Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Post-Race Blues - it's a Thing.

I always forget how hard the week after a big race is.  The first few days are so nice, with everybody congratulating you and other runners asking about the race and actually wanting to hear the gory details.  Plus, you're still so sore that going for a run is slightly less appealing than normal, so it's easy to sit on your ass and continue to eat like you're training for an ultra, because - hello, recovery!  But then three days turns into four and five and now nobody cares about your little run and you're not really sore but you're not exactly sprightly either and good heavens, did you really gain five pounds in five days?


Recovery is not my favorite phase of the training cycle, even though I know it is completely critical to my performance at my next race.  I was a good girl and I didn't run for five days after the AR50.  Immediately following the race, my muscles felt terrific, but the tendons in most of my joints felt very tight and stiff, particularly in my knees and feet.  I've never felt anything quite like it before, so I knew I needed to take my time getting back into the swing of things.  I ran four very easy miles last Thursday, then five slow miles on Saturday, then 16 hilly monsters on Sunday.  Yeah, I know that last part doesn't sound very smart, but I promise I did a LOT of walking during those sixteen!  UltraIronHubs and I were scouting out part of the Gold Rush 100K course we'll be running next month.

62 miles of this?  Yes, please!

Ah, yes, the 100K.  I didn't want to sign up for it until after I had successfully run the AR50.  There was no real logic behind this, to be honest.  I knew I was going to run it and I had even talked UIH into running it with me - yay!  But even though it's been on my mental race plan for months and months, I had a complete freak out some hesitation about pulling the trigger.  I was still feeling a little fragile after running 50 miles and looking at the elevation chart for the Gold Rush made me feel sort of clammy and sick.  Hence the recon run on Sunday (even though we had already paid for the race on Wednesday before the price increased - no backing out now!)

It was a little cloudy and chilly when we started, but it warmed up into a gorgeous day.  On race day, by the time we get to this point in the early afternoon, I have to imagine it's going to be blazing hot out here.

I follow all trail markings.
Our car was parked just past the bridge you can see waaaaaaaaaaay down at the river.  That was an incredibly steep first mile, but a really pleasant last mile.
UIH and I had one of the nicest runs ever on this trail.  It's going to be a super tough race, there's no doubt about it, but the views were incredible and even though it was very hilly, none of them were insurmountable.  The footing wasn't treacherous and there were good stretches of very runnable terrain.  I felt so much better about the race after we scouted out this section, which is the hardest part of the course.

Only one little glitch in the day, and you are going to want to skip this next photo if you are squeamish about bugs - I picked up a tick!  I've never been bitten by one before and I'd like it a lot if I never got bitten by one again.  It hurt!  UIH told me he'd had one many years ago in his Army days and didn't even know it, but I felt it the minute that sucker (ha!  See what I did there?) got me.  It stung like the dickens.  UIH managed to pull it out without a problem once we got home and I'm sure I'm completely fine, but the bite spot hurt for two days.  No thank you.

I love my husband.  I was lying on the ground so he could remove my parasite (Mr. Tick bit me in the back fold of my knee, I couldn't get to it myself), and before he got the tweezers, UIH grabbed my phone and said, "You want a picture of this for the blog, right?"

How do you handle the post-race blues - Eating a lot?  Running too soon?  Signing up for another race? Or something more sensible?


Kate Geisen said...

Post race depression sucks. As long as I have something fun ahead of me it's usually ok, but if I don't I definitely feel it.

That trail looks amazing!! And I can't stand those nasty ticks. :-/ Yea for UIH!

coach dion said...

After my last big race, I managed 3 days easy...

100k is a long way, I'm scared of the 60k I've entered...

Teamarcia said...

OMG I can comment today! Wonders never cease! Sorry you're down in the dumps. But hey the tick is gone! I think I take an easyish week and start focusing on the next big thing. Easier said than done sometimes.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Bahahahah! Got to love the significant others of the blogging world!

Laurie said...

Post race blues are the worst, but that course looks gorgeous and with UIH by your side, it will be a wonderful race!

Glad you got that nasty tick out. I had a few when I was a lot younger, they are yucky!!

ajh said...

Wow! What nice pics! Except for that tic one.

Post race blues are not fun. You just need to sign up for a race or two or three that you can really look forward to.

HalfCrazed Runner said...

I get the same way! You gotta stay focussed on all the positives. (Duh! right? but I felt compelled to say it 'cause you did do great!) Hate tics. Hate, hate , hate 'em!