In the last couple of days since CIM, I am realizing that running one's fastest cames with a price. Specifically, I am more sore than I have ever been after a race. Yes, the marathon always leaves me feeling stiff and not so fond of our two story house with stairs, but this time my legs were inflexible boards after the race. I have been walking like a stiff-legged robot for the past two days. And our stairs aren't just a mere nuisance; they are an obstacle to be avoided whenever possible.
Part of me frets about this hurt. If I am this sore, then maybe I am not in as good shape as I thought? Or maybe my training plan wasn't good enough to get my legs used to running that fast. But part of me is optomistic about the pain: If I could do a 3:10 with sub-optimal training, then what could I do if optimally prepared?? And if I did push myself that hard at CIM, doesn't that speak well of my mental toughness?
I was training with most of my tempo runs around 7:30 pace. I think I was doing these much too easy and should have been aiming for closer to 7:00 pace to get my legs used to that kind of cadence. Also, I did a number of 16-18 milers since the Portland Marathon, but I haven't done a training 20+ miler since early August when I was getting ready for the Mackenzie River 50k. That seems a bit of a training flaw as well. Things to correct for next time I guess.
Besides the stiffness, it looks as if my sacrifices will include my right big toe nail as well. I have lost lesser toenails many times before, but never my big toe nail. It is still in place, but I am sure it is a goner! My newest pair of shoes is a half size bigger, so hopefully this big toenail loss is a one time deal! I am just lucky sandal season is a long way off here in Oregon!