Post marathon and plans !

So here I am writing again. I have even shared my blog on Facebook and again I have to admit that I was a bit scared of that. Writing this blog I start to see that I am kind of chicken … I was afraid to run, afraid to post on Facebook ! Anyway, the reaction was nice and encouraging so I will keep on writing.

Good. That being said I will carry on as a real marathon runner like myself would do (insert full of myself emoticon). Post marathon. This period started as soon as I stopped running. I went to pick up my mug received at the end, had some water and some more water and then started searching for the Norwegian friend so we can get the hell out of there. This was the plan in my head at least. I soon discovered that it is much easier to think that to actually do. From the finish line till where we had the car we had a bit of a slope that we needed to climb. The legs decided that they will do a strike and refused to take me to the car. After long negotiations I managed to convince them and we got to the car. I changed t-shirt, shoes, got a jacket on me and had some sort of extra hydration liquid inside me and off we were to my place.

The feeling I had after finishing the marathon, that lasted for some days, actually it is still there as I write it is : invincibility ! However my invincibility ends when I have to go up the stairs. Or down the stairs for what it takes. There I am not invincible anymore, I am just some guy that has some issues coordinating his limbs ! First time I managed to go up the stairs in a normal human way was Thursday 26. The marathon was Saturday 21. Judge on your own.

Post marathon I started having thoughts : was I able to run faster ? just 5:29 ? did I train enough ? wasn’t I able to train more ?  I had to sit and quietly think about what I had just done. I trained for 6 months almost nonstop, excluding the injury period. I trained all through the winter and ran with snow, rain, wind, ice . I ran with negative temperatures. I improved my time on 10 k from 58 min to 53 min in 6 months. I arrived to the point where I can run a half marathon in less than 2 h. All together I ran January – June about 500 km. I made hundreds of km on the rowing machine and  I have lost 7-8 kg.

By the beginning of June I felt tired. So I say now that NO, 5:29 was the best I could have done. There was no more training for me. If I would have tried to do more would be just worsening as I would have been exhausted.

So a lesson that I hope I will remember : do not over train. I do have plans in terms of running and will continue training. I would be dumb not to do so, now when it actually become something fun ! But I want to keep running, improving my run whilst I do not lose the fun !

In a more serious note thinking about what the marathon gave me : it is not the invincibility that I was talking but more a positive long-term thinking. I am quite an impulsive person. I am pretty much sure the marathon will not change me in that aspect. However I now think on a longer period and I am more positive about long-term plans. I am not sure I can explain the feeling but I have no other words for it. I can give you an example though. Think about my situation: I am a Romanian in Norway. I work but I must admit my job it is not relevant for what I actually can do. Before the marathon I had some moments of despair, anxiousness where a lot of questions were passing trough my head : what will I do? how will I do? how can I overcome the fact that I am Romanian ? how can I learn faster Norwegian? and so on. After the marathon I got my head clear and I know that the answer of all my questions will come, and I also know how, just I need to be patient.  And now I can be patient and go for the long term goal !

That is enough of being serious so lets talk about plans ! Extra running I just mentioned it : landing a relevant job and learning Norwegian. I think I would rather do 10 Nordmarka Skogsmaraton head to head instead of learning Norwegian language but I guess I do not have that option !

Running goals. I am going to focus for the next period in improving my 5k and 10k time. That will mean that I will keep my 2 runs a week with the nice people from SkiLøperne or SkiJoggerne, but to that I will add one or two, depending on my time, intervals and workouts for : flexibility, legs and core strength.

As my PB for 10 km is now 53:03 ran in Sentrumsløpet in April I will aim till the end of the year to improve till 45 min. I kind of think it is a lot to improve but I already have the base and I just have to train harder !

In terms of races I am now searching for, interested in 10 k races more than anything else, and more trail than asphalt. I will do for sure the races in Stromstad in November to see how much I improved in one year ( also because I need some alcohol and the race is a good excuse to drive till there ) . Other races that I will try to do next year are : Lisbon Half Marathon and Tromsø Midnight Marathon. I hope to be able to do Lisbon Half Marathon for so many reasons : I used to live there, I would have some running partners that I am looking forward to run with, and we would be able to visit all the Portuguese side of our family, that we kind of miss ! Another relevant reason : the wine is very good and very cheap ! I start to believe that the thread of this blog it is not running but alcohol !

This was the story of my first marathon. I will continue writing as I am a marathon runner ! I will write about how I tried to run before and what went wrong, and maybe, maybe I will start a long story about some of our adventures in Mozambique ! Will see how it goes ! Also I might sketch up a training plan for my 10k improvement so I maybe get some feedback from the more experienced runners … how about that ?

Have a nice weekend !

Mihai, a marathon runner !

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