the best around, so you get a nice reward after all those hills.
So that's where I'm at post-Philly - looking forward to my three upcoming races, and just going to do my best to muddle through the days in between. And trying to get myself into the holiday spirit, too. I was pretty distracted all through November, so the countdown to Christmas has really snuck up on me.
As for what the new year brings - I have no idea. I'm in a spot where I don't want to make too many long-term plans, so I'm going to try not to think beyond December. I've got too many other things on my mind at the moment.
And I'm also going to remain very thankful for all that running brings to my life. That's never been more apparent to me than it is right now.