Over the past few weeks, since running Eugene, I’ve really enjoyed the whole “not training” thing. Not only has it been a mental reprieve, but it’s been a necessary physical one as well. I wouldn’t say that I’ve exactly taken it super easy since crossing the Eugene finish line, but I definitely haven’t been approaching my runs and my workouts with the same sort of energy and effort as I normally would.
I’ve actually only done one running workout since Eugene (5 x 800- a fave), and the majority of my runs have been done without my Garmin and relatively slow. It’s been lovely, and while I don’t really want to break this stress-free cycle too quickly, there is the matter of the two ultra relays I’m running in a little over a month and a half.
So, how does one “not train” but still ensure they don’t die while running over 30 miles in a 24 hour period?
Well, that’s the answer I’m currently trying to figure out. I started this weekend, and I’m realizing that my whole “not training” method is going to need to exclude the weekends—as this is when the real work will comfortably be able to get done.
So I guess you can call me a weekend warrior: focusing on Ragnar and Spokane to Sandpoint on the weekends and carelessly choosing to run or not run during the weeks. If you know me, you know 9.9 times out of 10, I’ll choose to run anyway, but it’s the mentality of it that will ultimately save me from curling up in a corner and crying.
So here’s how my first weekend of pretending to know what I’m doing went:
Saturday: 16 miles in ~2:10
Basically, the first 5 miles felt awful, the next 8 felt great, and the final 3 were a mix of awesome and relief and “oh my god how I did I run 10 more miles than this just three weeks ago?”
My right leg got all tight again like it did in Eugene, and I think the root of it is coming from my piriformis. It’s not painful at all, just annoying. Like my leg is only functioning 90%. When I rolled it afterward, it was pretty clear that there was something resembling a large rock inside my glute. A lot of stretching and rolling later, it was good as new. I suppose it’s just a not-so-friendly reminder to keep up the stretching.
Sunday: Climbed Mt. Si with BF, 8 miles round-trip 3,000+ ft elevation gain
Okay, this wasn’t actual “planned” training, but I figured getting my calves on some steep uphill and my quads on some rough downhill couldn’t hurt. Well actually, it did hurt, but in a good, constructive training kind of way. I loved keeping the impact low while getting in some good ascent and descent work, and doing it amongst the beautiful Cascade range kept it scenic and enjoyable.
I finished off the day with 75 minutes of yoga. Once again, it took all my willpower to get myself there, and once again…I was so glad I went. We did pigeon AND lizard (both hip/glute/quad openers) and they happen to be my two favorite poses. I like to think this was the universe rewarding me for my yogi discipline.
So there you have it. Pretending to train turned out to be pretty productive: 24 miles, lots of elevation changes, and over an hour of stretching after it all.
I think this week I’ll attempt a double run day, but otherwise I’m planning to leave my structured relay prep for the weekends.
Ultimately, the goal is to finish all my legs and not get hurt in the process. If I can do those two things, I’ll be a happy camper once all this is said and done.
How was your weekend? Training? Relaxing? Hiking? Let’s here it!
POST SCRIPT: If you are a member, or even if you aren’t I suppose, go to the REI Anniversary sale before May 27! Members get 20% off a full-priced item, and there’s tons of stuff on sale. I mean…um…I totally didn’t spend my money on unnecessary running gear this weekend.