Rest and Recovery

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Training

For the first time in years I had some minor back pain in my upper back that forced me to take a break from running. I pretty sure I got it from picking up my kids and hauling them around. It was kind of a blessing in disguise because it happened on a off week where my weekly mileage was suppose to be low and on a day I needed to take a break. So I opted out the daily run with the dog for a dog walk instead. For the first five minutes of every walk my dog pulls like crazy and looks back at me waiting for me to take off. It takes him a while to realize that he isn’t going to get to run.

It didn’t take long for my back to feel good again and I was ready to get in a decent long run for the weekend. Yesterday I ran about 6 miles near Lake Travis again on some fairly technical trails. The best part about running anywhere west of Austin is the hills. The views are spectacular. Geographically just west of Austin is where the Hill country in Texas starts and goes on for hundreds of miles. On the trail I run I veered off course for the first time to take on a pretty technical hiking/bike trail. I was reluctant to do any technical trails at first because I run in Vibram Sprints, the thinnest sole shoe Vibram makes, but the ground between the rocks was actually soft. At one point it seemed as though I was literally running vertical up this rock trail all while this surreal treeline below and back behind me. The sun began to set at the the time I went so deer were coming out everywhere. I ended up scaring more deer than being scared by them. They get startled at first, move about five feet and then just stare at you. I swear if I had a sharp spear I could of easily killed one. The deer there are so use to people they don’t even think twice about them.

This Friday I plan on going on a long run to Town lake/lady bird lake via roads. From what I mapped out the route I’ll take will be 7-8 miles there and the same coming back. Austin is kind of unique in which a lake, lady bird lake, is situated directly in the middle of downtown. The lowest elevation for miles around is downtown so if you’re running from north to downtown or south you’re running down hill the whole way. That’s why some Austin marathon races every year have some good results. Only problem about a run to downtown is that it’s uphill all the way back. I plan on refueling at a free water station on the lake once I get there. Hopefully I’ll make the run in about 2 hours or so.

Right now to prepare for the run I’m trying to taper a little bit and also carbo load. I’m still experimenting on what works best for me so I can get the right combo of rest and diet for runs that will take more than 4 hours to run. These runs less than 20 miles to me are the best to experiment on because my body is able to recover faster. I thought this quick podcast about tapering from Marathon and Beyond was pretty interesting. It seems that the body does indeed preform better with periods of long rest before anything extreme.

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