Sunday, May 17, 2015

My interpretation of recovery

It is 2 weeks post-Miwok and I am still struggling to motivate myself to write the race report, I promise I will get it up soon. Susan needs to finish her race report for Peterson Ridge as well. I wasn't going to write any blog post until I finished the Miwok race report, but then they just start piling up and the whole blog thing just feels daunting. 
Yoga is part of recovery! 

So let's start with the end of the Miwok story: recovery. 

Our normal recovery pattern has been to take a day or two off of running, post a long run/race and to ease back into running, but by the next weekend we are doing a long run (20+ miles). My body didn't feel that wrecked after Miwok, but I was pretty wiped out mentally. I felt like a zombie at work, so I figured I should actually try and recover "better" this time. A quick Google search later I came across "Recover Better: 10 Rules For Optimal Ultramarathon Recovery" on irunfar.com

Using the article as a guideline for my recovery, this is how I applied the 10 rules:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Rule #1: Know the Rules!

I read the rules and thought we don't race that much, so we are already doing: Racing must be limited.
Notice how I skipped over all the other rules, especially: No matter who you are, the rules still apply.

Rule #2: Don’t Run!

We already broke this one, we ran 2 days after our race, but only 4 miles. We thought of it as a "recovery run". But the article clearly states: running is runing... if one is looking to truly recover from running one must–at least for a time–not run. Ok, I could do that the rest of the week. 
Rule 2 also suggested one day off for every 10 miles raced, it also said something about more days off for heavy-vertical races, but I ignored that part. I ran a 62 mile race, so I only needed to take 6 days off. Great, I could do a longish run by Saturday. 

Rule #3: Commit!

No, problem! I had a plan, I wouldn't run until Saturday!

Rule #4: Refuel

What I remembered this rule saying was: Listen to your cravings. Satisfy the urges that naturally come and are well-earned after a hard race or long competitive season.

My body was craving beer, I didn't drink for 1 whole week before the race! I made sure to satisfy that urge. 

It took a few days for my appetite to come back, but when it did I ate what I wanted and didn't care for a few days. Then I started to worry I was going to gain weight. I am sure the article said something about gaining weight was a good thing, bah. 

Rule #5: Get Moving!

This rule was probably the easiest for me to follow. I have started going to yoga more than one day a week, which is all I was doing pre-race. 

Rule #6: Go to Bed!

Even if I tried to stay up late I don't think it would of happened. But no matter what time I went to bed I was still waking up at 5:30, though I was sleeping pretty hard. I felt tired in the mornings, but rested, if that is even possible. 

Rule #7: Get a Life (Outside Running!)

I went to lunch with friends at work instead of running or working out. I spent Mother's day weekend with my moms, but only after I went on a 12 mile run. The next weekend I spent with my sister, but that being 14 days after Miwok I did run 23 miles with Susan and Sally. 

All kidding aside it was really nice to reconnect with friends and family and not feel guilty about missing workouts or not running 20+ miles (well at least the first weekend post-Miwok). 

Rule #8: Turn It Off

This was a complete fail, 1 day post-Miwok I was already looking at 100 mile races for next year. 

Rule #9: Check Yourself

Now one day after running 23 miles 14 days after our race, I think it might of been a little too much. Yesterday morning I woke up with a bit of a sore throat, but I ignored it because desperately wanted to run. Of course I woke up today with it feeling worse, hopefully I am learning something here.... 

Rule #10: Start Over

And here I am, wondering am I done recovering? Should I take it easy this week? Probably going back to our normal workout routine last week wasn't the best idea. I think the next race we train for I will ask our coach to add a recovery plan into our training plan, then I feel more accountable. 

Obviously I didn't do an awesome job of following the rules, but I know what I can do better / different next time. 


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