I have come to a few realizations over the past few days.

  1. I had zero soreness on Sunday.  Granted, I pulled back and didn’t push too hard for most of Saturday’s marathon, but to wake up the next morning with no ill effects was pretty cool.  That’s never happened  before and it’s pretty exciting.  I spent nearly ten hours on the road driving from South Bend (technically, Bristol, IN) to Duluth (technically, Knife River, MN) and the only time my body reminded me that I’d run 26 miles the day before was on the way down the stairs at the Leinenkugel Brewery tour.  And that was a pretty mild reminder.
  2. A 20 minute PR to qualify for Boston is probably a bit more of a stretch than I’ve been letting myself acknowledge.  I knew it wouldn’t be an easy goal, but considering the only marathon I’ve finished faster than 3:44 was the very flat Museum of Aviation Marathon on a cool, rainy day in January, trying to best my non-MoAM time by over half an hour is way to big of a leap.  Instead of trying again and having to fade back, I’ll use Grandma’s to try and add another sub-3:40 time to my log and focus on using Coach Patrick’s +/-/even splits that he has available at marathonnation.us.  (Short version; do  miles 1-5 at :15 slower than even splits, miles 6-20 at :05 faster than even, and the last 10k at even.)  I’m thinking of targeting 3:20, giving myself 10 minutes of wiggle room to keep a PR.  If I find a nice northwestern marathon in the fall I can still pick up the speedwork to train for that as my one last try for a BQ.
  3. I really suck at pacing.  This will make the aforementioned plan challenging, but spending the next week and a half focusing on practicing accurate pacing will keep me from taking on a long training run that will impair my performance at Grandma’s.
  4. Duluth takes it’s marathon seriously.  There are television ads for the spaghetti dinner.  There are ads inviting the general public to the race expo.  The course is already marked.  Everyone who lives along Scenic Drive participates.  (The owner of the RV park we’re staying at – mile 5.4ish – has a band that will be performing on race day.  He also has a sweet 1927 hot rod Ford that will probably not be allowed on the race course.)  It’s kind of hard not to get excited.
  5. I have not been using the heart rate training I spent so much time researching.  You’d think that after writing up a fairly lengthy two-part manifesto on the matter (part one, part two) I’d be cruisin’ the streets with a heart rate monitor reaping the benefits of awesome benefit-specific training runs.  Not so much.  It’s far too easy to just go out for a run and have fun.  Time to get back to my commitment to myself to make every run count.  Not that I want to not have fun, but for me, having a plan allows me to have Fun With a Purpose.
  6. Duluth is further north than Concord, NH.  Just sayin’.
  7. My big toe nail has finally fallen off.  I feel liberated.  I cracked it back in January, clipped it back and cracked it a little further down in April, and have been walking around with half a toe nail for the last few weeks.  There’s finally enough proto-nail going on that it pushed the old nail up and just gave up last time I clipped it.  I commemorated this event with a new Twitter hashtag: #notasgrossasexpected.  Use it often.

So what am I doing with these realizations?  Reassessing my approach to next Saturday a bit, reassessing my approach to the limited training time I have between now and then, and looking forward to next Saturday a lot more than I thought I did.

In unrelated news, I learned yesterday that thanks to Homeland Security new I-9 requirements I need to make my way to an office sometime before July 16, which means either a six hour round trip road trip to nowhere or leaving Duluth before the airshow.  Alas.