Last Marathon Specific Long Run. 4 x 4 miles on Todd Railroad Grade Road. PC: Nicole DiMercurio

In a week’s time I will be lining up on Main Street in Hopkinton, with just over 26 miles to the finish on Boylston Street. Over the years, I have been to Boston numerous times, a few of them on “Marathon Weekend”, and it is one of my favorite places to visit and race. My first visit during “Marathon Weekend” was 2014, and seeing Meb’s victory was beyond inspiring. I knew that one day I would be make the trek from Hopkinton to Back Bay. This year I get to just that, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.”

 

Frank Shorter said that. With two Olympic metals, he is one of the greatest American marathoners of all time, and no stranger to the toll a marathon can take on you. After every marathon, you have to take enough time to recover (and forget according to Shorter), both mentally and physically.

Physically, I came off of Fukuoka relatively unscathed. I did not have the marathon hobble, stairs were not a daunting task, and the short runs I did that week were reasonably pain free. This was surprising with how bad and sudden I hit the wall in Fukuoka. I was expecting it to be the hardest come back from a marathon I have had to do, but that was not the case. After two weeks of running short every other day, which was part of a plan to not let my Achilles flare up, I felt like I was ready to start ramping into training for a spring marathon.

We were able to go up to Boston and preview the course! Don’t mind the face, it was a bit cold outside. PC: Matt Sonnenfeldt

Mentally, I was disappointed. I knew I was in the best shape I have ever been in, and I was not able to show it. I wanted to know what happened, what I could have done differently? Unfortunately not all answers are simple, and when something as complex as a human body is involved it is even more so. I know that in the wake of my race, Pete talked to some of the most noted coaches in the world, and came up with some ideas to tweak training for my next marathon. That helped me keep my mind at ease and allow me to just train.

Since Fukuoka, I have been mostly in the mountains, where I flourish. I spent nearly six weeks in Colorado, and after a few week stint in Tallahassee, I have been back in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have raced a few times, a rust buster in St. Augustine, Florida, my first indoor race since 2012 in Boston, and a half marathon in Tampa Florida. For the most part, those were all good races. They each served a purpose in the larger picture leading to Boston, and for the last six weeks I have rarely ventured out of the mountains. Looking at my training from the last few weeks, I feel that I am in better shape than I was in December, now I need to show it.

More from Tyler at: tylerpennelrunning.com