There is no doubt that Austria is a much richer country than Ireland. The houses are bigger, the roads better, the public transport clean, efficient and (at least in comparison to here) cheap. I can't put my finger on why that is, though, because I know from personal experience that the politicians there are just the same despicable breed of greedy, incompetent and self-centred bastards as they are over here.
Anyway, I'm still living off the gentle warm glow from my marathon performance, and not even my return to work could change that. I must be experiencing the complete opposite of the post-marathon blues.
Things were much better on Wednesday anyway, a beautiful sunny day, little wind and only half a day's work because I took the afternoon off, because I did not want to miss the twins' 10th birthday party. What do you think of the cake? Cool or what! The party served as a very welcome reminder that other people's children are just as boisterous and destructive as ours, but the house suffered only minor damage and we all declared this a resounding success.
After quite some hesitation, and not without some trepidation, I stepped on the weighing scales again. I was completely baffled when it told me that I was still the same 147 pound I had been when I left for Vienna. I cannot explain this, I have always put on at least 5 pounds immediately after a marathon, and I sure did not hold back when it came to ice cream, chocolate or beer last week. In fact, I was surprised they still had some left by the time we were on the plane back home. Have I inadvertently stumbled over the ice cream-chocolate-beer diet?
One thing I continue to get wrong is the pace of my morning runs. After 6 miles the heart rate rises even when I try my best to slow down, and even though I never push the pace I have been ending up with average heart rates well in the 150s, much too high. I know of course that I'm still recovering from the marathon, even though the soreness is long gone.
Michael, and a few others, have asked me what's next. The answer is, I don't know. I deliberately only set one goal for this year as I wanted to make sure I would not be distracted. Now that I have achieved my sub-3 marathon in April already, I'm a bit at a loss. Had I not managed it in Vienna, I would have aimed for another go in Longford in August, partly because it is supposed to be the flattest marathon course in Ireland but also because it is the only traditional Irish marathon still missing on my list. But things changed in Vienna. I am tempted to concentrate on shorter distances over the summer; after all, I have voiced my regret that I never got the chance to have a go at my 5k to 10k times. I have not decided about a marathon or even ultra later in the year; Dublin will always be a possibility, but if the opportunity arose to run it again as a pace maker, I would probably do it that way. I really enjoyed it last year, and I felt it was a rare opportunity to give a little bit back to the running community.
- 25 Apr
- 6 miles, 46:57, 7:49 pace, HR 148
- 26 Apr
- 8 miles, 1:02:05, 7:45 pace, HR 154
- 27 Apr
- 10 miles, 1:17:45, 7:46 pace, HR 153