After the finish line…

I have learned a lot about me during this past week.  Bluenose was a fantastic time but the recovery was no fun at all.  I went into the Bluenose feeling stronger than I EVER had.  Yoga has given me new upper body strength and my last long pre-race run was easy and fun.  I was feeling confident and maybe even a little cocky.  I gave it my all on race day and then I paid the price the week after.

I had been conservative with my efforts at races before Bluenose.  I, however, always regret it after I cross the finish line and I still have tons of juice in the tank.  So this race, I laid it all on the line.  What I didn’t know was that an intense race comes at a price.  A much higher price than I anticipated.  My body basically hated me for days.  Everything hurt and felt bruised.  My energy level was non existent.  I had a hard time finding appealing food that wouldn’t upset my stomach.  I just wanted to sleep and lay in the hot bath.  After a few days of my body hating me, my spirit was crushed too.  This, I truly was NOT prepared for.  I tried to stay positive but coming down off the high of feeling strong, accomplishing things I thought were probably out of reach, and the excitement of racing was hard.  I felt weak.  I was dramatic and started thinking I had blown my whole season.  How could I ever come out of the pain and blah feelings in time for my next race?  A little bit of panic and frustration set in.

I had pretty much given up when I started seeing improvements.  I would make it to the top of the stairs and realize I didn’t wince once or would pick the clothes up off the floor without feeling like I wanted to cry.  I’m good now.  A week later (although it felt way longer than a week!) and I’m back to regular training.  Legs might still need a little extra love after a run, but all is good.  (My new pair of kicks may have helped me feel a little better too!)

So what has this taught me?

The normal answer would be to never push that hard at a race again.  Runners are not normal though and I will probably push myself to the point of “I literally can’t do anymore” again.  Maybe not at every race, but it’ll happen again.

Does that mean I have learned nothing?

Not really.  I’ve learned to expect the aftermath known as recovery to be as hard as I push in the race.  I’ll remember that it’s temporary and to plan for it.  I’m learning how my body reacts to being pushed.  Really, how is anyone to know what their limits are if they never give themselves a push to find out?  I rather know that I did all I could then to wonder if I could have done better.

Every training run teaches me something small about myself.  This race just had some big ass lessons to teach me.  I’m good with that now.  I’m sure that things will keep progressing and I’ll get back to the point of feeling super strong and confident.  Next race is in a couple weeks.  I am already starting to form a tentative plan and set basic goals for that race.  This time will be different though because I’ll also have a plan for after the finish line!

Countdown to Races:

  • 10 km at Blue Nose Marathon! Completed!
  • 32 days until 10 km at Salmon Festival
  • A bunch of days to Color Run 5 km (This is my competitive side trying to stay chill!)
  • 108 days until 5 km at Maritime Race Weekend
  • 109 days until my first 21.1 km at Maritime Race Weekend