Tuesday, April 25, 2006

McNaughton Aftermath

Recovery is a learning process. I'm in a constant classroom when it comes to deciphering body signals and getting a clear sense as to which of those signals are just nagging annoyances and which may be begging for a bit more tlc.

I feel like this effort at ultra distance maybe took less out of me than my first two attempts. The QQ race in 2003 was done at such an emotional time, having signed up before Dad's diagnosis and then dealing with all the trauma but racing anyway, having him at the finish was a transmogrifying event inside of a larger scenario, i.e. parental cancer, something that was affecting me in ways I couldn't perceive at the time. Physically I was in better shape three years ago but didn't have the realization that emontional stress is married to physical effort. That, coupled with just plain not being conservative enough in recovery, doing a semi-long trail run the next weekend and then a hard speed session, all set up the PF and some physical frustrations that would keep me away from ultras until Glacial in the fall of '05.

Glacial Trail just beat up my feet and pounded me physically with a broken toe and battered legs. My recovery last October took a much more reserved tenor, easing back into longer runs only weeks later. I think it paid off.

McNaughton was a much more gentle suitor. A hard effort, yes, but I feel that knowing the course and being pretty well attuned to nutrition and hydration may speed recovery. Per advice from the list, I took in some protein immeadiately after the race and didn't skimp all week. So far, so good. My first short run was the other day, the only other physical activity of the week being some short hikes.

I'm half tempted to try the Berryman Marathon at the end of May just to see the course. We shall see.

The approach to running I've been taking mentally is just to look at things in long cycles, sticking to 50k distances for a long enough time to learn the lessons required to move up to longer ultras rather than doing race after race and risking burnout. More power to the high mileage runners, but that ain't me. I could use the patience anyway.

So, essentially no concrete goals but maybe Berryman, a 50k in the fall if everything stays on course, then possibly the 50 at McNaughton next spring. All subject to change, of course.

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