While I’m usually an optimist and a glass-half-full kinda gal, I can also be the type of person who lives too much in the moment. I get in a mode where I feel the way things are right now is how they will be for-EVER. I can’t remember the way things were a year, or a month, or even a day ago….and I can’t believe life will ever be different. Like trying to get our twins to stay dry through the night. John is [usually] a pro, but Daphne still wets the bed occasionally. Currently, when I get up at, say, 2:24 a.m. to pee, I also rouse Daphne and plunk her on the can. I can’t believe she’ll ever get up and go for herself.
Turn the clock back to the 1990s, post-divorce: I went through a bad forever-now funk. I used to cry to my shrink, “I’ll always be living alone. In an apartment. In San Francisco. With no husband and no children.” Gee, in hindsight that scenario sounds divine! (Ha, ha).
Now, every time after I run a race, I get like stuck in the present. My legs felt so leaden and clunky in the days and weeks after running Big Sur, I was in utter disbelief I ever busted out sub-9:00 miles, let alone even faster ones. I clomped around my neighborhood, feeling time pass like molasses. Songs that usually inspired fell flat, my routes seemed dull, and even the early sunrises failed to light up my life.
Experts suggest a runner should take off one day for every mile raced, which would mean no running or racing for about 26 days after a marathon. That’s not working for this workin’ momma: To paraphrase Allyson in RLAM, I need to keep the cuckoo bird in the clock. So I trudged and I trotted, but I thought I was deranged for considering another marathon this year.
Then, one Wednesday morning, I headed out. There wasn’t anything special about the run—it was drizzling, my nano was on Shuffle Songs, and my sports bra was soaked when I got home. Same old, same old. Except then it dawned on me: My legs had felt normal. My stride hadn’t felt labored or my footfalls heavy. I counted on my fingers the number of days it had been since my 26.2-mile effort and, sure enough, it was day 25 after it. Woo-hoo: A day early.
Late last week, I knew for sure I my brain was back to normal, too: I started daydreaming about where I’d go for a long run on Saturday. Oh, yeah, Sarah had her groove back. How long does it take your body—and brain—to recoup after a half- or full marathon?