So, you run 100 miles. Then what? To tell you the honest truth, I had no idea what post 100 would look like [or feel like]. I didn’t even think about it. First, I had to run the miles [and, survive]. I trained through winter and sunless spring for one weekend. For all 38 hours of mud. And, that weekend came and went much faster than all of that training. You can catch up on that, here.
Of course I knew what post 100 miles should look like – I carefully curate said training plans all of the time. You give yourself a little break to recover, and then you start moving again. So, once the 100 mile hangover wore off [a solid week later], that’s what I did. I started moving. The plan wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t entirely structured and it included a lot of fun and things I definitely put aside during the months of 100 training. Part of that was solely due to weather [and, Maine’s 6 months of winter], the other part was time. There is simply not enough time to do all the things I would like to do and run all the miles in some sort of structured fashion. So, I started moving.
Here are the highlights:
First run. The first run back, one week post 100, the Girls on the Run 5k. And, while 5k seems rather insignificant in comparison to 100, all you need to do is start running to be reminded that it is not. As Head Coach and Running Buddy to two of our speediest team members, I played all of the positive self talk mantras over and over again as I watched my trusted Garmin read sub 8:00, 7:30, sub 7:00. I ran with heart that day beause I certainly didn’t run with legs and if I ever had to embrace the suck and smile – it was the day. We crossed that finish together, and I managed to not throw up [that’s not very acceptable at the GOTR 5k now is it…?], so we’ll consider the first run back a “success.”
Morning dog runs. From there, we got back into a groove with morning miles – the kind solely meant to provide Belle and Summit with enough exercise to avoid a very long day, with a high-energy, 80 pound puppy. These were the kind of miles that made you question how you ever ran 100. My head was in it, my body — well it took a little while to catch up. Heavy legs, an acheing foot, an overall zombie like feeling — I just ran through it.
Circuits and strength training. Back to high intensity circuits. My favorite kind of workout. The type that doesn’t give you enough time to even think about how hard it is – until it’s over. And, when it’s over, you feel great – the superwoman, I can take on the world, great. It wasn’t quite this great at first, but I was moving – jumping, squating, push – up ING – well on the way to superwoman status. Strength training, strict strength training, is Jesse’s favorite. And, I join because it’s good for me and it’s Jesse’s favorite. I will probably never love it, the pace gets me, every time. But, it makes me a better athlete and runner, and gives me an extra hour or two to spend with Jesse [if i don’t walk out of the workout – because, guilty as charged, I have done that too in these last few weeks].
Speed. Then, we hit the track. Let’s just call the workout, death by track. It was appropriaptly timed with one of the first hot days of summer and coupled with leg day later that night. I remember the details, it was that good. The track workout went like this:
1 mile warm up
10 push ups
200m sprint [max effort]
10 push ups
200m sprint [max effort]
REPEAT. . .
Yup, death by track. And, my legs felt it the next day[s].
Wednesday mornings. Wednesday mornings are reserved for free fitness. It’s also the best morning of the week. We spent time at the track, Back Cove, rocked out at City Hall and ran hills this month. It was good – even on the week or week[s] I could barely move, I got to start my day with really good people. I also have a new found love for these drum stick workouts – it’s definitely out of my element, but channeling your inner rockstar is a pretty awesome workout. Check out this clip for more on Wednesday morning.
SUP Barre. I told you this month was all about the fun, so why not put two things you never do together..? That’s probably not entirely fair – I have done both, separately, a handful of times. Spoiler alert: I didn’t fall in the water. But, I did test every stabilizer muscle, enjoy the challenge [thank you Portsmouth Paddle Co. and Barre & Soul] and soak up being on the other side of the workout [thank you for the class, Alexandra]. There is just something entirely calming about being on the water [even when you are not quite sure you are going to stay on top of the water]. If you are in the area, this is a summer workout must. Photo credit: Portsmouth Paddle Co.
Orangetheory. I’m a bit late to the party, but we finally made it in for a class. Orangetheory bases it’s programming on heartrate zones and while I wasn’t so worried about collecting points, I was thoroughly content to push hard for an hour alongside, Jesse. We haven’t had a chance to do a workout like this [it looks very close to the workouts we would do during early morning workout sessions – before we moved to Maine] in the longest time. Yes, at one point in time, every morning was a competition [we were also in the best shape of our life – point noted]. This “Power” class included rowing, functional strength movements and treadmill intervals – a lot of sweat too. We won’t be attending on a regular basis, class is 45 minutes from home, but it is certainly a fun way to mix up routine.
First trail run. The first trail run included two birthdays, a bottle of Whiskey, doughnuts and a watermelon – and, was complete before 8:00 AM. The good company, the PTSD inducing trails [remember when I fell down the mountain in the Fall? — same mountain], and light rain was a good welcome back. Fun running. I almost forgot what that was like…almost.
Weekend adventure. This is the highlight of the highlights. We spent a weekend in New Hampshire, connecting. Fitness isn’t always about fitness. Sometimes it’s about the people we get to share it with. That’s what 100 taught me. That’s what the White Mountain weekend confirmed. That’s what workouts alone in the last couple of weeks remind me of too. I move for me, I also move for the people – Jesse, just tops the list [after all, we met in a gym]. We fit in a few easy hikes, including a sunrise hike, for the most epic view [if you could see through the fog], and a trail run. But, mostly, training wasn’t priority and rest and relaxation toped the list.
Routine. Just as I felt like I was settling back into routine and started to think about what’s next [Jay Peak 50k in September], I was sitting at a red light last Friday when I was rear ended. It happened so fast, that I wasn’t quite sure what happened, but it happened. Because accidents happen. Luckily, I was far from seriously injured and the circumstances could have been worse, so I have no choice other than to go with it [and, cry frustrated tears when I feel like it]. Yes, I can move. No, it doesn’t feel good or right. So, after a couple rounds of headache producing, hip acheing, shoulder tightening, movement, I will be going to see the Chiropractor so I can work out all the kinks and settle into routine.
Maybe it wasn’t the training plan you expected. But, the last month has been a whirlwind, filled with some really great workouts and moments. 100 feels distant and training feels, well a little bit off right now. But, obstacles are rather small and I will bounce back and then the calendar will be strutured a little bit more. And, I can start checking off all the workouts that will lead up to 50k on a mountain that made me realize I should have never said, “it’s just 50k..” Until then, I’ll do what I can, until I can do more. No one said you couldn’t join the workout for post workout coffee and good company – now did they…?
PS – I have also spent endless hours searching for the next best 100, so if you have a recommendation, send it my way. XO. – C0