Posts Tagged ‘10k’

Recovered, Finally

It has been almost 2 weeks since the half marathon, and I confess to have sputtered.

The physical recovery was less intensive than the mental recovery. I ran 5 miles the day after the race to no ill effect, but mentally, I was lost in a haze. I was unhappy with my performance within 24 hours of the race, and my unhappiness spiraled out of control once I saw that I finished 50th out of 71 female runners.

I lifted weights in the first week after the race but became debilitatingly sore as a result.

When I went on my first “alone time” run, six days post-race, I clocked a 12:19 average per mile pace on a run that was less than 3 miles. I almost could have walked that route faster.

I spent almost every day since last Friday bogged down in a negative headspace. I took several longish walks to explore new parts of my city just to keep myself moving, when all I wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep for a few years. I felt ruined. What had I done to myself? Had I wrecked my brain and my body? Had I trashed all the enjoyment I had once gotten out of running?

Today, I can answer honestly: No, I didn’t wreck, ruin, or destroy anything. I didn’t let myself or anyone else down either. I did what I set out to do. I ran the half, which turned out to be more challenging that I had anticipated, and I had really enjoyed the process of training for the race as well as running it. I loved every technical aspect of training for it. I loved the race itself; the quiet of the woods, the sites of the still lake and calm streams, the blue sky and fresh air, and not the first whiff of car exhaust. I loved it when it was over and once the immediate pain and discomfort faded within the first 10 minutes after it was over, I loved the wondrous sensation of accomplishment and satisfaction that the deed was done.

But, there is no way to say it delicately: recovering from the experience sucked.

It is common for me to slip into a funk after any major event in my life, whether it is autocratting a large SCA event, running a race, or even getting home from Pennsic. It seems that once a long-term goal is reached, especially one that is physically challenging, I sink deep into a funk that at least I can say is fortunately usually brief. A week or two at most, and I reach the other side.

This race was no different, though the low was very low, but then the high was tremendous, so turn-about should be fair play, I assume.

It did help lift me up that the Richmond Marathon and Half Marathon made front page news last week with the announcement that they were changing not only the sponsors for the two races (and I was actually relieved to see the McDonald’s Half change to the American Family Fitness Half), but they were changing the courses to have the races finish at the bottom of 5th Street, at the River, an area I love and run in regularly Downtown. It also pleased me tremendously to see that the entire course for the Richmond Half Marathon are all roads I have already run in the past while training for the race I just finished.

It also helped to find out about a mud race that my daughter could run in on April 22, near our house, and not only was she thrilled with the idea of running in it, we have been “training” for it together with short little runs. (It is so cute when she asks for a ‘recovery walk’.)

Finally, this week, a coworker asked if I was thinking of running the Carytown 10K on May 6. I said no at first, thinking I would likely be out of town that weekend, but now it appears I will be in town, and being an inexpensive and early morning race on a Sunday, it seems like it will be a fun opportunity to run a smaller 10K than the Monument Avenue 10K running this weekend (I am completely frozen by the idea of 40,000 runners and 80,000 people in the crowd!!!).

In short, my head is screwed back on straight, I set some new short term goals for myself, became reinvigorated about a longer term goal (November 10 is the Richmond Half), and today, when I hit the roads, I found my feet again, feeling good and strong, and just happy to be alone in my head with my heels hitting the ground again.

I feel like I am back now, but the learning curve has been steep and now I know what to expect for future long races. Maybe the next part of the learning curve will be to see what I can do to mitigate some of the fallout.