Brian and I went out today. It was just a 5k and we didn't wear our watches just so that we could run easily and chat about strategy for the next chapter in "Me against the Marathon". Basically, Marathon has me mad, so now its personal!
We're still tossing around whether to do Niagara (too soon?) or Philly (too far?). But I'm feeling sufficiently good already that I don't think being physically ready for Niagara will be an issue, so that is where I'm leaning.
Today's run went well -- I was just a tiny bit stiff in my thighs still -- so my recovery appears to be going far better than the marathons I did three and four years ago.
I've been continually going back in my memory to race-day to analyze what I did wrong -- and I found one more really big thing that led to my demise in the race. I was tracing the graph that the Garmin GPS gave me. It looks like I was going along at a nice steady pace and then for some reason slowed down so that my instant pace was 8:41 and 9:15 at around 21.2 miles. I must have panicked because I increased my pace to 7:00 and then even lower to 6:15 and at one point 5:53 at 22.4 miles.
Now, bear in mind how inaccurate these instant GPS paces are. But, it looks like I was really pushing it. Then I took my rest break and tried running again. But I was done. My pace was all over the place.
This is where a pace bunny would have really helped (i.e. its all Jed's fault :-) ). I must not have been seeing straight -- but it makes a lot of sense now. Of course I crashed: I was sprinting at the 21 mile mark! Arrrggghhh!
As I said above, now its personal. I'm more dedicated than ever to hitting a BQ. May not be next marathon. May not even be this year -- but its going to happen!