Reflections on the marathon

It's a little less than 72 hours since the marathon ended and my body is close to recovered. My legs are still a little sore, but nothing that keeps me from zipping up and down the stairs — unlike Monday and yesterday. I'm planning on going for my first post-marathon run tomorrow, and can't wait. The excitement and high of the marathon has yet to abate. In fact, I'd venture to say a sort of "marathon insanity" has set in. Evidence to support my diagnosis:

1. When I think back to the actual running of the marathon, it wasn't that hard. My pace for nearly 21 miles was slower than I'd actually trained because I ran with friends. It was great to share the experience with others, and it was only around the 14 mile mark that I started to feel some tightness in my legs. I think that was due to the slower than usual pace, which affected my stride. Once I sped up, the tightness dissipated. That was in the Bronx, where I sped up and ran the last five miles alone. I felt strong and fast those last five miles, managed to hold my form together, and because I had so much gas in my tank, I passed people left and right. I have to say, there's something awesome about heading past the mile 24 marker, weaving through the crowd, and speeding towards the finish. There was no point during the race where I really thought, "I can't do this!" Towards the end I felt tired, but it was just a matter of perseverance. I'd actually thought it would be harder and I'd have to battle myself to complete the race.

2. Now I'm all hopped up and ready to run another marathon, and to try and run faster! My net time was 5:09:04, and I know I can go quite a bit faster, so my goal for my next marathon is 4:30. Which leads to further proof of my marathon insanity: I've signed up for the 2005 Paris Marathon next spring! Check out the course map, doesn't that look great? What a tour of the city! So my training begins in early December.

3. Further evidence of my marathon mania is my hope to run the NYC Marathon again next fall. If I can get in a few more NYC Road Runner races before the end of the year, I'll automatically qualify for next year's race. I'd love to run it again, the experience of seeing all those various parts of the city, and all the crowds, was unforgettable. The NYC Marathon is something I'd recommend everyone do once in their life. I'm sure you're thinking, "Ha! There's no way I could ever run a marathon" but you'd be surprised. With some training and dedication, anyone can run a marathon. The course was filled with people walking, with people of all sizes and shapes and ages, people just out there to enjoy the day and the experience and the challenge. I highly recommend it. Honest.

So I think those three points make it official: I am marathon crazy. Running crazy. Or maybe just plain crazy!