I spent most of the past several years racing and training my ass off. I was pushing pretty hard in training and racing as well. When my body said it needed recovery I allowed it. I had some great times during those races and came away with more wins and podiums than I would have imagined. I was really lucky and blessed. I even landed a few course records. This year, my goal has been to recover and pay the piper. A lot of top athletes manage to forget to allow recovery and then find themselves in a hole they can't climb out of. I'm only 34 and still have a decade of solid racing ahead, but only if I'm smart and allow intermittent recovery. I wasn't blessed with the best cardiovascular engine. I get my results by running smart and focusing on solid training, nutrition, pacing, and tactics. In turn, I know that I need to run at 100% when I race to get the results I want. I planned this year as a chance to lay low after Western States and take a few months to chill out and recover.
My first race back was Run Woodstock / Hallucination 100 miler this past weekend.
Since Western States in June, recovery came a little slower than expected and I only just started feeling really back to 100% last month. I got in only one run over 20 miles since June, and that was two weeks ago in the Smoky Mtns.
The course at Woodstock was in great shape and the weather was as close to perfect as can be.
Pace and HR was spot on for the first 50 miles and then my lack of mileage revealed itself. My pace began to slow and I knew I should drop to the 100K option.
My main race goal this year is to finally break the 15 hour mark in a hundred mile run at Tunnel Hill this year. I knew that if I dug too deep at Woodstock I would jeopardize training for TH100 since my training had really just started.
I am happy with my decision to drop down to the 100K and keep my goals in check. I know in the long run, it'll pay high dividends and continue to build the resume I want and help me reach my ultimate goals in Ultra.
Today is only Tuesday, and I'm not sore and I'll be able to start training for Tunnel this week and really get in some quality mileage the next two months in prep. Sometimes we need to see the forest through the trees and keep our goals in check.