Thursday, August 14, 2014

Preparation and Recovery

I have a race recap coming soon for Howl at the Moon.  I thought it might be a little more manageable to post about part of it to begin with instead of all of it at one time.  And the before and after are much easier to sum up so I'll start there.

My preparation for Howl was pretty much non existent.  I don't say that with pride, I'm actually embarrassed to admit that.  Of course, I didn't plan for it to happen that way.  In my mind I had all these great runs planned.  Many long 20+ mile runs to be had over the summer, even a 30+ mile run.  My foot failed to cooperate and my bout with plantar fasciatias kept me from that in June.  But there was still July and many more runs to be had.  While I did manage to get a couple of 13+ mile runs done it didn't go beyond that.  My longest run this entire summer was 17 miles long.  Now, I didn't say "only 17 miles" for I'll give it credit where credit is due.  When I look back even further in to my training I've only done ONE 20+ mile run and that was my marathon back in April.  I KNOW.....and I call myself a distance runner!!!!

I will stand by the notion that my body is conditioned to run.  I'm no stranger to this 8 hours of running concept.  I'm in excellent physical shape and my body can handle these type of conditions.  So that explains how I still managed to complete this race.  Now, how I managed to pull off what I did, how far I ran....well, that's kind of a mystery.  Meaning it's not something that I can even explain with words.  Because in theory I should have run much less.  But I'll save that for when I go deep in to race detail.

This was my 5th running of Howl at the Moon.  I'm no stranger to what happens to my body after I run this race.  It's also a no brainer that I'm going to hurt from head to toe in one way or another.  My muscles are going to be sore & tight for about 5 days.  At least one, if not a couple of toe nails will fall off.  And this was all true for this year.  I did seem to struggle a bit more with nausea and complete exhaustion after this race.  I will explain that more with my race report.

Now, because I am stubborn a streaker I have continued my running every day since my race.  Ummm, duh, of course I ran the day after my race.  Yes, it hurt.  I'd even say it was worse than child birth, but I slugged through 1 mile and got it done.  My pace is very slowly returning.  For two days after, my mile took me 17 minutes to run.  On a good day I can speedwalk faster than that.  So I feel like a turtle crawling down the road.  But hey, I'm moving and I actually believe it's good for my muscles to be going through that range of motion to get things back to working order.  On Tuesday I ran on the treadmill to force some speed on my legs.  By then my legs already were feeling better, but could still only handle 1 mile.

By Tuesday night I could no longer stand all the loose skin and detaching toe nails and I removed it all myself.  2 complete toe nails completely gone, all the way down past the cuticle.  And several big chunks of skin have been removed.  My two pinky toes have been especially tender and swollen.  I've been pretty much living in flip flops the entire time since the race to help air things out and aid with the tenderness. I wouldn't so much as say things are painful, just tender and very managable.  Things are feeling better each day.

Normally by now I'm back to a full running routine.  This year, not so much.  But I'm listening to my body and doing what it allows.  Maybe I'm babying it a little too much, but I'm extra careful to not rush back.  I have no mileage goal to worry about.  I don't even have any racing for another month and that race is a relay where my longest run will be 7.6 miles.  After Howl that will feel like a rest day!!  In the mean time I'm in no rush to taking on too much.  Just 1 mile & 1 day at a time.

There are 2 more days for you to vote for me in the #RWCoverContest.  VOTE HERE!!


  1. I knew you would be keeping your streak alive! Glad you are giving your body time to recover!!!

  2. It's great that you were able to race after running just a few long runs in training. Congrats on the ultra finish!