I can’t believe VT100 was over two weeks ago. It all seems like a blur. In many ways I can’t believe it all happened, but my body reminds me that I did, in fact, run 100 miles and it’s still repairing.
I was lucky enough to finish the race uninjured, so I was back to doing a couple shake out runs as early as the Friday after the race. The last two weeks I’ve stayed under 20 mile weeks and no runs longer than 6 miles. I’ve been walking and running with the dogs quite a bit and letting them dictate the pace. Zorro is always good about keeping things relaxed and makes me take lots of breaks along the way. I’m adding in some basic bodyweight circuit training a couple times a week as well until I get on a more strict strength plan. I’m noticing my fatigue the most in strength. I’ve always had a very strong core and can do leg lifts and planks for minutes at a time. Right now after 30 seconds I’m feeling it. My abs give way and my back tries to take over. I finally know what that feels like and I can see why strength instructors tell you to back off if that happens – it feels AWFUL! I’m also pathetic at pushups and pull ups right now. After about 10 very weak and shaky pushups I’m having to go on to my knees and I can only do two very jerky pull ups. I know it’ll come back, but it’s been hard to adjust. At first I was weirdly discouraged and felt like I “out of shape”, but I have to remember that I am strong (I ran 100 freaking miles!) and my body underwent some serious trauma and I have to give it time to get back up to speed. I think I’ll stick to a very relaxed running schedule for most of August and try to add in things as I feel good and less fatigued.
It’s been a bit of a wild ride emotionally and mentally. I have been very overwhelmed with just about everything. I get excited to spend time with people and in groups, but then when I’m there I feel like I can’t keep my focus for more than a few seconds. I start conversations and then end up finding myself drifting off and somehow dropping the topic and escaping to a corner for a bit. I’ve needed to spend a lot of time alone to counteract all the parties and visits I’ve been doing since the race now that I have time to travel and relax a bit more. There have been 4 days in the last two weeks where I haven’t interacted with another human (minus a few texts) and I’ve needed it. I’ve always had fairly strong hermit-like and introverted tendencies, and this experience has really brought them out. I recharge by being alone, and I think I’ve needed quite a bit of recharging.
To do a bit more recharging and to hopefully get myself back to normal before the school year starts up again and I have to put on my extroverted hat, I’ve decided to go on a 2-3 day solo camping and hiking trip with the dogs. The hope is to make it up to Quebec, but I’m still planning the trip (I’m supposed to be leaving tomorrow…). I may end up just hanging out in northern VT and NH if I can’t pull off everything I need to get across the border with 24hrs of planning. Either way, we’ll do a couple 10-20km hikes, hang out in my stupidly massive tent, have a campfire, and read something besides student papers.
Finally, I think I have my winter race picked out. I’m looking into Lookout Mountain 50miler on the TN/GA line. It’s the National RRCA Ultra Championship, so it might be a fun place to lay it all out and truly race my first ultra rather than just run it to complete it.