Above Photo by Beth Price of Beth Price Photography »

Storm clouds rolling in during this morning's 3-miler, my first post-marathon run.

Storm clouds rolling in during this morning’s 3-miler, my first post-marathon run.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to go for a run this morning.

All week long I’ve taken it very easy—no runs, just one lovely evening walk, Joe and me and our dogs. I thought about pushing the kids to set down their devices and get outside with us, but I decided to let it go, this time. We’ve got lots of summer walks ahead of us. Plus it was nice to have this quiet time together on the trails. (Reason #16 it’s great to have older kids—you can leave them at home for a bit by themselves.)

I even eased up on my normal twice-weekly Pilates workout, though this was due more to my absentmindedness than any good intention of treating my body to complete rest. (I realized Wednesday night, while tucking my kids in, that Oops! It’s actually Wednesday, a day I normally go to Pilates, and not Tuesday. Clearly the three-day weekend and the marathon threw me off more than I’d thought.

So today, though I had planned to go out for my first post-26.2 run this Sunday, I decided my body felt good enough for a slow-and-easy run through downtown and along the water. It was cool at the start, and the puffy clouds were really rolling in the gray-smudged sky, chasing one another toward the tip of Old Mission Peninsula, and I felt a few quick rain drops before a hazy sun emerged and left me damp with sweat at the end of my 3 miles.

It felt good to shake out my muscles, and it was interesting to feel some tightness, particularly in my right calf and upper leg. I stretched out on the dewy grass next to my car when I was done, amazed at how much a marathon can take out of you. But I also felt happy and proud looking at my strong legs. I whispered a quick thank you to them for carrying me through those many, many miles last weekend, and for continuing to move forward with strength and intention.

Throughout this marathon training I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about future races. I knew I’d do more—I have signed on for the M22 Challenge in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in just another week, and I plan to run the Tahqua Trail race in Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the Upper Peninsula later this summer—but longer distances? I wasn’t sure. I wanted to see how my body felt. I also wondered about my mental state—would I want to race hard again after such an intense training schedule all winter and spring? I kind of suspected not.

My friend Cassy captured this without me knowing. Moments after crossing the finish of last weekend's Bayshore Marathon. I was thoroughly spent. I did try to pause and just breathe before meeting up with my family.

My friend Cassy captured this without me knowing. Moments after crossing the finish of last weekend’s Bayshore Marathon. I was thoroughly spent. I did try to pause and just breathe before meeting up with my family.

So I surprised myself some when I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to sign on for another marathon sooner rather than later. A big part of this, many of you may guess, is my desire to qualify again for Boston—I missed BQ’ing at the Bayshore by one minute, two seconds; the qualifying times have changed in the past year—but having PR’d at this race by two minutes, something more was triggered within me. I had dug deep. And I want to see how much further I can go. I floundered some at the end of this last marathon (thank goodness for Krista for helping pull me toward the finish line those last four miles), and I am intrigued about what more I can do training-wise, and on race day, to ensure a stronger finishing experience.

Here’s the plan at this point, though I have not officially signed on just yet: run the Marquette Marathon over Labor Day weekend. Historically summer hasn’t been the best season for me for training—warm weather, later nights, lazy beach days, family camping trips—but I think with the right mindset, with the right training, I can do this. Even more importantly, I want to do this. Never underestimate the power of desire and perseverance, right?

What’s on your summer running schedule? Any cool Michigan races you’re trying for the first time? I’m also looking forward to spectating/volunteering at a couple of races over the next few months, and hopefully running a 5K with family. Do you like running with family come summer? Will you be volunteering at a race?

Thanks for reading along here. I have big things planned this summer for this site, too—more Michigan runner profiles, great running day and weekend trips to try, and lots more. I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride!

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