Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More MDI Thoughts and Looking Ahead

As if my 60,000 word race report wasn't enough, I still have more thoughts from the MDI Marathon.

Most importantly, stairs are no longer the enemy. I can walk down stairs without any assistance today. I've taken the last three days off, which has been a good call. But now that I'm not sore anymore, I'm itching to run. Plan to get back at it tomorrow.

The awesome toe looks much less awesome. It was purple and gross after the race, and at some point on Tuesday it drained. Ewwww. I had a little bit of bloody ooze in between my toes. Ewwww. Now, it just looks beat up. The nail will most likely fall off...but who know when? Maybe I'll start a pool.

Couple more thoughts on time. Final time was 3:43:03 for an overall per mile pace of 8:31. Goal was to run 8:45 per mile. The time at the half was 1:54:02 for a per mile pace of 8:42. Second half was 1:49:01 for a per mile pace of 8:19. I'm not 100% certain of the 20-mile split, but let's go with 2:53:30. May have been in 20's, but let's go with that. Which means that the last 10k was 49:33 for a per mile pace of 7:59.5. And, no, I refuse to round that up. The conclusion here is that I probably could have run faster. Am I disappointed? No way. (More on that in a second.) But it has certainly got something churning in my brain. And that something is the desire to run another one. Just not yet.

Since this was my first marathon, I didn't know what to expect, and in fact, for this whole year, I haven't known what to expect. I know I've talked a lot about time and goals, but my goal for this marathon was to prove that I could do it. Eighteen months ago, I never would have guessed it would have been possible. About a year ago, I entered the Bradbury Bruiser basically because we had a couple friends who wanted to do it. I didn't think I would survive. I did, and I decided it was time to get back into running. Since then, I've been seeing what I could do. Testing the waters. Getting back into it.

Full disclosure: I used to run a lot. In fact, I used to even be kinda fast. Then one day in 1997 during my senior year of college, I was running a track workout indoors. It was 800 meter repeats. It was before outdoor track started. In the middle of one of the 800's, I stopped. I'll never forget those last few steps. I walked off the track, showered and never went back. I was done. I had been running competitively for all of high school and college. I'd had a mediocre, injury-riddled college career, and running just wasn't fun anymore. So for about 10 years, I stayed away. My ego believed I was still a runner. I dabbled a bit. But, really, I wasn't a runner anymore.

This year has changed that. Sunday really changed that. It's time to get serious. Running is fun again. So, let's have some serious fun.

Jamie threw out the idea of running the Hyannis Marathon in February. The course is flat, so it's very tempting. But, I don't really want to run the Hyannis Marathon. It doesn't sound...well, you Plus, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to be that guy. You know, the guy that runs 12 marathons a year. I'd like to remain as injury-free as possible. However, there is a flattish, fastest marathon in my future. I'll also no doubt run MDI again. It's the perfect marathon for someone who likes to run trails because...well, just trust me. It's a cool race.

So, what's the plan?
(This is where I start to sound like D. Help me!!!!)

Short term: Recover. I'm taking it easy for a couple weeks. Then on Thanksgiving, D and I are running the Feaster Five in Andover, MA. It's a few minutes from my parents' house. No expectations, but I might try a sneak some speed work in. All depends on how I feel. The best part is that my sister is going to be running, too. Her first race ever. Should be good times.

Medium term: Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic. I'd like to run kinda fast here.

Long term: Pineland Farms 50k. Yup, you hear that 25k? That's me extending my middle finger to you. Time to step it up. I'd like to...well, run kinda fast here.

I'll be more specific about what kinda fast means as soon as I figure out what exactly I think it means. But, the bottom line, is that I'm going to come up with a real training plan. This year, I proved to myself that I can actually be a runner again. Now, it's time to find out how good. Most all, I'm going to keep having fun and make sure I don't just step off the track.

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