A week has passed since the race and I've been enjoying the down time! It's a strange feeling at first, after months of preparing for the race you're suddenly done and it takes a while to adjust to the fact that you don't need to get up at 5am to run or worry about that second helping of dessert any more but I'm getting used to it now! I've essentially run three times this week and had plenty of desserts (in fact I'm three pounds heavier than I was when I toed the line already!) Already though the legs are starting to feel somewhat recovered and thoughts of next goals are being entertained.
More of that later but for now just a brief return to the post race last week. As soon as you finish at Richmond you are ushered into a refreshment area where they have fresh bagels, fruit and pizza at your disposal (not that your stomach is ready for any of that stuff yet really!) so after a few photos with Aaron and Jay and my girls who had now found me we headed through here and just hung around for a while discussing the race and comparing war stories. The three of us remarked that we all felt better than we had done immediately post race at the other marathons we had done, although Aaron was starting to shake like a leaf with cold so we decided to go our separate ways and get warm, stretch the legs a little.
Lisa had parked a couple of blocks away so I hobbled back to the car with them and we went back to Lisa's parents. Lisa was going to drive me back into Richmond later as I still had the hotel room booked for another night. Back at the house the first thing I did was log on and I enjoyed and appreciated the congratulations that all the 'trackers' had sent since the race. I took an ice bath, we ate a HUGE early Thanksgiving meal and I sank a few Coronas that Lisa's Dad had in the fridge. Lisa drove me back into Richmond and I met Jay and Aaron for a few pints at, fittingly, a British pub. We did pretty well I thought and made it past 10pm before having to crash.
Next morning we again woke to beautiful crisp temps and shaking off the cobwebs from our over indulgence we headed out for a shuffle/walk. Barely able to move our legs we made a not too pretty sight! We bought the Richmond Times which had a special feature on the marathon (including the picture of us at the start shown at the start of my race report and also a caption with the top ten male finishers listed (moi at number 7)). Jay had had issues with his chip and his finish was yet to be officially recognized and he was absent from the finishers in the paper which was a pisser. Although the timing has since been resolved and Jay's 11th place overall and 3rd place in AG now recognized this will always leave a sour taste for Jay which is a shame because other than that we thought the race was great and brilliantly organized.
When we got back to the hotel it was straight to the breakfast buffet and we consumed half our bodyweight in fried breakfast, fruit and cereal- it was awesome! Jay and Aaron headed back to Charlotte and I waited for Lisa and the girls to pick me up and make our own journey back. Our Richmond trip was over and what an experience it had been!
Tuesday I managed to jog for 6 miles with the Miners in Mcalpine, Thursday I ran 9 with the Dowd crew and yesterday I did 6 on my own. My legs feel a whole lot better than they did after Thunder Road last year, heavy and fatigued but seemingly none the worse for wear other than that. In fact my only concern is the top of my left foot which is still very sore from having my laces too tight during the race.
So on to next goals and how I see the next few months playing out. For the rest of this year I'll continue the recovery process for the next few weeks. Having run 4 times this week (after the run I'm doing in a little while) I'll run five days next week, six the next, etc. I'll hop into a couple of workouts with buddy Billy Shue who is heading for his own sub 2:40 effort at Thunder Road in three weeks and plan to pace a section of that race for him. I'll miss the Turkey Trot next week which is a staple in my race calendar but I don't see the point of racing again at this time! I do have one race earmarked however. My parents fly in the week before Christmas to spend the Holiday with us and they never see me race so I've found a 5k to hop into which will be cool.
After the New Year the training will start to ramp up again. I plan to head back to Richmond in April for the big 10k they host there. Having now seen the terrain over which this race is run I can vouch that it should be a smoking fast race! Fall marathon plan at the moment is to go for Chicago. Also hoping to head back up to the Blue Ridge relay in September, this time with an all guys team for an assault on the course record there. And of course as always there will be the Grand Prix series to keep me busy.
The key for me the next few months will be to keep my injury free streak going and maintain the consistency in my training that I've enjoyed for pretty much the last 14 months. I've never had such a solid block of running in my brief running career and hopefully the 15k and marathon races I have just completed are signs that I can attack all my other PRs over the next year.
Happy running everyone!