I ran the Outer Banks Marathon a month ago. Before that, I hadn't run more than 5 miles on the roads since my last marathon in February, and could probably count on both hands the number of times I'd even run 1 mile on roads since February... a few times at running camp, a couple of times with Wren in the stroller, and once at night. That's it.
Anyway, I didn't know what to expect. I'm not used to the even cadence of road running. Not used to the mind-numbing monotony of taking step after step that's exactly the same. A 3-4 hour run is routine for me- something I do once every week or two. ...but on trails. I can run all day on trails, but had the sense I might not be that fast on roads right now.
So, I ran the race and did lousy. The first 10 miles was fine. I ran through the half in what I wanted to, but the last half was so rough on my body. I've never experienced anything quite like that. The pounding of the road killed my legs- mainly my ankles, achilles, feet & shins. At 23 miles, I actually thought about dropping out because I was in so much pain- PAIN, not fatigue.
But, see, that was a month ago. "It's just a marathon." I should be able to bounce back from a marathon in 4 days or so. I shouldn't still have ankle & achilles issues now, should I?? I guess so.
I remember when I only ran on trails every once & awhile & how 10 minutes seemed like 30 minutes. More winded. Not used to the undulation, mental focus of the trail. I guess it's just what you're used to. I guess I learned a lesson at the Outer Banks Marathon, though. I've sworn off road marathons for at least a year.
I'm tinkering around with my 2008 race schedule. It's going to be ambitious. I don't usually race much, but I'm planning on doing 4-6 long races in 2008. 1-3 at the marathon/50K distance, one 50M/100K and one 100M/24 hour race- most likely Run For Africa 24 Hour Race in Black Mountain, NC.