Goals accomplished! :)
So it turns out, marathons are WAY more enjoyable when you just jog them without feeling the urge to DIG to hit a specific goal pace. Yesterday afternoon I told Nalani that I was pretty sure I'd be able to walk down my steps this morning without holding onto the handrail... Was that just drunk bravado? Nope. Walked downstairs this morning Look, ma! No hands! ;)
Since in my head yesterdays marathon was just a long training day for Cabo, I don't really feel the need/desire to write a 'race report'... though since I think I did some things right I'll write those down here for future reference.
I started off at a pace well within myself... Just like training, really. I wore my garmin, partly b/c I wanted to look at the data afterward and partly just in case I wanted to see my pace while I was running... though it was set just to show total time and distance so I could only see pace for the most recent mile each time it beeped/auto-lapped if I chose to look down. I'd say I looked down at the split maybe 6 times and the rest of the time I ignored it.
So even though my finish time was not as fast as I wish it was, it was pretty much spot on to what I figured it would be if I ran this like a training day. Before the race I guessed in my head that I'd be able to run 9:20-9:30 pace and that would be sustainable... Garmin said avg 9:25 pace so I was spot on! While I wish my easy pace was 8:45 like it was over the summer, right now it is more like 9:20. I felt like I it was in my best interest (long term) to fight this battle with the army I had, not the army I wanted... so that's what I did. In good news, this pace allowed me to accomplish all my goals.
1. Don't hurt myself. Check!
2. Finish without digging myself into too deep of a hole in terms of recovery. Check!
3. Smile and try to enjoy a marathon, at least a little, for once. Check! Check! Check!
I waved to some friends in the last 10K who saw me smiling pretty broadly... So nice to not have to fake that or make that grimace that you tend to make when you're in hell at the end of a race. Mostly I was just so freakin' happy to not be cramping for once... This was my 16th marathon (12 of them have been off the bike) and every.single.time I have been stopped on the side of the road trying to get a cramp to release and then consequently hobbling to the finish line swearing under my breath (or out loud). I did feel a couple little twinges in my calves from miles 16-18 or so... I eased up a little and tried talking nicely to my calves about what a wonderful job they were doing, etc, but I managed to keep running. I also took plenty of e21 (this stuff proved to be magic again for sure yesterday) and finally found shoes that don't make my quads feel like minced meat after mile 16. So while I might have looked like an elephant yesterday (no pictures have surfaced yet- sorry), interestingly, I never felt like one. Yay for small victories.
Anyway, check out this even pacing! You can see where I slowed down some for aid stations... but according to my garmin, 26.42 miles without a single walking step. That is a first! So while this is not the fastest marathon I have ever run (ahem, I have run faster off 112 mile bike) this was by far the best last 10K I have run in a marathon. And I didn't swear at all. Not even once! Well, not until later when I sent an email to Mary after she asked me how I was feeling... My response was something like Well I ran a marathon this morning and now I'm shopping at Costco. I'm a f*cking superhero.
Post run = lots of champagne. It was fantastic!
So I feel like I'm in a pretty good place as far as Cabo is concerned. Aerobically I just proved to myself that I have no issues... my breathing was fine and steady all day... didn't wear HR but clearly I was never in a position where I had to slow down so that part is good. I'll thank the MAF training for that! NOW it's time to build the army I want... I have ~13 weeks to do it.