It’s all done and dusted, well no not dusted, more like muddied, but done all the same.
I ran in my favourite fives- the Treksports – despite the terrain being more rock/mud/clay/sharp stone with lots of river crossings and probably more spyridon territory. I was the only person in the event running in fives, and had many people asking me how my feet are holding up. Well, after exclusively wearing fivefingers for 3-4 years, I have no idea what it would feel like to run in anything else. And of all the sore bits after the race, my feet were not amongst them.
For a first time full marathon, on trail I am happy with what I got right, granted that I made the rookie mistake of starting too fast – at 18km I was heading for a podium position – and then paid for it in the next 12km, which is a terribly long time to be paying for your mistakes, before I got granted the second wind needed to end in the time I had expected to finish.
The T42 is a strange event, in that it is a nett downhill race, with a lot of downhill at the start. Downhill is not my strongest skill, and I always worry about my knees if running downhill, I have had my fair share of patella-femoral syndrome, so I strategised to run with a higher cadence and tick off some faster kilometers to spare my knees. It did spare my knees, but I didn’t train at that cadence for that distance, and when we got to the nett uphill part of the track from 18km, I felt like the half-marathon should be nearing its end now…
It’s strange how much of marathon running is a brain skill, and you have to make rules for yourself and stick to them. So while I was running too fast, I knew I was running too fast, but instead of doing what I had planned to do – start out slow – I thought, will I be able to recover on the run if I continue at this pace? Sure…. You should never underestimate the effect of endorphins on over-riding good judgement.
I also think that slow and steady on those downhills would end up bringing on quite a few niggles, its definitely a course where cadence is king. Which means, lots more specific training and conditioning for next year. It was certainly a good experience for me to find out what I need to do more of and where I need to focus my training.
I don’t have any leg pains other than the expected DOMS (delayed-onset-muscle-soreness) 48 hours after the event, and can still do a full squat and sit cross legged on the floor comfortably, so all in all a good outcome after the event.