I didn't feel much sorrow having missed my BQ attempt. It was a good race for the most part. Being able to tackle most of it by myself on a lonely run was something new, and I take away a lot from it. I can think of a few factors that worked against me.
The weather, it was not ideal. I really wished it was less sunny and about 5 degrees cooler. Oh well, you can't control that.
The fuelling, maybe in retrospect, I should have taken more Gatorade, or more water. This is weird, because I remember taking fluid at every stop. I'm also worried that I took too many of the gels without taking water right away. Perhaps the gels sank to the bottom of my stomach? That's my hunch.
Mental toughness? I think I still have work to do, but I think learning the 3:10 pace had to be done and I'm glad I tried it. The last few miles of a marathon is not easy. It's not supposed to be. Somehow, I got through the Flying Pig with no major problems. Maybe it was the pacer, maybe it was a good weather and just a good day. Maybe I had gotten used to 3:20 that it actually felt comfortable.
I have all of this and more to think over the next three and a half weeks.
As a health check, my calves are still sore, sore to the point that they ache as I walk down stairs. I did take an ice bath (brrr!) on Sunday and elevated my legs. Unfortunately, I went back to work the last two days and spent long days at my desk in front of a computer. I don't think that helped. I took an epsom salt bath tonight, am taking in more sodium and potassium, etc. and I finally took some ibuprofen. Gonna go over the calves with The Stick later on.
All in all, I'll probably take another day off running before doing a recovery run on Thursday. If that goes well, then i'll do more recovery runs on Friday and Saturday.
That's because I have a freaking race on Sunday! Okay, it's not a race for me. It's the Army 10 Miler in DC and I'll be pacing with R. who will be taking it slow, even slower than my recovery. We've both agreed that we'll run slow and even walk at parts. I hope that the run/walk will get my legs back into action and flush out my legs.
I'm following the Pfitzinger-Douglas 4 weeks between marathons program. My Google Calendar widget on the right has the schedule if you're wondering what craziness I'm up to. As Fran said, he thinks I can make another attempt in four weeks. Pfitzinger advises that you make your call the week before, which is what I'll do.
Best case, I think about running with the 3:10 group, then slow down to 3:20 pace for the second half of the marathon. This fade will, in theory, let me target a 3:15 finish. The other option is to run with the 3:20 pace group until the half, then step it up for the end. Yet another option is to fun run the marathon with a 3:30 or even 3:45 goal and end it smiling! We'll see, there are plenty of marathons i'll run in the future.