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Lessons in Recovery.

My exciting news today – My runs yesterday morning and this morning felt good!!! That may sound odd to some.  Before I dive in to this, there is something else I need to address first.

As of right now, kids are going back to school in some fashion in September.  This means the need for the programs run by Food & Friends will be there in full force and these programs will help bring some normalcy back to these kids.  Please donate here to help kids as they go back to school.  Well fed minds learn well and recover well!! If you can help, please do!

Speaking of recovery…

You know what might just be harder than running 100 Km?  Recovering for it.  I was wholly unprepared for what was involved in recovering from a distance like that.  I figured I would be sore for a while, say a week. And that I would have to walk instead of run during that time.  But in all honesty, it took 4 weeks for me to feel back to normal.  That blew my mind.

In fact, around week three I started reaching out to people to find out if I was sick or crazy. I was tired all the time.  It took an extra 2 coffees a day to get me through and I was still napping after work.  Running felt like hard work, even the first 5 km. I was moody, like I had lost my zip and excitement. And I was hungry all the time for a lot of foods I don’t normally eat in abundance, think chocolate, chips, and cheese.

Turns out, this was all pretty normal, but boy did it catch me off guard.  There was even a moment where I wondered if I would be able to run more than 20 Km ever again!!  Sounds a bit dramatic, but the feeling was real.

Here are a list of some mistakes I made so people can avoid them in the future:

  1. I did not respect the distance. In my head I had “only run 100K”. I think this is because I still have a 160 Km run to get through. Or maybe I downplayed the accomplishment because I walked a lot near the end. Or possibly (those who know me will now roll their eyes) I don’t give myself much credit for many of my accomplishments and thought that since I did it, it must not be a big deal.  That attitude is work in progress.  Regardless, my failure to respect the distance meant I did a couple things I shouldn’t have.  I tried to run too far too soon and I did not prioritize sleep and proper recovery.  This may have cost me an extra week of recovery.  Learning the lesson!
  2. I did not have a plan for recovery. I really should have had a plan for how I would do the things I needed to do. Things like sleep more, take a bath, make time to stretch.  It doesn’t sound hard, but with two active kids and a full-time job to do, I likely would have been more successful had I had a proper plan.
  3. I did not manage my expectations. I’m usually pretty good at this one. Going in to longer distances, I am very realistic about how long it will take me, how many walk breaks I will need, etc. I don’t disillusion myself with dreams of record-breaking times and crossing the finish line like a gazelle.  This time, however, I expected a bit more.  I figured 80 Km had been pretty alright, so 100 couldn’t be that bad.  I was wrong.

The nice thing about lessons, it you get to learn from them and apply what you learn going forward.  These lessons will help me as I finish up my distances. 56 K this weekend.

Be well, be safe, and be kind!

Xo Angela