I guess I knew after running a marathon I would not be able to continue on with my ultra training as planned right away. Even if I did take it a little slower than usual, 26.2 miles is still a lot on the body. That said, and despite the previous post on rest, I got impatient and frustrated with the healing and waiting process. Especially by Saturday when what I wanted was a good strong 12+ miler. But before I get carried away with whining, here are the weekly totals.
Sunday, Oct 2 - rest
Monday, Oct 3 - 4 painful miles, 9:40 pace. Quads hurt the whole time.
Tuesday, Oct 4 - 3.5 miles, 9:00 pace. Marked the No Boundaries course and then walked it with my walking group.
Wednesday, Oct 5 - rest
Thursday, Oct 6 - 6 morning miles with the girls, 10:20 pace. Legs felt better but fatigue set in early. Afternoon walk with Chance.
Friday, Oct 7 - 7 morning miles, 9:25 pace. Ran 2 to meet my No Boundaries Group. No one showed, so I ran 3 with Julia and 2 back home. Legs felt a ton better.
Saturday, Oct 8 - 6 miles - ran 3 miles on the Liz Hurley course with No Boundaries runners, ran 3 miles at home. My knee and shin were extremely angry and I knew I had to give it a rest.
This is a grand total of 29.5 miles, which is a good mileage week if one is not training for an ultra marathon. While I knew rest was important and I really did want my muscles to heal fully before I asked them to work again, there was that other part of me that just wanted to stomp my foot and say in my whiniest voice, "But I wanted more!"
And then there's the panicky voice that looks at the calendar and asks, "Do I even have enough time to be ready for this thing?" As I finished up my second three miles on Saturday afternoon, I tossed my hat onto the counter and said, "I don't think this ultra thing is going to happen." So Jason gave me a pep talk. He reminded me of the marathon I'd just run and that I am half-way there. He reminded me of the time I have left and said I would be ready. I stood there sweaty and tired with an aching leg and let myself believe him. I felt so silly having just written that post about rest and here I was fighting mine.
So I iced my shin and knee, ate some lunch and took a shower. I rubbed Emu Oil on my shin and massaged it a few more times that afternoon, both with the stick and my hands. Sunday I rested again.
I am now on week 7 and so far, so good. I ran 9 miles this morning pain free. I wanted more, but decided not to push it. Yet.
Here's the thing. I don't want to slog through another ultra. I've run all of my ultras on trails and the goal has always been to survive it and finish strong. Or just finish. And I've done that. But trails are not my thing, so I have now chosen an ultra on familiar ground. This time I don't want to simply finish - I want to finish well. The laughable thing is I'm not even sure what that would be for a sort-of-still-beginner ultra runner. I'm estimating between 8-10 hours would make me happy. Eight hours is extremely ambitious. Under 10 may still be so, but maybe doable... I really don't know.
I do know what I want to do to get ready for this thing. The marathon was fun and great and motivating, but now I've got to get back to it. I've got miles to run and some cross training I want to add to the mix. I've got to take care of this knee so that it will go the distance. I'm ready to focus on these things as I approach ultra training week 7...rested and ready to go.