I've completed numerous races and flushed through a variety of training cycles, so I'm confident that not much catches me off guard... until this past marathon. My body gave me some surprises during and after Eugene.
- I felt tired early (mile 12ish) but mentally shut that down quickly. I was frustrated that it began at such a low mile marker.
- My calf muscles took the brunt of pain in this race. Not only were they screaming sore post-race, but the hurt began during the marathon. This is odd simply because I never ever have calf issues. My quads and glutes are typically the sore muscles after a race. This time, not so much.
- Pain on the bottoms of my feet have been an issue for me during long runs (and my past two marathons). This time... nothing! I'm happy about that, but it still surprised me. I did run in brand new shoes - which is suppose to be a no-no, right?
- I almost always get chaffing under my bra line during long runs... always. Last Sunday, Eugene was warmer temps than I've been used to, which should make it worse... but instead, I went 100% chaffe-free. Thank you Vasoline.
When you live in the Midwest - basically farm country, corn fields and super flat - don't believe course descriptions like "This course is flat and fast." from those in mountain ranges. They haven't had the luxury of running a true flat course like Illinois, Quad Cities or Wisconsin. It's all about perspective. Eugene was not hill-infected per say, but there were some elevation challenges. I swear the climb at mile 8 was never going to end... and I don't remember any downhills (ha!)... but I do remember a beautiful course. Perhaps one of the most "green" race routes I've ever run. Totally worth the handful of climbs.
|Eugene Elevation Chart... I just don't believe any of it.|
I'm still content with my decision of No More 26.2 this year. I was worried that after finishing Eugene, I'd be all giddy and tempted to register for another. I'm not. In fact, I feel great relief that it's done... over. Oddly enough, I didn't even experience a runner's high after this PR. What the? I'm confused by it, but it just tells me that my gut feelings were right. It's time to get excited about 13.1 again. I've already been working on my next training plan for the Fox Cities Half (Sept)... and feeling excited for my family's camping trip to Kentucky over Mother's Day weekend, where I'll run the IronMom Half.