Well, lesson learned (though it really comes as no surprise).
Ever since my marathon three weeks ago, I have had several short runs (nothing more than 5 miles). Most of these short runs have been challenging and not much fun. Achy feet (PF keeps coming and going, but is pretty manageable), strained hamstrings, and slower-than-ideal pace. Yadda Yadda Yadda.
I did have a 2-hour training run (two weeks ago) and that felt great, though. Recovering from a marathon is very different for every runner (just like training for a marathon is). Some (though not many) can bounce back quickly, others (probably most) will need several weeks for their bodies to properly recover from the stress and strain of running 26.2 miles. I also think a lot of runners are never quite as recovered as they think they are, myself included.
I would be willing to wager a new pair of shoes that the reason my runs in recent weeks have been so difficult is because my body wasn't ready to do what I thought it was capable of doing. I had some stiffness the evening after the marathon, and quite a bit of stiffness 24 hours or so after the race. But after a couple days, I felt fully recovered. I was probably still riding the high of the finish line, so I didn't notice deep down inside that my body actually was still in recovery mode. (Duh!)
Amidst all of this recent frustration, I decided to scale back my mileage this past week. I ran on Monday (following a very busy weekend), and it was a challenge to get my body to go one mile. One mile! What was up with that???
Instead, I did some cycling. And yoga. A little bit of strength work. And a whole lot of nothing else.
Guess what? It worked!
|Inside The Grimes Farm Conservatory...hiding from the rain|
|With my good friend, Linda, approaching the start line|
|Walking up the hill to the start line ("Why, oh why, is it still raining?")|
|Just finished.....all aglow from the constant rain (and maybe a little sweat)|
|Linda was right behind me, placing 4th overall and secured a 1st place AG medal for herself|
|This picture doesn't do justice to how wet & dirty my shoes were!|
|Isn't the shirt cute???|
Do you have a favorite race you do every year? How do you feel about trail running? Ever run a race that left you feeling totally accomplished, even if you didn't bring home any hardware for your efforts? Or, conversely, ever receive an award for a race that you were less-than-satisfied with your performance?