The 52.4 Ultra challenge at the San Francisco Marathon was last week, and I’ve been thinking about it since. There was a big training build up to race day, including high-milage weeks, a confidence-building marathon, and a 6-hour race. I’ve only run once since race day, but am writing this blog post in running clothes as I’m planning to go out for a run after. But first, I wanted to write a post revisiting last Sunday and X additional thoughts about running back-to-back marathons.

Trying to fall asleep at 4 in the afternoon is hard.
You think it would be like taking an afternoon nap, but I think a little pre-race excitement or nervous energy kept me awake. I was also texting friends, which made it difficult. HA. Having breakfast at 9 pm was a little strange, too.

5-hour runs are not created equal.
I tend to get in some really early morning runs in which require the use of reflective gear or headlamps, but usually the sun comes up an hour or so after. Running for 5+ hours in the dark without closed roads and trying to make all the right turns was a challenge. Thankfully Chris (who I was running with) is a PRO at managing the course. The second marathon was by far easier than the first. Our second marathon was about 20 minutes slower than the first, which isn’t too bad.

Lite-up shoes for the win!
When your shoes light up when light hits them and you are wearing a headlamp, it can be fun to look at your shoes while running. I was running in my ASICS Kayano lite-show shoes and when I looked down, they lit up. I tried not to get mesmerized by looking down, but it was a pretty cool site. I kept thinking, I need to look where I’m going… but LOOK… my shoes are pretty.

The power of the sun can help rejuvenate a runner, kind of like Superman.
Okay. Total nerd alert, but Superman gets energy from the sun… now you know. I kept thinking that once the sun came up after the first marathon, that I would have a surge of energy. It definitely helped. It wasn’t like I was all of a sudden running on fresh legs, but being able to take off the headlamp and extra layers helped. I was also able to see where I was going blocks-ahead of me. When you run with a headlamp, you can only really see a few feet in front of you. Being able to look up and see three blocks ahead, allows you to be like: “okay, run to that corner, then we turn.” It helped.

Where is my medal for the FIRST marathon?
I know it’s not all about the medals… but really, it’s all about the medals. I walked away with 2 medals for running 2 marathons, which I guess makes sense. But THREE makes more sense. 1 for the midnight marathon. 1 for the second marathon, and 1 for running both. If you think about it, if I had stopped after the first marathon, I would have walked away with zero medal… hmmm. I think that might be the ONLY thing I would change about the 52.4 challenge (same with shirts).

Would I do it again?
This is probably the one question that I have been thinking about the most. On the walk back to the car I remember telling wifey “I don’t think I would do it again” and she said “ya, right. We’ll see.” I guess she knows me a little too well. I really loved the challenge, and I really loved how the day played out. But would I run it again? I’m closer to answering that with a yes then I was seven days ago, but I think the circumstances would have to be right. It’s mandatory that I would want to do it with friends. I don’t see myself running it solo. Having Chris there was perfect. I think we picked each other up when we were struggling and it was the best being able to experience something together for the first time.

How long do you reminisce after a race?