Ahhhhhhh, hibernation is bliss. Well, self-imposed hibernation is bliss :) Geof and I gave ourselves two full weeks of rest in the wake of a very, very busy ultra season. As soon as he crossed the finish line at Javelina Jundred on November 1st, we entered hibernation. This includes zero running, zero exercise, lots of RICEing and some stretching, lots of...nutrition, and of course plenty of sleeping and ice cream.
It was weird at first to not do anything but recuperate. But after a few days of this, I fell right into the groove of hibernation. It looks good on! I have enjoyed this sort of break from running because it was a conscious decision, rather than being forced on me. That aided in avoiding any sort of guilt that could come along with inactivity. I chose to do this, so I'm not going to feel bad about it! Everyone needs to do this at some point in their season, I would imagine, to some extent. It's rejuvenating! I was getting hardcore burned out from all the racing and training, and it was time for a break, so that I could once again crave the feel of the road and trail underneath my feet, the feel of achey joints and muscles from a hard week's miles or tough workout, the wind chapping my cheeks as it turns from mild to downright frosty outside, sniffling every 4 seconds because it's so damn cold out, and of course, the feel of my shoes laced up and my running clothes (rather than stiff work clothes). These are a few of my favorite things...!
Geof and I decided to break the cycle and go for a short run yesterday afternoon. Oh boy! We were both feeling the itch and after a full weekend of relaxing inside and doing stuff around the apartment, we laced up and headed downstairs, "I don't even know what to wear for 45 degree weather!" My running clothes were so happy to see me!
Brr, it was brisk out, and windy as a motha! But it felt like heaven. We crossed the street and then switched gears and busted out a sort of shuffle. How funny it felt! Geof commented after a few minutes that this must be what it feels like for beginning runners...weird! Geof's coming off a 100 mile finish, just two weeks ago, so his run is far more impressive to me. I felt a little leg-heavy and slightly less nimble, but overall it was good. My legs settled quickly into a pace and I was enjoying myself. We went 2 miles north on the path, then turned around, with the wind finally at our backs. It was slow going, but all things considered, not bad at all!
Things were great until about the 2.75-3ish mile mark (on a 4 mile route). Suddenly my stomach lurched. Not just a little, "Hey, how are you, this is your stomach talking," but more like a, "You want a piece of me?! You goooot it!" What's that all about? It subsided almost as quickly as it attacked. But it came back a few more times in that final mile. Oh, how it hurt! Maybe I shouldn't have eaten all that pumpkin bread earlier, or maybe I should have eaten more of something else instead...I barely ate all day, other than that bread. Oops. So naturally I stopped focusing on the action, and could only focus on my stomach and making it home safe n' sound. Geof was trying to distract me, and it was working at first. Then it wasn't and I was hurtin!
Anyway, we made it home. Four miles done and done! I believe I have pinpointed the medial side of the flexor hallucis longus muscle on my right foot as my main issue right now (only when going down stairs or a sharp decline). It's a biatch, but I'm keeping on top of it. Other than that, I think I'm ready to get back at it. Ya know, just in case there's a certain hundred mile race to run in a certain month that rhymes with...February :)
I'll probably take the rest of this week off, and then start up on Saturday for the trash run I'm doing with the Chicago Trash Runners. It's looking good so far. I'll hold off on the pumpkin bread, though :)
Hello running, how are you? I've missed you.