As always, I’ll bore you some more after the race, even though I’ve said more than enough in the actual report. How did I manage to get it so long? I had no idea anyone could write so much about a mere 13.1 miles.
I even left out a few things. Like at mile 5, when I started to feel my blisters developing. That’s a standard feature with those shoes. My feet and the Asics-DS trainers just don’t get along. Initially I thought I would just have to get used to the shoes, but by now I’ve covered over 220 miles in them and developed at least two dozen blisters in the process. In fact, each time I cover 5 miles, my left foot starts blistering, and the right one usually follows suit within a mile or two. You could argue that I should have chucked those shoes a long time ago. I swore as much at mile 5 on Sunday, and not for the first time. But come on. I made it by 3 seconds. Heavier shoes would most likely have cost me just a bit more than that (though, of course, I will never know for sure). Btw, does anyone know how many miles those shoes are supposed to last? I’d love to finally toss them out and replace them with a pair that actually suits my feet without feeling guilty for wasting money.
I had a little banter after the race with Yellow Shoes, who, btw, isn’t actually called Yellow Shoes. His real name is Der Moloney, and he came third in the M40 age category. I told him that he was just that little bit too fast for me, and he mentioned how I had kept coming back again and again. Apparently he had to dig deep to hold me off, which is always nice to know, even if he did finish 15 seconds ahead of me.
There’s even a series of shots of me crossing the finishing line, even though I look like each mile added a year to my face. Those are the photos I would have loved to see at the end of the Connemara Ultra. Sigh.
I never had any soreness after previous half marathons, but I’m still stiff and tired now, two days after the race. Apparently my body has developed a faster pair of legs in the last few months, but its ability to withstand that sort of torture hasn’t increased by the same amount. I had two slow and awkward runs on Monday and Tuesday, and I decided to skip the gym today. I might make up for it tomorrow, but only if I feel better. At the moment I still wished I could just lie on a soft bed of feathers without being disturbed.
I know Eric and Bruce were only teasing me with their comments, but I’m definitely not in shape to run another 13.1 miles at the same pace. I couldn’t resist temptation and inserted my time into one or two of those race predictor calculators, and they came up with a marathon time of 3:08 or 3:09. Past experience has told me that I’m always a few minutes slower than the predicted time, so I guess I’m in about 3:15 shape. Still, that would be fast enough for a Boston qualifier. On the other hand, Joey Keillor once said there’s no such thing as being in shape for a certain time. You either do it, or you’re not in that kind of shape.
A few things led me to believe that I wasn’t quite in peak form anymore on Sunday. I think I was in my best shape ever for the 10k in Adare back in March, and – not entirely surprising – the ultra has dragged me down a peg or two. Not by much, but I think back in March I would have been able to run a minute faster given the same circumstances.
That concludes my racing season. Is it still a season if it only consists of three races? I’m starting to rebuild for a marathon this coming autumn, as soon as I feel recovered from the race. I initially planned to rest for a week or two, but we’re going away on a two-weeks holiday to Slovenia and Austria in three weeks’ time, and I will most likely end up “resting” then (I’ll bring my running gear, but I doubt I’ll be able to sneak out every morning). There are one or two things I should mention about my next marathon, but I’ll keep you in suspense until my next post.
7 May: 5 miles, 44:00, 8:48 pace, avg. HR 145
8 May: 8.1 miles, 1:10:10, 8:39 pace, avg. HR 141 (notice the drop in HR)