Sunday, January 17, 2010

Stop Being A Whiner!

I am not one to run a big race and then come back the next day and say, "Wow! I feel great!" Quite the contrary, I usually have something that is giving me quite a bit of pain. In fact, looking through the archives:
- I was "more sore than I had ever been" after my PR at CIM in 2008
- Didn't feel too bad in my legs after PCT50, but my shoulder was really bothering me.
- I was "crazy sore" after Waldo.
- At Hundred in the Hood, I said I "waddled like a crippled penguin," my knees and shins hurt, and my right ankle was a "riotous mass of inflamed tendons."

And after Bandera, the first thing I could talk about was my left ankle hurting like heck from all the rocks. In fact, now that I see it laid out like this, I realize I really am quite a whiner! Ok, maybe I do need to suck it up, but the point is, following a big race, I am not usually skipping around, merrily singing the Smurf theme song.

So this is totally out of character, but I really felt great after Bandera. Yes, my ankle hurt, but the soreness in my quads was minimal. Stairs didn't scare me one bit! Wednesday, I was even out doing tempo with the Gallagher's group. That's not to say I wasn't tired; all I could muster was 7:25's for the three miles at "half-marathon pace," but I was running without pain. And then Saturday, I drove down to Eugene for the MLK Fat-ass. I only did half of the 50k (my pre-planned stopping point as part of my easy week and because I had to get back to Salem for a bridal shower), but I felt like I could have easily kept going.

This all seems like a good thing, like maybe doing my two highest mileage weeks ever (with two hard downhill sessions) got me in good shape. But then there are those little "What If?" monkeys that keep popping up to torture me: What if I feel great because I didn't run hard enough?

Is feeling great after a race a good thing or a bad thing? Does it mean I was ready or does it mean I didn't give it my all? I know I felt like I was pushing it at the time, and I thought that I was giving it everything I had, but how do I really know that somewhere deep in my muscles there wasn't something more to give?? (maybe like three minutes and ten seconds more, for example, haha!)

How about you? How do you feel after an ultra?


Olga said...

It means your training is paying off. I rarely get sore these days, especially comparing to my first year of ultrarunning. Well, I also don't push myself over the edge, but I don't think I ever did. Not feeling lousy says that your body gets accostumed to all the volume and load of miles you do. Which is a good thing:)

SteveQ said...

I usually end ultras with people trying (unsuccessfully) to herd me into an ambulance. Feeling great just after finishing and having trouble even getting out of bed the next day is perfection.

A local marathon here has a dance the night after the race; that makes me laugh out loud every year. If you can dance, you didn't race; if you want to dance but can't, you raced well.

Chris said...

Pam--really enjoy your blog and your sense of humor. Personally, I generally feel like crap after any ultra 50 miles or more. Especially those at Bandera because my sensitive feet throb for a week. No amount of training seems to make much of a difference. I always feel lousy. Then again I was always one of those guys who was sore the first 2 weeks of basketball practice. I also know people who have no soreness at all and feel totally fresh 2 days after an ultra. Have never figured out how much is related to training vs. genetics.