October 25, 2011

Marathon recovery - first run

Yesterday I did my first run since the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon two weeks earlier. I had considered going for a short jog in the previous two days but decided to wait. As mentioned in previous posts, I have found active recovery without running in th first week, and sometimes two, very beneficial. While cycling and swimming would be fantastic options too, I like to walk.

Mentally, I very much enjoyed the break. It seems a funny contradiction; I love to run but after a big race I crave the not-running. It's freedom from the mental discipline of training.

During recovery from a marathon, I am not in a rush to get back to running but just wait for the moment that a thought like these crosses my mind, "It's a nice day for a run", or "A run might be nice". Yesterday morning, I knew it was time to head out for an easy jog, a lap around the neighbourhood without watch, and was dressed in running gear in no time.

It felt great, certainly for the first 10 minutes that were mostly downhill:-). I probably ran for about half an hour, at an easy pace and enjoyed it. It helped me get excited about racing a 50-miler on November 5 in Whistler. With another 11 days until the race, I think my body will be ready for the effort. I'll keep training to a minimum.

Aside from the daily walks with Luka, I'll do short runs (probably 30 minutes or so) but mostly focus on restoring mental and physical energy. The training has been done for the year. It's all about resting up as much as possible from the two marathons in September and October.

Importantly, I need to spend time on a race plan in terms of nutrition, hydration and - of course - pace. Last year I ran my first 50-miler and my first 100km; the primary goal was to finish. With this 50-miler, I am focused on time.

The only other 50-miler I have run took me 10:15. It was a trail race. The Whistler 50 course is more like a road race, so I expect to be at least two hours faster. Based on the 10:29 it took me to run the Haney to Harrison 100km a year ago, Merv's running calculator suggests 8:18 for 50 miles (80.5km).

I plan to aim for a sub-8 finish, and will start more aggressive than that. I am willing to take more risk since last year taught me that I can cover the distance. Starting faster comes with the danger of potentially finishing slower, especially if you overestimate your ability. I believe that the training I've done this year, and my race results, should put me on track for a 7:xx.

There are no guarantees, however, which of course is part of the challenge and key to the excitement.

The course has 4 laps of 20km, which will help pacing and breaking up the race mentally. It will also give the solo runners a lot more company than in a point-to-point race as the Haney to Harrison 100km.

As of this morning, 50 runners are registered for the ultra (and it's not too late to sign up!) There are 19 relay teams (eight runners to a team, covering either 8km or 12km).

Organizers would very much welcome more volunteers too.

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