The guys I trained with for Chicago are all in varying states of post-marathon training as we each feel out the damage done and rest needed for a full recovery. The one thread that weaves through all of us though is that none of us DON’T want to be running, which causes individual frustrations when our bodies don’t comply. Jessie is back running easy again I think. Poray has broken something or other in his foot and is figuring out how to deal with that. Little is making efforts to run but scaling back when the runs feel like crap. I have still been holding consistent with training, but working out weird pains in my right upper leg area, yet still able to knock out some solid runs if I put in the effort. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m in a different mode of running right now, where it’s probably most adviseable to back off for awhile I’m still working up to some harder and faster workouts for the upcoming races I have. Most runners who complete a strenuous marathon take off for awhile and ease back into it in preparation for another marathon or big set of races. And that’s great, but follows the pattern of a specific type of competitive running, where the efforts are highly focused on large career making races instead of a continuous streak of effort.
I fall somewhere in between both perspectives for training, but lean a bit towards the latter. I love to run, plain and simple, so to take a significant break, even if it is part of a larger process of recovery and performance, feels incredibly unnatural to me. Running is such a routine part of my day now that to miss a run throws me all out of wack. I’m sure it’s part of my type A personality, but when I miss a run I feel like I’ve certainly missed something in the day. Like I went to work with my pants off and didn’t realize it until the kids starting showing up. Something just feels off until I supplement that extra time with a similar activity, such as spending the day with Michelle and Noah plotting our next camping trip or just hanging out in our local outfitter store (‘Sup Rusted Moon!).
Add to that almost necessity to run at some point in the day, a couple upcoming races, and the need to get back out there is nearly irresistable. I MUST run. This, however, is against most of the common knowledge that pertains to strenuous running and recovery….and I’m well aware of this. Ultimately though, I think the ability to get back to running without worry or debilitating injury comes with a matter of perspective, where an individual isn’t going ALL OUT ALL THE TIME, but looks at running as a serious of valleys and plateaus, where through it all, no matter the intensity, they are still running. So for me, I don’t look at running as blowing everything I’ve developed on one run, even though I’ll focus buildups on specific races, but also enjoying the process enough to continue on once the race is run. I don’t want to take breaks…I just want to enjoy my days running.
Looking at running like this enables me to gather other benefits I might miss by taking longer breaks. It has been suggested that I don’t run the two upcoming trail races in the coming months in fear that I’ll “screw it all up”….whatever that means…and though taking that longer break might be needed for others, I get things from those races that build into my running experience and give me a deeper well of motivation to draw on in the future when I might need it most. There is nothing more comforting than stepping to the start line and KNOWING you’ve done the work, that you’ve put extra into the hills, nailed your speedwork and kept your miles up. The runner draws on these experiences to give them the confidence to put it all into the race without reservation and this is the same perspective I hold with continuing on at this point.
I know I may have some more serious success on the roads in the future, but I also know that knocking out these trail races can only help me in that process. To be able to draw on a (hopefully) successful trail marathon in the future might prove to be invaluable beyond all measure. Believe me, I’m running this race because I love it and I’ll love the challenge, but I also know that adding this to my well of experience is all part of the process of my running, where I don’t have starts and stops, but a continuous and consistent trajectory upward.
For if nothing pans out the way I want it to in the future, at least I know I made the most of every second I had out there.
To each their own.
11 miles – Started easy then continuously picked it up. Felt good.
Breakfast – 2 english muffins w/ peanut butter, raisins, agave nectar, coffee
Lunch – Leftover pasta soup w/ veggies
Dinner – Chili with dark and light beans, sweet potatoes, bread with veggie spread, water
Snacks – Banana, water, coffee, soymilk, tea
Still Remains – The Serpent