Life of a Runner: Recovering

Hello readers! I know it hasn’t been a full week, but my dad and I are leaving on a plane to Utah tomorrow morning, so I don’t think I’ll have time. Every week when I write this, I do a lot of pre-writing. What that basically means is that I will think of things I want to say in here before I write them down, and a lot of these thoughts and ideas come to me while I’m running. I’ll just be going along and think of something and say to myself, “Hey, that’s good. Put that in the blog!” But sometimes I forget to put things in here that may or may not be important to the story. However, they are important to me. So, as I go this week, I’m going to put in some things and details I forgot to include in last week. Without further ado, let’s go.

Monday

OFF

Was this a surprise to anyone? It wasn’t a surprise to me. The foolish girl who thought she would run the day after Schuetzen is long gone. I did, however, walk the dogs. My mom and sister left for Utah this morning. Bailey is moving out there for her new job, for those who don’t know. I will join them soon, but they went out first to get her settled in her apartment. So my job this week will be to watch and take care of the dogs. Part of that job consists of walking them every afternoon. I think we went a little over a mile today. It didn’t go so well, but it did help my legs a lot.

My mom and I talked a lot about the race afterward, as I said last week. We talked about how I showed signs of heat exhaustion. Yeah, I suppose she was right, especially considering I didn’t pee the whole time, the whole 7–8 hours. That’s definitely a new experience for me, especially with how much I drank during that time period. We brought a 24 pack of water bottles with us and went through all but three. We also talked about doing Schuetzen again next year. I don’t know if I mentioned that or not, but I definitely am. I am doing it again and I am getting that spanker. But I also have another goal: I want to run a lot more of it next year. I asked my mom if I would be able to do a marathon, and she said a marathon is a lot easier than what we just did. Here’s a funny little fact. A lot of people, once they’re done with collegiate cross country, say their next goal is to run a marathon. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that. It’s the logical next step, the next barrier or challenge. But now I’m thinking I just want to skip over the marathon and go right to ultras (for those who don’t know, an ultra marathon is technically anything longer than a marathon, so it could just be 27 miles). As of right now, that’s kind of my plan. Sure, I’d like to do a marathon eventually, but that is nowhere near in the future right now. My first step is to get back into shape enough to do long runs again.

Tuesday

2 miles, 18:25 (9:12/mile)

Low and slow, that’s how I’ll be for a while. When I got up this morning, I didn’t think I’d be running. But we had the windows open and it was just so nice out, the outdoors was calling me. So I went on a little jaunt around town. My legs did feel better today. There’s no more pain, just some persisting soreness. Also, I wasn’t pushing it because of these darn Keystone hills. Any direction you run, you have to go uphill to get back home. But it was absolutely gorgeous out, around 60 degrees when I went.

I think something that a lot of people misunderstand is that running gets easier the more you do it. In some ways this is true, but it is easy for people to misinterpret. Sure, if you wake up and do 3 miles every day, it is going to get easier to run 3 miles. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt anymore — one thing you have to remember is every single day is different — it just means that your body is used to going 3 miles. The same applies to races. Every single race I have run, it hurts at least a little. In all running, there is pain. It’s not that the pain goes away, but your body adapts to that pain. You build up your tolerance, otherwise known as your “limits”. You can keep going for a long time, it just depends how much pain you want to be in. Obviously, that doesn’t apply to every situation. But a lot of people will look at me and say it’s easy for me to do 5 miles, 6 miles. And at one point, it was pretty close to easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not work, that it doesn’t hurt. Almost every run has it’s own kind of pain. You just have to get used to the different levels of suffering.

Wednesday

2 miles, 18:00 (9:00/mile)

I was faster than yesterday! It’s the little things that matter. My legs are pretty much back to normal. My hips are still the most sore, and my glutes a bit. But I knew ahead of time that my hips would be the major problem. I tackled a few of Keystone’s bigger hills today. Going up one in particular, I felt the familiar burn in my legs and embraced it. I felt strong. Even though it doesn’t seem like it right now, I am strong. I am recovering. This next week, I hope to be increasing my training. The past two weeks were about getting used to running every day again, this week was about recovery, so next week I hope to be back on a track that will help me towards success. It was nice again today, 65 with a really nice breeze for my run this morning.

Thursday

2 miles, 18:14 (9:07/mile)

It was raining this morning, so I wasn’t going to go. I seem to have forgotten that there is a treadmill at this establishment. Oh well. The rain let up at around 8:00, so I took my shot while I could. It was pretty darn hot and muggy, though, so the sprinkling rain helped. On a whim, I changed my route and sprinted down the hill by the nursing home with my arms outstretched, feeling like I was flying. I just kind of did what I wanted to because I could. Oh and also I saw some lightning during my first half mile, but that storm had passed by so I wasn’t too worried. Today was good.

Friday

1.05 miles, 9:22 (9:01/mile)

I just went a mile. I had a lot to do today and I woke up a bit late and slept in. It was humid as HELL. So I only went 1. That was also because I didn’t want to die of suffocation. It was one of those days when you walk outside and it feels like you can’t breathe. Also I was in a good mood because of the Olympic trials! Last night, I tried to watch the women’s steeplechase finals on my phone, but I couldn’t get access. This is a bit off-topic, but I think it’s really stupid to make people pay to watch the Olympics and stuff. Darn capitalism. Anyway, I was able to watch their lap split times come in and their places, so I got to sort of see Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs take 1 and 2 and claim their spots on the Olympic team!!! Those two are my heroes, so it was really cool. Also, Emma Coburn started out in second-to-last and then worked her way up. She makes it look easy! If anyone is interested, you can watch most of the race online now. Anyway, it was a good race.

Saturday

2.1 miles, 18:52 (9:02/mile)

I went for a run with my dad this morning. We went to the Garrison trail. It was sprinkling when we started, but it was pouring through most of it. We were soaked. It was nice to run with him. I went about the same pace as I did the rest of the week, but I did pick it up and we did the last mile in about 8:55. Dad joked after “Thanks for the speed work!” But it was really nice, and it would have been so much worse if we’d waited until after it was done raining, because then it would have been so muggy. Anyway, we had a fun time. It was one of those runs where you stop and think, “How the hell did I run 22 miles?” We talked a bit about the race last weekend, and our plans for training.

Now we’re getting ready to go to Utah tomorrow! We’re going to be training at elevation, like the pro’s! That’s the perfect place to get started on my tough training. My next benchmark is cross country camp, but Mines of Spain just happens to be the day after I get back from camp. So there’s two big benchmarks, both of which I want to be in shape for. And I’ve got a little over a month to do it! I’ve got to get to work. I also want to say really quick that I appreciate all of the support from you, my readers. It really means a lot and it makes me smile when I see your comments. I’m really glad some people are joining me on this journey, wherever it will take me.

Until next time!

— Morgan

Teacher, Runner, Reader, and Writer. Destined for great things, I think.