Okay, it is just a state, but it is profound and extends to muscle and toes at the moment. They are sore after the marathon but they want to sleep too. Dearly.
Given the opportunity to visit the flat course that qualified me for Boston a year ago, I was curious about how I would feel as the morning started. There has probably been a bit of a let down over the last year after qualifying for Boston, but there has only been a slight drop in my training mileage compared to the amount I had put in last year. I've been more meditatively in my training runs for a very long time and there has been a lingering doubt over the last year that there has not been enough of a push in training to get me as race ready as I was a year ago. Still, I wasn't sure how race ready I was then either.
I am, however, able to say that my fitness seems to be holding despite the lack of intensity in training lately and perhaps the tactical errors today. It being my second marathon of the year and likely the occasion to shut it down for a pretty long time, it wasn't long before I decided to go for broke. After 10K of comfort at a pace that was on par with the time I needed to qualify, I pushed through at the pace I set, conscious of my questions about fitness and a lingering tweak in my left ankle or achilles that, today, kept itself to a whisper.
Today, however, was not as emotional as the race last year that qualified me for Boston or running the 122nd iteration in April's tempests. It may have been a matter of not lingering long in the starters' area this morning - a mere 10 minutes today, compared to the usual hour or so I usually put in. It may be a matter of the stakes being a little lower for each of the marathons I've run in the last 12 months. One thing that was significant in my recollection of the Edmonton marathon last year was that I was not connecting today with other runners the way I do when a race is going well. There were familiar faces throughout the race but connections did not form for one reason or another.
In the back of my mind there, is still a desire to run Boston under different conditions from what I encountered this year, but bucket list items usually don't have parenthetical updates. I still went for it and for the better part of the race my mantra for the morning nudged me along whenever I seemed to be flagging.
The legs, however, surrendered their drive a little earlier than I needed. My stretch from the half mark to the 30K mark was my fastest of the morning and, as I told myself last year at that point, I had one hour to go. Just ease in 12K at a 5-minute pace. I pretty much nailed that last year, running those last 12(.2!)K in 1:00:57. Today it took 1:12 as the legs gave their walking orders (worst pun ever?) Part of it was tactical today, part of it was also the lack of the long runs through the summer to prep me for the kick needed to get through that last 1/4 of the race.
For the soreness and the resignation that a break awaits to heal, work on other aspects of my fitness it is comforting to know that, on a day when things were less than ideal, I have managed to run faster than I did 2 years ago.