Recovery from my most recent marathon is very different this year. I still find it weird to say that I used my Marathon as a training run for my next race. Usually I would take off at least a week or two, maybe be on the bike a little bit more or do a little more swimming than normal just to let my tired legs rest. But not this year.
Instead, I was back at it within three days. And not just that, I was out at full force. Within a few days, I had to pull off a 20 miler on the trail with about 2000 feet of elevation. This is all in preparation for what’s next. My first ultra with my husband is coming soon.
Of course, I didn’t pick a race that was going to be too kind. I had to go and pick one who’s elevation gain is borderline terrifying. Why? I’m not too sure. Winter time seems to be my “running season”, whereas spring and summer I focus more on triathlon. I knew my miles would be up after coming off of the marathon, so I figured why not?
We’ll see how it all pans out, but I’m hopeful. I figured that since I didn’t die doing that 20 miler with all of the elevation just a couple days ago, I should be able to survive. Not sure how well I’ll be walking for the first couple of days afterwards, but I think it’ll be OK. I will say that I recover much faster running on trails despite the increased elevation and challenge. There’s definitely something to running the trails versus hitting the pavement, especially as I get older.
I will also say that cross training has helped me survive without injury. I have to practice what I preach, and when I tell patients that cross training will be their best bet, I mean it. It really does cut down on overuse injuries and helps your body to recover quickly.
Before the ultra, at least we have scheduled a nice diversion. This weekend will be a fun 20 K at our first Viking dash. I’m looking forward to it. What do you have on your schedule right now?
Don’t be afraid to do something different.
Run Happy. Run Long.
Amy is a marathoner and triathlete, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also a marathoner and triathlete), and kids in Lewis Center.