Remember that one time I said I had a game plan for surviving the Quad Rock 50M? And then how I wrote about fitting runs in for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Then I had a really great long run at the Palmer Lake 24 Hour Race! How about that painful run that reminded me that the little things matter, too?
Well, it’s been a long month with my mind and body taking a beating. I’m leaning heavily on my plan to ride it out and make the most of the race while hoping that the 37 strong miles at Palmer Lake say something about my ability to show up and run when needed. We’ll see…soon!
Along the Poudre Trail in Fort Collins
I’ve run enough races to know that the number of miles you try to cram into the last 2-3 weeks of training don’t matter. Honestly, in my experience they have been more of a mental confidence booster than anything else, but that doesn’t take away the pressure! If you head out to the race course for a preview run you want it to be a good, solid run. And when it’s not…it isn’t just mediocre, it’s always hellishly terrible. Or maybe that is just me?
Gray Rock trails along the Poudre Canyon near Fort Collins
I will never, ever be the person hating on taper time and in my opinion your body should be ready for a taper if your put your all into the previous weeks of training. This is exactly where my body is right now. It’s tired. It’s begging for rest days. It’s begging for a weekend on the couch. And I’m pretty willing to give it just that! My poor body as earned at least that!
And it’s not just the miles covered in my trail shoes that are taking their toll – the long hours of commuting 2-4 hours a day are sucking up my free time. I don’t hate the quality bonding with my Forester yet, but it takes a lot of time to drive between work and home and pseudo home and trailheads and…yea. Driving has become a time suck and the seemingly little things that get pushed aside are starting to drive me crazy. Like the unorganized closet, the unwritten blog posts floating in my head, the half finished websites staring at me and the dirt living on the floorboards of my car!
Horsetooth Reservoir + Lory State Park in Fort Collins
That all seems so little, so insignificant, but it is apparently taking quite the mental toll on my poor brain! Running is pretty physical…but last Sunday’s run was painful, teary proof that your head has to be in the game or you’re screwed. So, with that in mind, the next few weeks of “tapering” aren’t about the miles I do or do not run. They’re going to be about drinking lots of water, eating real meals on a regular basis, stretching out my limbs and taking more time to do whatever my head needs to unwind.
All of that said, I’m still loving my time on the trails. The miles might not be easy but I’d much rather be struggling on single track with rocks and critters to distract me than on a sidewalk swearing at inconsiderate cyclists or drivers! I really like trails and even with the struggles I’ve had on my last few runs I really like running.
It might just be my personal preference but that doesn’t mean I’m above forcing my thoughts on you…which is how the “5 Reasons to go Trail Running” post on the Sierra SocialHub was born…and evolved into a short series of trail talk. Because, well, I won’t pass up a chance to talk about trails and running! Go check it out, tell me what you think and if you’re on The Twitter stop by this afternoon at 4pm MDT to talk trail time and why we love it!