Yesterday, Thursday, I completed my second '30/30/45 week' with a full day of running 45 miles. This time I felt stronger and more confident than the first time, though of course it wasn't easy. Still, knowing that I'd done it before helped mentally, and helps me mentally when I think of Badger Mountain: I've run 105 miles in five days. I feel MUCH stronger already going into this Hundo than my last.
Most interesting this time around was my recovery, the amount, and the time. The day after the first 30 miler, thanks to a couple of nice yoga classes (one more about stretching and strength, and one more of a 'yin' recovery class) I felt wonderful, so that on the second 30 miler, I felt at full strength. The day after that though, was a little rougher, and I went into the 45 milers already feeling a bit sore and slow.
Still, I finished all three 30 mile sections scarily within a couple minutes of each other, all around 7:20. It's good to know that even feeling sore and slow, I can maintain a good strong pace.
As before, I ended yesterday's 30 miles section back at my apartment, where I did not let myself sit down at all, but had a filling meal, and changed my shirts. Then I headed out for a 15 miles loop. I actually ran into one of my yoga instructors right then, and she said I looked relaxed and confident, and I have to say I felt it. I knew it would be hard, but I also knew, “I can do this.”
For the 30 mile section I again wore my Merrell Trail Gloves. For the 15 miler, I switched to barefoot for the first 4 or five miles, then slipped on my Xero huaraches for the rest. This time I was not at all lonely. I guess the last time I ran 45 miles, it was new year's day, so everyone was inside. This time there were a plethora of bike commuters on the trail coming back north, plus plenty of runners when I got back into Portland proper. In fact, I think there was a running group meet-up happening.
When I got back, I made a point of stretching for about a half hour before anything else. I've just seen how much yoga classes help my recovery, so I know I know enough to run through some sort of routine at home, and I think it really helped. That said, I was still sore and still. I walked down to the store to buy some blue corn chips as my treat to myself, and I think walking a bit helped to. The worst seem to be to just collapse and not move, especially sitting down in a car or something. I know the temptation is to just collapse after a long run, but I think some soft stretching and use of the muscles really does help recovery for the next day.
Today, the day after, I am still moving a little slow, but I feel pretty good, considering. The main sore areas, during the run, and now, are the groin area and the back left thigh. The groin is a new soreness for me and, sorry to get too detailed, at times during the run I felt like someone was tugging on my left testicle. So yeah, not too pleasant, but it never went quite up into agonizing pain.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to get two more 30/30/45 sessions in or not before Badger Mountain. At least one. I have signed up for on more 50K, Hagg Lake, in mid-February. I'm not sure how much, or when, I need to taper before the Hundo at the end of March. I'll be consulting with my trainer/friend Mark about this. But again, I already feel stronger than the last time I tried a Hundo. At the very least, if I just maintain this level, I'll feel good, but I'm thinking even doing one more 30/30/45 will boost me some more.
As always, I welcome any comments, questions, and especially any advice from Those Who Have Gone Before in ultra-running.