50 Mile Ultramarathon Recovery + Halloween – Weekly Recap 10.25.20

This week flew by!  The focus of this week was to do everything I could to help my body recover from the race.  Since I signed up for a 100k in my post-race delirium, I’ve had to try to walk the line between recovery and starting to train for my next race.  Honestly, it’s not ideal, and it’s not what I’d recommend to my coaching clients.  But I made the commitment, and I’m really excited to see what I’m capable of!  Plus, if it all goes to crap, I’m pretty sure I can blame everything on the pandemic.  50 mile ultramarathon recovery isn’t just sleeping and eating, and I did a couple of things to try to bounce back as quickly (and safely as possible).

I took Sunday and Monday as full rest days, and went for a very short (for me) run on Tuesday.  After running, I spent the rest of the day getting in lots of walking breaks (because they help with recovery and I can’t sit still), and stretching.  I eased back into fairly typical running on Wednesday, and got in a very easy home workout in the afternoon.  Thursday pretty much looked exactly the same, and by Friday I was really happy with my decision to take the day off work.  Halloween is the BEST holiday, and it really deserves a full 3 day weekend of celebrating.

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I slept in a little later than usual, and got in 8 speedy miles at the trails in the nature preserve. I felt really good being on familiar trails for the first time in over a week. After my run, I packed myself and the boys up, and we drove up to Dallas to spend Halloween weekend with a girlfriend who has a son the same age as E. The boys grew up together when we both lived in south Texas, and they were SO happy to see each other. They were inseparable the whole weekend; it was pretty adorable. We got to Dallas Friday evening, and had dinner with my mom, grandma, and girlfriend before heading back to her place for the evening.

We stayed up way too late talking about the ridiculous state of the world, and how 2020 has been one shitshow after another. It was just what I needed, tbh. I woke up Saturday morning, and got in a quick mid-distance run at a nature preserve with a beautiful paved greenway. After my run, the rest of the day was spent getting her house ready for our Halloween festivities. We took the boys trick or treating with a neighborhood family, and they got to get candy from candy shoots and cannons. It was so fun seeing how creative a lot of these families were, and I’m so glad we were able to still get a LOT of candy (we all know I have a major sweet tooth).

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Afterwards, we went back to her house and the kids watched Coco and made s’mores outside, while the grown ups dipped into their candy bags and had a few beers.  It was small and relaxed and fun.  It was probably one of my favorite Halloween’s in recent memory.

50 Mile Ultra Marathon Recovery

It still feels surreal to know that I finished a 50 mile ultramarathon. Recovering from these distances is something I’m still figuring out, and it’s definitely a different experience from recovering from a marathon. Here’s a few things that I made sure to focus on and include this week in my 50 mile ultramarathon recovery plan.

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  • Roll Out – Not just a song that will get stuck in your head for days on end if you happen to catch it; also a great piece of advice for running recovery.  Roll out the quads, calves, hips, and feet.  I love my foam roller for the bigger muscle groups, a massage gun more the more problematic areas (the calves for me), and I love a lacrosse ball for my feet.  Those rocks and roots are rough on the feet, so definitely don’t leave them out!
  • Hiking – Keeps blood moving, helps to clear out the lactic acid, and it easy on the joints and sore muscles.  Even if you can’t get on the trails to enjoy the views, make sure to get in a few walks in the days after an ultramarathon, even if they’re just on sidewalks around your house.
  • Massage – My amazing husband scheduled an 80 minute massage on Monday, and while I was still pretty tender, it did feel really great.  If you can get away with more than one massage and/or a chiropractic adjustment.
  • Stretching – I made sure to spend at least 20-30 minutes stretching every day until about Thursday.  I definitely recommend stretching after some sort of movement to warm the muscles up (a walk or run or other exercise), but it really helps reduce the stiffness that is pretty common after a long race.
  • Extra Sleeping – One of my favorite parts of the post-race week is the fact that my alarm clock doesn’t rudely wake up me at 4:45am.  Your body does the majority of it’s repair work while you’re unconscious, so make sure to get in as much sleep as you can!

This Weeks Workouts

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Total Miles: 45
Total Workouts: 2
50 Mile Race Week
How the Runs Felt
I started out short, slow, and easy this week. I kept most of my runs on the roads this week to help my leg muscles re-acclimate to the act of running. I felt a little sluggish and stiff on Tuesday, but I had zero soreness throughout the entire week. My energy hasn’t been as high as I would like, and I honestly would have taken a little more time off if I hadn’t made the brilliant decision to start register for a 100k in a couple of months. I’m hoping that with a little more time off around the holidays (and no major travel plans), I’ll be able to get more rest and feel a little more energized.

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My long run this week was in Dallas, and while I would have loved to spend more time on the trails, running in a new, beautiful place is hard to beat.  I got to listen to my podcast, and explore a 6 mile greenway system just outside of Dallas.  And I had a very exciting experience; I briefly saw a bobcat!  I’ve seen a wild cat before, but this was a first on a run.  It was way ahead of me, and just casually crossed the greenway, and completely ignored me.  Running in Texas is exciting!

How the WODs Felt
I definitely kept things easy and light this week, and I only got in two workouts this week.  I would have liked to have gotten in one more, but with the holiday weekend, traveling, and having just run a 50 mile race last weekend, I decided to take the free week.  Both of my workouts this week felt good, and I decided to start incorporating some race specific movements into my home workouts as much as possible.  This week, I worked in 5 sets of running up and down our stairs at the house.  I didn’t expect it to be too difficult, it’s only one flight afterall, but I figured it might help my legs keep improving my climbing.  I was pretty surprised how fatigued my quads were after just a few rounds!

What I’ve Been Listening To
Last week, I started and finished Happy Face, and this week, I listened to season two of the same series.  Season two focused on the story of the daughter of Dianne Downs, who was adopted immediately after her birth as a result of her mothers conviction.  She had never known who her father was, and the podcast followed the journey of Becky sharing her story and how finding out about her mother impacted her, as well as the discovery of who her biological father was.  It was so interesting and emotional.  I also started a true crime series called Tom Brown’s Body, which focuses on the disappearance of a high school senior from a small town in Texas in 2016.  It’s a story that has gotten a lot of publicity lately, and the podcast has done a great job of covering the story so far.

What Went Well
Halloween was such a fun weekend for my son, and I’m really happy that we were able to keep my favorite holiday special despite the current state of the pandemic.  I also allowed myself to rest and enjoy the holiday, rather than stressing about getting in workouts.

What Went Shitty
I’m still feeling pretty tired, and it’s hard to tell if it’s from the racing, or that time of the month with traveling.  Either way, I feel like I could sleep for another day or two.

Plans to Improve Next Week
Next week, I’ll continue to take it easy in the gym, and make sure to get in a good amount of stretching.

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