Thursday, July 3, 2014

Recovery Run of hell

My friend Courtney is a robot. And I'm not saying it in a bad way. I mean, she's truly a machine and the most amazing runner I've had the pleasure to be friends with.

This is Court doing what she does best: drinking beer. 
...but seriously, she runs. And ALWAYS places Top 3 in whatever race she decides to do. That said, she had the brilliant idea of inviting me for a mid-week run the Wednesday following my marathon. We'll go easy and there's some uphill, she said. I thought, why not?  In the end, I will have to train on doing back-to-back long runs for TransRockies and I may as well start now.

Courtney has the ability of just trotting along in a very content manner and you wouldn't even think she's trying very hard... or at all. So it's deceiving sometimes... Especially when she says, it won't be too hard of a run. This time, she did warn me it started with a mile long climb. Ummm... more like 4:

the steep kind...  
I jogged along with her the first mile, but once I realized the "mile long climb" wouldn't be over at the one mile mark, I started walking. My legs were tired and I just couldn't get in a good rhythm to run uphill even when it wasn't steep. I was slightly frustrated but shortly realized that our run was mostly above 7,000ft. I gave myself (my brain) a break and just went on feel. I couldn't push myself much and decided to just aim to finish the loop.

The first downhill eventually came and while it was nice, it wasn't as long as the uphills since it was always interrupted by a hill I needed to climb. I still enjoyed the downs. After mile 10, a long steep climb happened, and I got in a better rhythm and walked 1/4 mile and jogged 1/4 mile. I kept this up for the 2-ish miles. The last 5 miles were better. At this point I was significantly behind Courtney, but she kept coming back to make sure I was still alive.

At the bottom of the hill at mile 10. Pretty bridge to walk and eat some delicious GU
The last 2 miles down were steep... and my IT band was tight. I, unfortunately, could not bomb down it and just did my best to maintain a respectable pace. By the time I was done, I was exhausted... to the point of not being able to eat much (even pizza!), but it was worth it. The views of this run were amazing. It's a great training loop which I can't wait to try out on fresher legs.

As for recovery, it was fast. I was not even sore the day after and I was able to get a couple shorter runs later in the week. I think this is a great start to a few back-to-back longer runs for the remainder of my training for TRR. T-minus 5 weeks... Yikes!

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