It has been a week since the marathon; the disappointment is still there but not so heavy anymore. Although I did not achieve the goal I had worked so hard for, I did finish the training without injury and I feel stronger than ever now. I have thought about what went wrong in the training and in the race, and will be ready to make those changes next for time. I am not ready to commit to when I will try another marathon, but I am starting to think about what next year's racing will look like. But this year is not over yet, and I am looking forward to a few more events in the next couple months.
First: recovery. I have been feeling really good since the race, and think I might have actually gotten this recovery thing right for once. I have felt better this time than I did after my last two half-marathons this year, likely because my mileage leading into those was a lot lower. Last week I took Monday and Tuesday completely off, and was planning on going to the gym for an easy spin on Wednesday. But my legs just wanted to run. I met my friend Mike downtown for our usual Wednesday lunchtime run, and it was great. I did about 6.5K with him at an easy pace. The next day I went to the gym for an easy 3K on the treadmill, followed by lots of stretching and foam-roller work on the back of the legs. I took Friday off, and then went for an easy jog on Saturday on my normal neighborhood loop. It was pretty slow (6:45/km) and by the end my legs felt a bit dead. On Sunday I felt the zip back in my legs and ran at a quicker clip, 10K at about 5:45/km. And today I did 4 miles on the treadmill in 36 minutes, which translates to about 5:30/km.
Next up will be a few short races, as I hope to capitalize a bit on the fitness gains from marathon-training. I will probably do a 10K race on October 31 (well, it's actually 9.5K, but more on that later). On November 6 I will be participating in what has become an annual tradition since 2005: the Haney to Harrison 100K relay. We have a team for this 8-stage event, and my stage is about 13K. I have done the same stage each year, so the race itself has become a bit of a fitness benchmark for me; more importantly it always proves to be a really fun day.