First off, I want to thank Doug for his donation to the NF Marathon Team! It's much appreciated, especially from a starving grad student (still fresh in my memory!) surviving on Hamburger Helper! :)
I ran 20 miles today on a 2 mile loop in town so that I could keep track of my pace. The weather was windy and 40 degrees at the start, and while the wind died down a bit, the temperature didn't creep up all that much. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my 2:26 finish, for a 7:18 pace. I was hoping for a 7:15 pace, but I'll take it. I ran the half marathon in 1:35 even, and the last 2 miles were run in 14:07, so I had something left over. I didn't have any trouble with my heel, and it will no longer be mentioned, as I don't want to waste any more time thinking about it.
One odd feeling I did get was that my core muscles were very sore at the end of the run. I focus a lot of attention on my core (practicing what I preach Chiropractic-wise), so I think it had to do with my HR monitor. I had tightened it up a bit this run, as I was tired of having it "jiggle" its way out of position. Perhaps I tightened it a little too much? I had never planned on wearing it during the marathon, so I'm not real worried about it. I'm planning on spending some time on the trails tomorrow as a recovery run, and then it's time to prepare for the Quad Cities Half next weekend and my training plan for the taper to Chicago! I'm oh so close to that elusive and magical 3:10...I just keep telling myself to be grateful you're in the shape you are, and let the chips (or ChampionChips, in this case) play out in Chicago!
Thanks again, Doug! You know, the NF Marathon Team is always looking for more runners!