Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recovery and looking towards fall racing...






Well, I would like to jump on here and say that I just had the easiest recovery ever. That I'm superhuman, stellar in my fitness and Cheat Mtn 50 had little effect on me or my running. I would LOVE to be able to do that. HOWEVER, that wasn't quite the case.

Having never ran 50 miles( 42 mi was my longest time on my feet before cheat and the pace was pretty laid back when the IMTR's did their night run in march) or RACED 50 miles prior, I seriously never really thought too much about recovering post race. I always bounced right back from marathons, 50ks, my back to back runs.. no sweat.

Even while I was running that night at cheat mtn, things were going pretty well for me and I felt STRONG. I didn't put too much thought into how long it would take for me to feel normal again. 2 days? 3 days? ................................

MORE LIKE 2weeks to be able to run normally, 3 weeks to be able to run strongly.

WHOA! didn't see that one coming. I was tired, zero energy, leg heavy, my quads were thrashed for instance.. was just one of the many things I was dealing with. I am assuming as my fitness grows, my recovery time for long races will be shorter. but this one, yep.. it's been a new experience for me. I just tried to handle it the best I could.

So that is what has been going on the past couple weeks.... I've had to be patient( easier said than done) and do what I could when I could.. I biked, I did yoga, some strength training and tons of core... I ate well, I slept well. I worried and obsessed about WHEN I would get to go blazing down single track trail again and smell the wonderful, sweet aroma of decaying leaves and dirt.
but THEN I heeded the advice of my circle of trusted ultra buddies and
I tried to keep myself busy so I wouldn't be worrying about not training hard as I would like:

I volunteered for 5 or 6 hours at IMTR 50 over labor day weekend and cheered on my friends who were running. I had really wanted to run the 30 mi option for this race, but 7 days out from Cheat I knew it would be a SLOW, SLOW 30.. so I just decided to have fun with Beth Minnick we jumped from AS to AS while they were rushed. Got to see ALL my friends and had a great time
my two trail/ultrarunning besties/or should I say beasties? Grossman and Beth!
start of the IMTR 50



JJ and I at FS90 AS
me running up beech grove trail with an airhorn and a camera to take pictures of IMTR 50 participants and cheer them on



Brock and I took the kids camping at Mt Rogers:

Jack was SOOO excited about sleeping in a tent and making smores.




Took the kids to Grandfather Mtn and to the mile high swinging bridge:






Last weekend, Brock and I went to Dallas, Tx. We got to check out the city, walked around downtown and visited the Sixth floor museum and then we went to see Dave Matthew Band..
had a wonderful trip.
me on the "grassy knoll" in dealy plaza the location some believe for the "second shooter" in the JFK assassination.
me before Dave came on stage.

THEN I turned a corner. This past Monday, I went for a run and it was like someone had flipped a light switch. YES!!!

So the past week I have been easing back into my mileage and regular training... this week has been a good happy medium. I was able to go run with the IMTR's wens night group run for 10 miles and so I finally got my wish of being able to fly down the single track, leaves crunching beneath my masochists, stepping lightly and quickly over rocks, roots, looking at the the setting sun giving off hues of pink and orange dancing on the leaves of the trees... I literally wanted to cry I was SOOO happy to just be BACK in the mtns.. I was home again. :o) THEN dark settled upon the IMT and beth, joey and myself broke out our headlamps.. ironic, my first run back on single track and since Cheat Mtn and i'm scrambling over boulders climbing out of Wright's Hollow in the dark, bats swooping at our heads.. AWESOME!!! GIVE ME MORE!

This weekend I camped for a couple days at Mt Rogers, only instead of a distraction from running, I was able to have a nice 17 miler up mt rogers trail and then went on the AT for a couple miles before I turned around to descend. Again, SO humble, SO thankful, SO SO grateful to just be able to be present in the moment and RUN.

So now, I'm just full of hope, full of excitement in regards to the next couple races I have coming up ( NR50k and MMTR 50) and full of resolve when it comes to my training in preparation for those events. WOOOO!!! LET'S GO!!!!!!!

Thanks so much to ALL my friends who have been SO helpful, caring, supportive the past 3 weeks. I REALLY, REALLY appreciate ALL the advice, emails, txts, calls, hugs etc.. they meant so much to me. I really do have the greatest support network. Love Yall.

3 comments:

Triple F said...

Down times like this try the soul but they also ALWAYS end up being positive! You had a good break and rest. Now, go get after it!

Sophie Speidel said...

Jen,

You are learning THE most valuable lesson of ultrarunning: proper recovery is essential to an injury-free, overtraining-free trail running life! It sounds like you have figured out a lot of it...what seems to work well for me:

1. Run a big race just before going on vacation so you can really rest and sit and do nothing except drink wine and hang out with the family and sleep late. We went directly to the beach after WS and I slept for three days straight. It was delightful.
2. Crew/Pace a race or friend the very next two or three weekends after a big race---you have seen how much fun it is!
3. Run a big race (Hellgate) just before Christmas and New Years for optimal R&R time after.
4. Take at least two off-seasons per year---after a big training cycle is optimal---where you don't run but just walk, swim, bike easy or do nothing until you are chomping at the bit to run again---and then take another week off for good measure. :-)

It has taken me 8 years to figure these strategies out and so far, so good. This past summer I was really feeling burnt so I took some down time and I am feeling great again. My body was really happy I took time off. Yours will be too! See you in November!!

SS

Rick Gray said...

Our wonder girl is back and feeling great. Amazing what a little downtime will do. Remember, do not be so hard on yourself. It is OK to need to time off to rest the body and mind. Sophie is correct. It is needed!!!