Saturday, June 22, 2013

Recovery Week and a Thought

I knew on those steep ski slopes I was running down last Saturday afternoon that I'd suffer the consequences via trashed quads...and I did. Sunday and Monday weren't pretty for simple walking and going down steps. Uphills..no problem. Going down was no fun. Wednesday, I did an easy 5 with my wife and it was refreshing to warm the fibers up and stretch them out. Later, though, they were still a wreck. That's when I called my true ace in the hole when it comes to fixing these issues. Sure, I could wait until I felt better or I could visit my hold-nothing-back massage therapist, Larry Karasek out of Cuyahoga Falls. He's known for finding problem areas and not stopping until they are no longer a problem. He got me in on Wednesday morning and 90min later and plenty of laughing (that's my pain-coping-mechanism), he accomplished much and made lots of observations. Here's a smattering of his thoughts:

  • Most of his clients beat up the quads or the hamstrings. I did both.
  • The change to a more minimal shoe has resulted in landing mid-foot over the past two years and thus, has greatly strengthened my quads since they are now the primary workhorse. His opinion is that strength surrounding my knees has kept me (and continues to) injury-free.
  • From above-my-abs to my knees, I am very strong and defined all the way around. (though you can't tell by looking at me!)
  • Comparing calves to quads, I have small calves because I no longer heel-strike when I land. Again, the quads, the powerhouse in me, have stepped up to the game.
  • I have abs. I asked that he call my wife and tell her since by looking at me, I don't.  He attests that I do. First time I've had them massaged before, though. Gotta ignore it while it's happening or laughter ensues. That's a tickle spot, for sure.

Once Thursday arrived, I felt like a million bucks. Total turn-around and I kept up a significant water intake and raw food intake. Lots of colorful fruits and veggies filled my day but I took another rest day, too, for the repair. Yesterday, I took my dog, Bristol, for a brisk 6 miler at dawn and felt great.

Enter the race bug. One thing I finished Highlands Sky saying (and my wife recorded, by the way, on video) was that I do not desire a 100-miler. It's just not there. A few posts back, I threw out the idea of the Midwest Grand Slam in 2014...4 100-milers to include the Burning River 100, a race that is hot and humid and one I really don't crave to return to. Love the race, the people, etc. but no desire to suffer like that again. BUT, I do love ultra-running and love the 50K to 50 mile race distance. I can still be happy and not suffer...too much. I also loved the West Virginia mountains, the remoteness of it all, and the people who make up the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners club. Simply a great community of like-minded folks. So they have this "event"...
It's a "stage event" over 3 days. You travel to the mountains on Thursday afternoon/evening and camp out at the start. No hotels, no ski resort. It's either a tent or a "dorm" to rent for $15 a day. On Friday morning is a 50K through the mountains followed by dinner afterwards. Saturday is a 50 miler and then on Sunday, a half marathon. At the end, it would be 94.3 miles and a WV Trilogy finish. Mid-October, too, and the landscape will be littered with fall foliage. So far, I have family support and my wife would accompany me and on the final stage of 13.1 miles. So that's what is on my mind right now. It has a small 100 runner limit and it's about half full so I need to act relatively soon if I want in. (Race Website)

For now, though, it's time for a sunrise 10 on my favorite country route. No watch, no timing, and nothing but the sun, birds singing, and dew burning off of the newly risen cornstalks and soybeans. Have a wonderful weekend!

Run Happy, friends!

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