I ran on Thursday and felt awesome (as I should after 3 long days off) and again on Friday when I ran in the snow again around Virginia Kendall for 12 miles. Vince kept me company and we were at Kendall Lake at sunrise as I wished I would be all week...and clear blue skies, too. I only did 12 miles as part of my recovery plan. I'm continually amazed at how many other people seemingly don't recover from major events and are out running high miles only days after. I guess some just recover must faster than me. For me, a gradual buildup is key to strong/long running once again. If I rush it, my body will essentially say "No way!" and it'll shut me down. I'm a firm believer that the body becomes stronger during the recovery phase. In my opinion, rest is equally as important as the training you do while NOT resting. Many experts agree, too. I'll use this up/down training strategy this spring as I peak in my training for Kettle Moraine. Big back-to-back long runs will be followed by a down week and then back up again the following week. This will essentially define the period 4-8 weeks before KM.
After this run, I hit up Vertical Runner for the best sale all year...when all winter apparel goes to 50% off. I grabbed a North Face vest and another merino wool Smartwool sweater that I'll wear to work and around town. I swear...I'm a walking advertisement anymore for Smartwool...heck, I'd buy their underwear if they made any! I also grabbed a big 'ol container of Hammer's Recoverite. This should hold me over for all of 2009. I'm a HUGE supporter of this product for immediate post-run muscle repair. It gives your ailing body exactly what it needs when it's screaming for it and properly and quickly gets recovery on the right track. Smart recovery!
This is one of those days where I am just plain sick of sub-32F temps. The sun is shining but it's still 16F out there. I can't wait for the pear trees to bloom in our neighborhood, to leave the windows open at night when we sleep, and to have a white car that can't seem to be anything but brown lately. It's almost February which means March will be here soon. March just sounds refreshing. Sure, we can get snow in March but Spring can't hold out much longer once March gets here. In the meantime, I'm going to head on down to Athens, GA where the forecast over the next few weeks will be 55F-70F for the high and lows much warmer than our highs here in Ohio. This will be a time on active duty with the Navy and also will mark the beginning of my much anticipated training. After my return, the training will continue via "distance education" and local testing and will conclude in March 2010. What happens after March 2010 will be up to our new President and Commander-in-Chief.
So over the next few weeks, I hope to blog and blog often about what ever I can find in the small college town of Athens, GA...the home of the bands R.E.M. and the B-52s. On the weekend while I'm there, I'm hitting up a fellow ultra-runner (Christian G.) and he's guiding the ways into the mountains for hours upon hours of trail running....camera will surely be in tow. I hope to seek out the locals in Athens...both people and businesses. I see no other way to get a real taste of this small town. Once back in the arctic (aka: Ohio), it's go-time. Time to start the buildup to Kettle Moraine in June. There's only 2 events between now and KM100: the Covered Bridge FA 50K on March 7th in Mill Creek Park and the Fools 50K on April 5th. Both will be added on to, both before and after to get more tired-running in and put more time on my legs. One last ingredient is to actually register for KM. I think the tax return should take care of that one!
Happy Trails, everyone! Come on back to see Athens!