I just got back from my first run since Saturday’s 50k at the Bel Monte Endurance Race. It was quick and easy – just four miles on the treadmill where, for the first time in awhile, I forced myself to maintain a relaxed pace, instead of bumping up the speed every few minutes.
Still, when I finished, I was tired. My hamstrings creaked a bit and my feet hurt (I’m sure it didn’t help that yesterday I tripped on a section of uneven pavement and launched myself across the sidewalk, jamming my big toe in the process. It was actually sort of ugly – one car and three pedestrians stopped to see if I was okay, and another passerby handed me my shoe, which had slid off when I went airborne. But I digress…). I wasn’t spent from the run, nor particularly sore, but just sort of fatigued, and achy.
At first, I couldn’t figure out why.
When I finished the race last weekend, I felt pretty much fine. We walked around for a little while and stretched out in the pool back at the hotel, and I even jogged across the parking lot to CVS to pick up an ace bandage for Brent.
On Sunday, of course, my quads were definitely smarting – likely a function of the final 8 miles of the race that took us down the steep, technical Bald Mountain – and though I didn’t feel much relief on Monday, I got in a short recovery ride that afternoon, and another the next night. By yesterday, my legs felt pretty much normal, and I was eager to get back into training mode.
So this morning, I met my friend Keith for a quick trail ride in Wissahickon. Keith is recovering from a recent double hernia surgery and neither of us has been on the trails since last fall, so we weren’t riding at a blistering pace, but I felt good about our hour-and-a-half outing. I was much more comfortable on the terrain than I had anticipated, and though my legs were tight starting out, by the end of the ride I was tackling steep ascents and riding strong and steady through technical downhills. I stayed focused on keeping my hands off the brakes, and probably rode those trails faster than I ever have before.
Later in the afternoon, after Brent and I met with a contractor about our leaky roof (which turned out to be only a minor repair… whew!!), Brent asked if I wanted to go out for another ride. “No,” I told him. “I need to get in a run.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Because my body feels like it wants to run,” I responded.
At the time, I thought this was true, but as the day wore on and I plodded through a book on race and public housing in Philadelphia, I wondered whether it was my body or my mind that thought running was a good idea. I felt tired, and sluggish. I took a short nap, hoping I would snap out of it, but woke up even more groggy.
With two Passover seders and a fair bit of work to catch up on over the past few days, I haven’t had much of a chance to breathe this week. I’ve slept hard each night but have woken up gassed each morning, with no good explanation. I haven’t felt like I’ve been pushing hard, but I realized tonight after my run that the two road trips over eight days – not to mention the fast-paced 12-hour adventure race and the technical 50k – have probably taken a toll.
So, I guess it’s time to cool off a bit and catch my breath. Perhaps a quiet weekend is in store – after Saturday’s scheduled 3-hour trail ride, that is.