Monday, October 19, 2015

Finding a "normal" post goal race

Everyone has always told me that fall in Atlanta is a great time.  I missed many weekends last fall in Atlanta by traveling and had the same fate throughout September.  This weekend, I enjoyed all that fall in Atlanta had to offer.  Well, maybe not ALL, but I sure did have a great weekend.

The whole past week I took it pretty easy.  Very easy.  No exercise all week and instead, I ate anything that I wanted.  I decided to give myself a work week off to totally let myself just relax and get some recovery time.  I have been thinking even through the last weeks of marathon training that it would be nice to get back into more cross training but before diving in, I took five days off for the mental and physical break.

I did a few light workouts this weekend, which felt really nicely.  Friday was an early relaxing evening and started Saturday off by pulling out my bike, that I hadn't used since August when I did the Olympic triathlon.  Woops, that was almost 2 months since I had been in the saddle.  But that's partly due to the fact it is hard to pack your bike when you are on an airplane!  Plus, my runs had just gotten a lot more intense than at the beginning of training.  I wanted my first workout post marathon to not be a run, but a bike ride.

I did 12-miles along the Silver Comet Trail, riding over crunchy fallen leaves and with quite a chill from the breeze on the bike.  I loved it though!  I went out too late and wished I had more time to ride, because it was an gorgeous morning and I felt good.  And no, I don't always listen to music when I ride.  I usually don't.  But was feeling it this morning.

The reason I didn't have a ton of time to ride longer was because I had a few different daytime activities to go to.  One of which was an event that another local runner was putting on for all those running New York City Marathon as they get into their taper period to celebrate all the hard work.  It was exactly what I had wanted to do for Chicago marathoners, but I am nowhere near capable of putting on such awesomeness.  She had a DJ playing NY music, drink specials themed after the five boroughs, NYC trivia, prizes, and a contest to see who could drink through the "boroughs" quickest.  It was so not just for NYC runners but all those who had something to celebrate so there were many other Chicago runners there and we all got to take pictures on the red carpet with our race swag. Uh-mazing.

One of the reasons that I stopped by this event was to see my friend Jemima who has been training for her first marathon all throughout the time I was training for Chicago.  She held the fundraisers that I attended throughout the summer and next week she will tackle her own 25.2 at the Marine Corps Marathon.  I am so darn excited for her and can't wait to track her along the race because I know she will do amazing!  As amazing as it felt to cross the finish line in Chicago (and it felt AMAZING), I don't know that anything will ever compare to the feeling of finishing my first marathon in Paris.  I get teary-eyed just putting myself mentally back in that moment because it was such a monumental thing for me.  I can't wait for her to experience those same emotions.

From the runners event I went over to the Little Five Points Halloween parade.  It's funny, when I did my very first run training for the Publix Half Marathon with the Running Nerds group back in January, we ran through Little Five Points neighborhood.  One of the coaches, Holly (who I just saw in Chicago!) told me as we ran through, "Little Five Points has an AWESOME Halloween parade!"

That little statement jumped back at me last week when I saw a few people mention on Facebook that they would be attending and I pulled out an old costume and met some friends.  It was so fun and a very cool parade full of all sorts of crazy floats and costumes.  I loved the group of Girl Scouts we saw that were dressed up like bloody zombies with signs saying, "Buy cookies or die."  I thought it was so cute and funny to see these little girls dressed up so crazily rather than cutesy.

The parade turned into dinner and drinks and I had a great time being silly and seeing friends!

And as for my Sunday?  In addition to being super productive and getting all ready for the week by making some soup, chicken, cutting up fruit, veggies, and hard boiling some eggs - I also got my first run in after the marathon.  Around the same exact time a week ago I was finishing the marathon, I finished the Atlanta AIDS 5K.  It was a really fun, well supported race, and one that I did really just for fun and to support a great cause.  They had so much energy along the course (and a nasty hill) and the whole time I just kept thinking... wow, what a difference a week makes!  Because man, I felt terrible.

From there, I went over to the Movers + Pacers flagship run for another short 2 miles.  I was able to catch up with friends and got a marathon shout out and also heard all about my friend's Ironman experience from the weekend before, which was incredibly inspiring.

It was an awesome weekend and a great kick start to getting moving once again.  It also didn't hurt knowing we had such great weather here and it was SNOWING all throughout the Northeast where my family is.  And to that point, I need to wish a very, very happy birthday to my baby niece and nephew who turned one.  I feel like it was just yesterday I woke up to a text message that I was officially an aunt and I fell in love with those little babies.  I swear they get cuter and more fun every single day and it kills me to be away.

I missed their birthday but am thankful I got to spend time with them not too long ago.  I love those munchkins SO, SO much.

I kept my exercise going today with yoga class and tomorrow will be running again, as well as starting Weight Watchers counting points again.  I was doing really well with it all summer until my birthday.  I haven't counted points since the end of August and because I was running so much it wasn't too hard to maintain my weight somewhat.  However, I gained a couple pounds through the taper period and need to get back into watching my portions and what I eat because it is far too easy to keep eating like you are training for a marathon when you aren't doing the work.

Hope you had a great Monday!

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