What's that you say, didn't you just run a marathon? Shouldn't you be recovering? Yep that's what I should be doing. Instead I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to do one more fall race with all these fast Ohio ladies.
Post marathon "recovery" had consisted of one stupid lunch run on Tuesday where I traveled all over Cleveland at 8 minute pace and did my best not to complain. Then a 4 mile slow jog on Saturday to make sure I didn't have any injuries. My right calf unfortunately is not happy, but I think it is just cramping because of my poor hydration this week, aka lots of beer, wine, and sweets, and no sense of a smart recovery plan.
So I drove out to Youngstown Saturday night and got a great nights sleep and thankfully got to sleep in because of the 10:15 AM start. We loaded up the elite (I still can't really call myself that, but, it was definitely awesome being pampered at Columbus and here and I am so appreciative of it and hope to perform at a level deserving of the designation soon) cars at 9:15 and headed over to the start of this point to point rolling course. I had been warned that it could be fast but that the downhills were going to trash my body. Wonderful, where do I sign up?
Got to warm up with some fun Second Sole chicks and then we were on the line. My mission was just to survive and hopefully not embarrass myself. No plans for PRs, just wanted to try and keep it under half marathon pace if possible.
Took it out a hair fast and my calf tightened immediately, but since it would be tight even running 9 minute pace I just went with it and ran what I felt my aerobic system could handle. There was a girl with headphones and I just could not let her stay in front of me so I probably pushed the first two miles a little bit. 5:44 and 6:00. After that we were done with the downhills and the rest of the course was mostly flat or up and my pace slowed dramatically. 6:20 (Like Paige I pondered if this was the 5k and not 3 mile, but alas it was 3!)
After 3 I started wondering what on earth I was doing to myself, but just kept running as hard as I could and hoping the time would pass quickly. Had some good Usher tunes swimming in my head which kept me from falling completely into survival mode. 6:12 for mile 4. Not great, but oh well. Then a guy with headphones caught me and I did my best to use his encouragement to step it up. I could see the lead women way the heck in front of me as we ran along the river and had to laugh. This is why you don't run 10k a week after your marathon!
By mile 4 I was fried. It was warm and my face was flushed, I seriously wondered if I might pass out. I could hear a female behind me and assumed it was my Second Sole buddy MC and just tried to keep the pace. Mile 5 another 6:20 and I am starting to wonder just what hill we will be going up at the finish. I am starting to recognize places from my first 50k and I remembered this monster climb exiting the park and had to hope that was not the hill, because if it was I was so screwed!
About 5.5 the female on my tail passed me and nope it was not MC, it was KG. Uggh this girl has smoked me in the past, but I didn't know she was there and it surprised me. Gave my best attempt to go with her, hah, good luck with that. She pulled away on the last climb (thankfully just a bridge, not a monster hill) and gapped 14 seconds on me quickly. I tried to muster some sort of kick to stay in 6th place as my Second Sole teammate cheered from the sidelines. Crossed in 38:10.6 and 6th female, and the way the awards worked out 2nd Ohioan (Really 4th Ohioan, but with awards for top 3 US, and top 4 Ohioans, I ended up with 2nd Ohioan the way it played out)
I knew going in it would hurt, so I wasn't too surprised that I was hobbling around pretty badly afterward. This was the feeling I was expecting post marathon and never got. So if you run your next marathon and don't get the pain you expect, just race a hilly 10k the next week, that will set you right ;) Thankfully MC convinced me to do the cool down, and by the end my legs were somewhat functional. Going to keep my eye on the calf this week though and get a massage.
So yes the race wasn't the brightest move, but despite a little pain I had fun. Now time for a bit more partying before deciding how to approach training for Boston. Lots more on that and post marathon stuff to come.