We head back to Colorado this afternoon. I love the Birmingham area (geographically) as it reminds me vaguely of the North West. Hilly and wet. My legs feel very good today with just a faint tightness in my right hip flexors and my feet feel great which surprises me the most. At one point on Saturday I kicked a rock and tripped. I kicked it so hard that my insole folded back under my foot about 3". I managed to work it back in to place with my toes while I ran. I thought for a moment that I broke my big toe as my entire foot lit up like fire and my toe went numb... today there's nothing. And another thing I learned on Saturday is that tripping and falling may be less painful than tripping and catching yourself. A few times later in the run I tripped and the shock of catching myself (picture yourself flailing forward trying to hold yourself up) sent electric shock waves through my back and pelvis. The few times I actually hit the ground were quite pleasant in comparison. And I learned how to pee and run on Saturday, not sure what spurred this ability at this point in my life, but I've never been able to do this in the past. With out going in to detail I will say this is a valuable skill as I had to go 6 times total.
A few things that stand out in my mind from Saturday:
I never walked a single step or felt the need to. On the big climb I felt my best and strongest.
I lost track of time and miles during the race. I would start a loop, look down at the trail, and what felt like 5 seconds later, the loop was done. 6:38 felt like 1 hour in my mind.
When I'm confident, I'm supremely confident. Now I need to figure out how to always be confident in races.
Going in to the race I thought I would be confident up until mile 35 because that was my longest run this year. But I was actually the reverse. At mile 15, with 35 miles to go, my confidence came rushing to me.
The GPS is a useful training tool but a handicap in a race. Even wearing a simple watch would have taken away from my race. The difference in how I felt from wearing the GPS to not wearing it was quite profound. It was like someone took shackles off my legs and flipped a switch in my brain. Up until mile 11 my thoughts were the same old negative and weak thoughts I always had in the marathon. Once I eliminated the goal pace factor and just ran with a freedom of spirit... it was the easiest and most enjoyable run of my life.
I could have run 20 more miles. Even with 1 mile to go I believed this. And I thought about Leadville frequently during the race. Every mile built my confidence in regards to August.
My nutrition couldn't have been better. I fell easily back in to my Ironman mentality and taking in calories was simply a natural thing to do. Never an unclear moment.
Shoes... it's time to buck up and buy some.
Weights... it's time to get back on them.
And I appreciate all the kind comments! Thank you.