This past week was my first full taper week. Cue the freaking out music. And it did not go according to plan. I had to take two complete rest days due to lingering soreness from the 50k and my stubbornness.
Emotionally, I was a wreck. I can’t remember the last time I had to take 2 days in a row. I didn’t even fully do it because I modified a strength workout on Wednesday.
Sitting around is so hard for me. I’ve spend the better half of my life in constant motion trying to burn off anxiety and literally outrun mental demons. In addition to sitting around, I had a constant pessimistic voice buzzing around in my ear. “What if you seriously injured yourself?” It was rough, but a really big wake up call for me. I did too much. While the thought of sitting around for two days to give my body a break was hard, the thought of not being able to run ever again was even harder.
But as always, each day in training is an opportunity to learn. I learned that I didn’t interpret the 50k as a race the same way I do for marathons or other road races. I think it’s because I spent a lot of the last few miles of the race talking with another runner and did a lot of power hiking. Sure, my legs were fatigued, but it had seemed like just another practice run to me. Hence the running on Sunday and Monday and then my legs screaming for me to stop and take a rest day.
By Thursday, I was pain-free and fatigue free. It was the most glorious feeling in the world. I took the rest of the week really easy, just in case. But at least now I know better. Two steps forward, one step back. That’s still progress, right?
Ultramarathon Training Week 14
(Catch up on my past weeks here)
Monday 4/24 – EZ 7, RPE 4
Ran to November Project’s pop up workout at Oz Park. I actually was feeling ok during the run, albeit sluggish. The workout was to do a mixture of sprints and recovery while jogging around the perimeter of a park, but I just opted to do straight recovery jog. Total miles: 7.75
Tuesday 4/25 – Planned 8 mi of speed work. Actual: total rest day, 0.0 miles. Massages and Cupping
By the time I went to bed on Monday night, my quads, IT bands and the bottom of my left foot felt like they were on fire. I foam rolled for at least an hour but I still was so sore. I called up Kelly to get in for a massage on Tuesday plus made an appointment at a clinic to get some cupping done. Anything to help me alleviate the soreness.
Cupping is a weird but also very enjoyable sensation. Basically, they use suction cups to pull blood into an area to stimulate healing. It felt like someone scratching my muscles and then releasing the tension. I was left with some hickey-like circles up and down my legs, but at least I felt better.
Wednesday 4/26 – Planned: Strength + EZ 5. Actual: Just strength, 0.0 miles
I felt marginally better Wednesday morning, but was still moving like the Tin Man. My plan was to run after strength class like I normally do but I realized upon waking up that wasn’t an option. I modified a lot of the strength class activities and then went onto use EDGE’s recovery tools. By Wednesday night, I was freaking out that I may have injured myself.
Thursday 4/27 – Planned: Yoga + rest day. Actual: Yoga + EZ run (make up from Tuesday)
I FELT LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS!
I just did a nice easy run along the 606 and I almost cried with joy. After two days of not running and feeling sore, my brain had gone to some very dark places. But when I stepped onto the path and my legs quickly fell into my familiar cadence and my quads no longer felt like bricks, my spirits soared. Relief is a wonderful feeling. Total: 8.0 miles
Friday 4/28 – Planned: EZ 7, RPE 4 + NP
Got a bit of a late start to November Project, but eventually made it in time to celebrate Kevin’s birthday. Had a nice time catching up with Stewart and talking about ultras. Ran a bit extra to make up some of the miles from earlier this week. Total: 8.15 miles
Saturday 4/29 – planned: 17. Actual 19.25
I went home to my parents’ house on Friday and decided to stay the night. When I woke up on Saturday and saw that the rain was going to hold off until the afternoon I decided to drive up to Wisconsin to practice on the Ice Age course. The race director was hosting a supported run and I wanted to preview the course. I’m SO glad I did! The course seems like it will be rockier than I imagined, meaning I will be going slow on both the uphills AND the downhills. But holy cow will it be beautiful!
Sunday 4/30 – EZ 7, RPE 4
The rest of Saturday was a rainstorm, so the group trail run was cancelled. I ran in the rain along the lakefront instead and then went to EDGE for recovery yoga and compression boots. In the afternoon, I recipe tested for that evening’s Thoughtluck (topic was Dating, VERY interesting conversations!). I made some vegan cookie dough dip! Total: 7.11 miles
Total miles: Planned 50, Actual 50.25 Total time: 7 hours, 48 minutes.
What a difference from last week!
T-minus 11 days! EEEEK!