Stick a fork in me..

I’m done!

I’m done with my racing season, yes, and that is nothing new.  My last race was a month ago.  As with each year I have been a runner, November and December are my recovery months.  With my 2014 packed full of long distance running my body has needed the rest.  I have to admit, it has been kind of nice to take some time off.

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If you’re ready, I will reveal the measly mileage put on my running shoes in November.  Are you ready for this?  I ran a grand total of seven times!  Yep, just 7 runs in a month that was 30 days long.  My last race was on November 2nd, a Half Marathon.  So if you subtract that mileage from the monthly total, I actually ran just 20 miles in recovery mode.  That is by far the lowest tally I have racked up in a month since I started running seriously back in 2010.  It’s actually kind of pathetic, but I think it was totally worth it.

My legs have healed, my feet feel good.  The muscle tissue has recovered.  I can tell just in everyday actions like walking and climbing stairs.  The few recovery runs I had were at a really decent pace, too.  They ranged between 8:13 per mile up to 8:37 per mile.

I say stick a fork in me because I feel like I am done with recovery.  I want to hit the pavement more these days.  With no races on the horizon sometimes I’ve been just too lazy to lace ’em up and hit the street.  It’s been fine for now having that sort of thinking, but that must now change.  True, I will not be getting back at it 100% for now but just having a healed body gives me more motivation to go into attack mode again.  I would like to hit somewhere between 60-70 miles this month, and then really step it back up in January.  With a marathon in mind for early February, I feel my approach to time off and recovery was a great decision.  All good things must come to an end as they say.  Recovery mode is over, it’s time to train!

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Hallelujah!  I’m back, and ready to rejoice in running!

Happy Feet? No, I’m not a dancing penguin, I’m a runner.

Progressing toward a month of over 100 miles of training, and very few days off from work, my feet are tired.  I have had to work very hard to get them some rest.  Elevation has helped a lot, as well as spending some quiet evening on the couch.

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As I struggle through the final days of training for my next marathon in a little over two weeks, my focus now is more on rest and recovery.  I need to make sure that my body is ready to conquer the next 26.2.  It was a beautiful morning today, and cool.  It was the type of morning that just screams get out and run.  I refrained.  I plan on running a smooth and pace focused five miler tomorrow morning, and I’ve run four days in a row.  Time for a rest day.

Vacation is looming.  Getting on the jet plane on Saturday morning, my thoughts are all about vacation.  I’ve worked six straight days, and work tonight, tomorrow and Friday before I can breath  a sigh of relief.  Can you believe that?  I have to work 9 days in a row leading up to vacation.  Well, most of the battle has been fought already, just three shifts to go.  The problem is that I work on my feet.  I don’t have a cush desk job.  My job is physical and demanding on my feet.  I know how to take care of them though.  This is nothing new to me.  

So my final wind down/taper is upon me.  Wow, can’t believe I haven’t even thought about how this is taper time.  Usually I go mad during the taper, but this time I will have vacation to distract me from taper blues.  

How long do you taper prior to a big race?  How do you fill those empty hours that you would have been out running?  I do know one thing, I am hoping for Happy feet come September 13th.  Happy hamstrings, too!  😉

Feet Up

Finally!  I have two days off.  I’ve worked eight days straight, and deserve some much needed time off.  

I work on my feet, too, so this is how I will be spending the evening.

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…. And this is what I will look like tomorrow.

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Of course, I will be doing some training runs inbetween, but generally my feet need some rest.

Marathon day is four weeks from Saturday, so my body is kinda feeling a bit run down with all of this training, and with working so hard without a vacation all Summer.  It’s time for a break.  Luckily I have a vacation planned in two weeks, too, which I am looking forward to more than I could ever possibly imagine.

Peace out…. I will be on the couch.

Healing

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It’s hard to fight the instinct to push.

It’s never easy slowing down when all you want to do is speed up.

When you give your heart and soul to something, it consumes you.

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We must learn though, that with every step forward comes rest.  To get better at something, our bodies need to be ready for it.  Without proper rest and recovery, we will never be our best.

I think that recovering from a marathon is like how my body feels after taking a red eye flight across the country and not being able too sleep.  It takes days to feel right again.

After my most recent marathon I was sore, as expected.  My legs didn’t feel right for a few days, and I slept like a rock.  I decided to run a two miler, four days later.  The resulting run was slow and tedious.  Another two days off led me to yesterdays run.  A two and a half miler, slow again, but a bit more natural feeling.  Ok, so let’s run again today.  Back to back days on the run.  Today I managed a 5k, and threw in a few hills.  Better.  Not whole yet, but better.  Getting there.

I’ve learned to take it slow.  I really don’t watch the Garmin, but I track my progress regardless.  Small steps forward, taking it slow.

There will be a time and place for that quickness, be patient.  A marathon is taxing, remember.

Ok, so these are notes to myself.  Sometimes I need reminding that a low mileage week is great for my body.  Taking days off is ok.  Chilling on the couch with my feet up isn’t being lazy, it’s being good to myself.

Self, relish in the accomplishment of another marathon, and heal to run another.

Rest.

Recover.

Recovery running

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This is is how I imagine I look when I run, but alas, looking at 99% of my race photos, this is far from true.  Having run a difficult marathon in the wind and cold four days ago, I am considering a recovery run today.  I’ve read many articles on how runners of all shapes and sizes and levels of ability approach recovery.  As I have progressed as a runner, I’ve learned that I have to adapt and personalize my recovery, and can’t use a bottled recovery plan.

After the marathon on Saturday, my body felt pretty wrecked.  My hips, and knees were just sore beyond belief.  I certainly have walked away from other marathons easier than I did this past weekend.  The wind forced me to work harder, resulting in more aches and pains.  The day after, on Sunday, I felt even worse, plus I had to work that afternoon.  I wasn’t ready for a run, and didn’t plan on one.  Sunday came and went, leading to Monday.  I could have run on Monday, but wasn’t feeling ready.  No problem.  The aches and pains were still there, but the hips felt much better.  Just some knee pain, but a fading pain.  Tuesday came, and my thought was to wait another day to run.  Like magic, over the course of the day, my legs felt back to normal.  No more pains of any kind.  That leads me to today.  So, I think I am ready for a short distance run.  Thinking maybe a two miler.

It is extremely important to listen to your body, and this doesn’t happen overnight.  I’ve made many mistakes over the past few years, but the good thing is, I’ve learned from my mistakes.  Running when your body isn’t ready will just lead to injury, so learn to listen.  Taking an extra day or two off will only help.  I’ve learned that resting can be just as beneficial sometimes.  Focus on keeping the body healthy.

I am going to start back slowly, with no target pace in mind other than slow.  If I’m not feeling it, I will end it early.

The running community is a great one, full of ideas, tricks and tips.  If you have any suggestions on recovery, what has worked for you, please share.  Would love to hear your recovery techniques.

Two Marathons/Two Weeks

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I’ve spent days in recovery mode.  I feel like I’ve barely run in the past week.  In fact, I only ran seven miles the entire last week.

It feels good to have some down time.  It feels good to relax, and let my post marathon legs and feet recooperate.  The rest is over though.

It is indeed time, time to get the game face back on.  Time to lace up the running shoes and pound the pavement.  I’ve got three days of running to do.  Three days before leaving for Vegas for another marathon.  Once I board that plane, the final rest before the 26.2.  So, until that time, I have to get in a few low mileage runs.  Some speed work, some hills.  Now that the muscles are alive again after the City of Oaks last Sunday, I must prepare them and my mind for another journey to the finish line.  That long 26.2 mile journey out in the desert in Nevada.  Sin City.  This Sunday.

I am excited, and somewhat overwhelmed by the adventure at hand.  Two marathons in 14 days.  I am up for the challenge.  Recovery is over, and the preparations begin.

Look out Las Vegas, here I come!