Freeze My Willies
After the race, I jump in a bathtub of ice cubes for 10 minutes. Thankfully it numbs everything and I can only stand it for 10 minutes. But on Monday, I hop in again but this time for 15 minutes. Definitely nerves are getting killed off in the icy water, or maybe I'm just getting better at being a tough guy...
The ice bath really helps flush my muscles of the lactic acid and reduces inflammation.
Delayed Onset Soreness
Whoo hoo - big time! After my first ice bath, I am pain free! BUT...the next day that all changes. My calves seize up in a lactic acid frenzy and going up and down stairs is pure torture. Also, the rest of my body aches....
Never Forget Your Salt Tablets
I think I figured out why I feel so abused after this race. I think it's because I didn't have enough electrolytes and salt during the race, which causes my muscles to perform poorly and under more stress.
After the race, I felt my skin and it was real gritty from the salt that I sweated out. Definitely something to keep fine tuning.
Nike Triax Foot Pod Off
So I wore a Nike Triax watch with foot pod and heart rate monitor for the race. I would have worn a GPS but it doesn't work very well in Manhattan with the buildings blocking the satellites.
Unfortunately, looking at my paces on the website and what was recorded by the watch, the Nike Triax is definitely off, even after I calibrated it on a track.
The Nike Triax said I ran only 25.3 miles. During the race, I remember looking at it and despairing at the pace it was showing me, which turns out to be slower than what the website said I ran.
How annoying to be thinking I was totally cratering when in fact I was not!
New Fighting Weight
Post-marathon weigh-in has me now at 147.8 lbs, versus 151 weigh-in at Ironman New Zealand. Now I have a new benchmark for what I should weigh during long endurance races....
Tim Noakes in Lore of Running states:
"In a marathon, the race really begins from 32km onward, during the last 10km. From here to the finish, the marathoner's brain speaks of logic and therefore appeals to the first voice, which will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. The marathoner's only recourse is to call on the spirit, which forutnately functions independently of logic. It accepts that marathon training goes beyond logic - that humans were not designed to race marathons any more than they were designed to scale Everest. And the human spirit soon learns that the marathon is one way for ordinary people to define irrevocably their own physical, mental, and spiritual limits. By the 32km marker, the marathoner must be ready to define these personal limits."
Such a truism. I ran literally a 9 mile "wall" and many times felt like quitting. But it was worthwhile as I broke through the damn wall at mile 24 to speed up to the finish.
When I tell people I ran the NYC Marathon, often the first thing that comes out of their mouths is, "Oh I can never do that."
How easy it is for someone to define their limits under such favorable conditions. Is that the true test of the human spirit, to be defined on the couch in front of a TV?
I say NO.
Our growth comes from trials, and we really grow when we test our limits. Busting through a 9 mile wall was one of the hardest things I've ever done, with body aching, IT band protesting, right quad cramping, even both forearms threatening to cramp under electrolyte loss. It hardens my spirit like nothing else!