Thursday, December 17, 2015

Perspective & Recovery

I had this same conversation with multiple students throughout the day Tuesday, after I'd returned to school.

Student: How was your marathon?
Me: (still not sure how to answer this in one sentence) It was really hard, but it was good.
Student: How far was it?
Me: A marathon is always 26.2 miles.
Student: (aghast) You ran 26.2 miles Sunday and you're at school today?! How long did it take you?
Me: Five hours and fifty-one minutes. (Getting ready to explore a teachable moment wherein we talk about missing our goals but still learning from and enjoying our experience.)
Student: Wow! I can barely run a mile! Aren't you sore?
Me: A little. That's why I took Monday off. But I feel pretty good today.
Student: (amazed) Wow.

And then I realized...marathoners may know my time isn't stellar, and I may know I missed my goals, but I'm not trying to impress anyone. I'm just trying to be true to myself; my students often remind me that it takes courage even to begin, let alone to finish, no matter the result.

Finishing 26.2 miles is an accomplishment, no matter how long it takes, and I've done it twice.
Speaking of the kids, I've received some very sweet gifts this year, some handmade!, but my favorite may be the Hanukkah gelt. The boy who gave it to me kind of snuck it into my hand and said, "Happy belated Hanukkah, Mrs. Kearney." So thoughtful!
Recovery this week has meant enjoying some TLC. I had a massage Monday, courtesy of Kristin! It was just what I needed and super luxurious...Truth be told, I felt pretty intimidated, but next time I'll be brave and try out the sauna and steam-room.
Mmm, the spa had comfy robes and everything!
I've been enjoying my Wicked Good Cupcakes all week, too. (My mom got me four so I'm eating about half a jar a day. Admittedly, I ate one Friday before the race! I couldn't resist!)
I got chocolate-chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, and chocolate-vanilla. Yum!
I'm taking time this week to stretch and foam roll, and I'm also pampering my skin! I finished the race with some weird calf-sleeve tan lines, but they're nothing compared to this T. Knowing my skin, this'll last for months. (I still have a weird tan anomaly from Kristin's beach birthday back in August.)
Yes, I got this tan line in December. DECEMBER!
In other news, the cold I usually get during taper was kind enough to wait until after race day to kick in, luckily. I'm officially losing my voice and getting all kinds of sinus headaches. I only have one day left until winter break, so I know I can make it.

I'm also absolutely exhausted. My legs feel so ready to run this week, but my body is in total recovery mode. I've gone to bed super early every night this week, and I honestly can't wait to sleep  all I want on Saturday; maybe I'll have a little run Saturday or Sunday evening. I feel ready for it!

(I'm also contemplating something insane but more on that later. I need to take stock of myself first.)

So that's it. I'm lying low, relaxing as best I can, and chipping away at school stuff (lots of grades and parent meetings before break). Break is so close I can taste it!

How do you celebrate/recover after a big race?
What's the most thoughtful gift you've ever gotten from a student or friend?



  1. Omg what are you contemplating that is insane???

    I think we feel the same. I am sick and exhausted as well. My calves FINALLY are not sore, so tomorrow AM I am going to attempt a run. My goal is 3 pain free miles!

    I am glad you are giving yourself some TLC! One more day for you!!! We have to freaking work Monday and Tuesday. I don't know how I'm going to do it.

    1. I think my immune system could tell that break was near because it went on vacation early. I think a couple days of rest is all I'll need to get back on track...luckily I've got it! :)

  2. I'm with Meg....what are you you need an intervention? :-) After my half...I was sick for 2 sucked...I hope you feel better soon!!!

    I can't believe you have tan lines in December! We have been so lucky here in NS, today it is 12C - 54F for you...that means a run for sure!

    1. I usually get sick during taper, so I'm really glad I got sick after.

      I'm jealous of your cool weather; we finally have a bit of a cold front this weekend. One week too late!

  3. That's the tricky thing about recovery - your legs and body never seem to be on the same page! I would feel like I was raring to go but could still feel the soreness in my legs, OR, my legs felt like a million bucks but then I'd get out there for an easy run an...DAMN. THIS SUCKS. It took about a month before the level of exhaustion in my legs and in the rest of my body finally caught up to each other.

    I think you're right, that non runners like your students tend to look more at the big picture and don't necessarily judge the time. They even asked you "how long did it take you?" not just "what was your time?" which tells me that they were really just trying to make sense of running 26.2 miles. Back in October 2013, when I ran my first real 5K, a college friend of mine was doing her first marathon on the same day (part of what planted the seed to get me interested!). I wasn't even a non-runner but I remember hearing her time of just over 5 hours and not even knowing how "fast" that was, I was just like, hot damn, she ran a freakin MARATHON and I just barely got through a 5K!

    1. I'm so confounded. How can my legs feel so wonderful and the rest of me feel so tired?!

      Yeah, the semantics are really interesting! They really have no idea about "speed"...they wanted to know my place and if I won, and I broke down for them how fast the winner was compared to my time, but they still don't understand that 3 hours compared to 5:51 is a huge difference.

      I told my volleyball team that my goal was 5:20 and I came in 31 minutes slower, and over 26 miles that doesn't seem like much, but it's a big deal, and they totally had a hard time wrapping their heads around it.

  4. First of all, I am still getting caught up and need to read about your race but CONGRATS ON THE MARATHON!!! Second of all, I know that conversation all too well with the kids. "How far is a marathon? You ran that many one day?" I was laughing reading your conversation. I recover a lot like you - yummy food and TLC! Also, I do only what my body feels like doing. If I feel like working out - awesome. If not? That's cool too. I might have milked that for a bit with this last one, but it felt so nice to have some downtime. Enjoy your recovery - you earned it!!

    1. I feel like I've gotten really good at smiling politely and saying, "A marathon is always the same length: 26.2 miles." Eventually they'll remember that!

      I'm enjoying my downtime. Not HAVING to run is really nice :)

  5. Massages are the best thing ever! I don't get them often because they're so pricey, but I bet they are even better after a marathon! That's sweet that your students got you a gift for Hanukkah.

    1. This year more than ever they seem hyper-aware that Hanukkah is my first-choice holiday (maybe because I got my Apple watch then?), so they've tried really hard to be accommodating haha!

  6. Ha I know all about random weird tan lines! I get them from the top of my arm sleeves to my shirt from OCR and then the racerback bra top thing. I also have compression sock to shorts tan lines. Runner probs.

    I'm glad you took some time off and pampered yourself! You deserve it. :-)

    1. My calf sleeves tan and my shorts tan are HILARIOUS. I don't notice them often, but I did notice them today and I couldn't help but laugh.

  7. Ohhhh I can't wait to hear more about the insane thing! :D What a teaser to include that line in this post!

    I felt really intimidated when I went for my first massage too. The whole experience was a combination of 'this feels nice' and 'what am I doing here?' I haven't gone back for a second one! haha

    I hope you have a great winter break! I work until Wednesday and then I'm done for the year. It can't come soon enough! I was totally dragging all of last week.

    1. I needed some time to think over my insanity before I could delve into it. I don't feel like I'm trying to prove anything...but at the same time, I feel like I deserve a second chance!

      I don't feel intimidated by massages usually - I got them in high school a lot for my migraines - but this was FANCY. I felt totally out of my element haha.