"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

72 -- The # of Recovery Hours For 50 Miles

There was a point during my 50 mile run on Saturday that both time and distance felt like they had stopped. It was at 8 1/2 hours and more than 43 miles into the race, when I first noticed it, when it felt like I had run no further and had been out there no longer than during a marathon. I can't explain it. My recovery has been much the same as after a marathon also.
Saturday night was pretty awful. My knees were pretty swollen (I couldn't make out my knee caps anymore) and there was some pretty intense pain up and down my legs. Nothing sharp or acute, just dull and achy. It made it difficult to fall asleep because I couldn't ever get comfortable. At some point I fell asleep out of exhaustion and when I woke up Sunday morning, I was sore, but not like I had been.
I was moving pretty gingerly on Monday as well, but I took the stairs up to my office (my barometer of how my muscles are feeling on any given day) and felt decent. Once I got moving I was alright. It was the sitting and then starting to move that was most painful.
And then I awoke yesterday (Tuesday) and there was no pain. No muscle soreness at all. I helped out with our local high school's basketball clinic they put on for the local middle schools last night and before I could even think about it I found myself demonstrating a drill, running (yes, running full speed) up and down the court. No one else probably noticed or would have even cared, but at the end of the demonstration I cracked a smile, laughed to myself for a second and thought, "recovery complete."
And so it's back to training today. A good run this evening and one more tomorrow and then comes what could be my final race of the year on Saturday, the Silver Falls trail half marathon. It's a decently challenging course with some elevation change to deal with (including climbing a few flights of stairs around mile 10) that I ran in 2:02 last year.
I'm still working up my recap on my in-race (and post-race) nutrition and refueling strategy, which should appear here by the end of the week. I've said this before but I think it's worth saying again: I believe my diet is the biggest contributor to me getting back on my feet so soon after a long run or race.
Hooray for a quick recoveries.

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