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48 Hours Later


I am pretty shocked at how sore my core is following Sunday’s marathon. My adductors, abductors, and lower abdominals bother me much more than my legs, which pretty much feel recovered. When I cough or lift something, it is as if I spent the entire day alternating between sumo squats and reverse crunches. It truly made me realize how much you engage the whole body when your run–you are not just propelled forward by your leg turnover and arm swing.

Running mama Kara Goucher's got ABS!

When I lived in PA I was very diligent about cross training and weight training. I knew that with my history of overuse injuries, I needed to build muscle. Having a strong core helps takes the pressure off your bones which can become overloaded during long, repetitive exercise such as running. However, when we moved to Canada Rochester at the end of July, I started to seriously slack on the strength training. And although the number on the scale didn’t change, physically my midsection was starting to look a little… soft.

Not me but it could be.

There’s a whole bunch of “reasons” I became a Slacker Von Slackington–I no longer belonged to a gym, my morning schedule changed, the weather up yonder was so gorgeous I couldn’t stand the thought of exercising indoors, I was super focussed on marathon training, my (wretched) insomnia and subsequent fatigue made me cut my workouts short, et cetera, et cetera. But these are just lame-o excuses and I KNOW better. Even though I testified many, many times “I don’t care if my legs fall off October 10th, I just need to get through this marathon!” I am very lucky that I didn’t get injured. And now that I can actually FEEL how much I use those core muscles when running, they will be neglected no longer! Huzzah!

Time to dust off the Jackie Warner DVDs!

Besides not ignoring my abs for 10 weeks, there are two other changes I would make to my marathon training. First, I would have tried to get more knowledge about the course. When I lived on Long Island, my dad and I drove the LI Half Marathon course before I ran it for the first time in 2006. This was a huge help because I could see where all the mile markers were as well as any tough spots on the course like  inclines or hills (Wantagh State Parkway!) and mentally prepare for them. Fulton is 80 minutes from here and I could have driven the marathon course, but realistically I have kids to feed and laundry to ignore to fold and that would be a big, selfish time waster (plus, gas isn’t exactly cheap). But I could have done more research and perhaps questioned that “gently rolling hills” claim in the race brochure (did I not learn anything from the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon?). Second, I would have added a 22-mile run. I had originally planned to do one but when I had to cut my training short two weeks after switching marathons, I took out the 22-miler and a second scale back week. I did do 2 20-mile runs but after hitting the 20-mile mark in the race, I really started to struggle and my splits reflect that. Not only were miles 20-24 the most challenging on the course with those BIG climbs, but my body had never gone that far before and the uncharted territory hurt

Running joke!

Other than those things–which are great lessons learned for when I go for that sub-4:00–I think I was smart about fueling, hydrating, pacing, and gear. So many runners swear they will never do another marathon immediately following their first–kind of like how you say you will NEVER having another baby after every nurse in the hospital comes to marvel at how many stitches your episiotomy required but then change your mind when you see how damn cute your baby is. But I knew I wanted to run another marathon before I even cracked open my first post-race chocolate milk (the figurative delivery table, to keep with the analogy). I just had that good of an experience. Yay marathon!

All smiles!

Today’s Workout:
Stationary Bike (level 4) 45:00/11.7 miles
Abs 15:00

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 10/11/2011 1:10 PM


    • Suzanne permalink*
      10/11/2011 1:13 PM

      I thought those sexy boudoire pics were public domain?

  2. 10/30/2011 12:03 PM

    So proud of you!

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