I actually feel surprisingly good, certainly much better than after the 24 hours race last year when I was completely wrecked for a considerable amount of time. I was able to drive home to Kerry on Sunday without any problems, though on Monday we went to Banna beach, and when I saw Niamh and the kids running across the sand I wistfully thought to myself "I wish I could do that".
My quads were stiff and reasonably sore, though I was able to walk up and down a staircase on Tuesday without looking funny. Cycling to and from work is also fine, and in fact will probably help the healing process because it gets a little bit of blood pumping through the legs.
Thinking back to the race, I am still very happy with how it went and how I applied myself over 100 miles. I'm reasonably confident that the equivalent performance in a 24 hours race would have seen me to over 220 km, which is the present IAAF / IAU Grade B standard. Maybe I will indeed don a National jersey one day, something that would have been so far beyond the realm of possibility not so long ago, it wasn't even on the same planet.
I still think Grellan should go for the same target, despite his protestations. Interestingly enough he claims it would require divorce. The situation could not be different in my own household where Niamh keeps proclaiming confidently that we would be heading for divorce as soon as I stopped running, so I'll just keep running for the sake of the children (who, by the way, weren't too impressed by me coming second yet again).
Talking about coming second, I have now been the bridesmaid in all of my last 3 big ultra events, Bangor, Sixmilebridge and Connemara. I am wondering if I lack a certain killer instinct that will push me just that bit more even if it's at the risk of blowing up completely, but looking at it rationally I think these races are usually decided in the months preceding the race rather than on the day itself. I can't help but notice that Grellan has run marathon after marathon, including back-to-back ones, all year, while I have been much more conservative in my approach, apart from the 10-in-10 - and even then, Grellan did over 150 miles that same week.
Graeme Colhoun confirmed his belief that marathons don't really cut it as long runs for a long ultra when I chatted to him briefly on Sunday, and you do need some longer runs as well. Finally, I did notice that Ruthann Sheahan ran 100km in Portumna only 5 weeks before setting an incredible new record in Belfast.
Therefore, right now I'm playing with the idea of really pushing the envelope for the first half of next year, though right now this is still only a fairly vague idea in my head. Right now is definitely the time to make new plans, though. I've had most of my recent racing planned all the way back to the start of 2012 when I decided to run the 24 hours in Bangor that year followed by the Connemara 100 in 2013, with a goal marathon in-between. That's 18 months of racing planned in advance, much more than usual, but I am very happy with how it all turned out.
I never planned beyond Connemara though. After my 2:55 in Tralee I thought I might aim for another spring marathon and then go for Belfast in July, but the idea that is slowly forming in my head is to concentrate solely on the ultra and forget about a 2:50 marathon (