The past two weeks have been the longest I've had to suffer in a while. Luckily there was some RnR in Vegas and work trips involved, but I think that probably extended my recover time a bit.
Two weeks ago I was still in racing mode and upping the ante a little for a 35k trail race in Woodside, CA. My body had a different opinion. It was still banged up from falling in transition at Santa Barbara, and my left leg probably wasn't firing on all cylinders. I knew my body wasn't all there, but wanted to attempt the distance as I have the North Face 50k in December as the next big event.
Race morning started normal, but fell apart from there. Driving to Woodside, a heavy fog descended on the road, and I ended up blowing by a cop. He was definitely going to come after me, but a nice exit was right up ahead! Dodging the ticket I figured was a good sign, but not my normal race morning. Next up, forgot my hydration belt at home. Had my bottles though, so I was running with them in my hands for three hours. Not too big of a deal. Race starts and stayed mellow, not pushing out the gate as I really didn't warm up much.
Not even a mile in, I'm trailing close behind someone because they slowed down and POP! Rolled an ankle on a rock. When it happened it didn't feel too bad, and after a few hundred yards I could put my stride back to normal so cool, I guess I dodged a bullet. Two miles later, bad feelings going to my feet and anything not flat felt bad. I git the three mile mark and stopped to talk to my boss who came to cheer me on (thank you:) and looked down at my ankle.
HOLY CRAP! She asked how I was doing and its the first time in a long time I've said "bad" during a race. First unplanned DNF. I was walking alright, but as I got home, and dragging myself to the store for ice, an eight of a mile, seemed like forever.
Two weeks of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are now over and I'm ready to get back to training, but taking that time off is good and bad. First off, your body isn't used to the forced break. Yes there are "off-seasons", but doing near nothing is excruciating! Didn't sleep very well for the first few days, and a lot of "pity" eating. In the log run, it was more than likely my body telling me to stop for a bit and recover after Ironman, and I think it was right. I am more than excited to get back to it now.
Lessons to remember
#1 Make sure you are alright before proceeding after a crash
#2 During trail runs, give enough room ahead of you to see the trail
#3 Don't half-ass things, if you are going to race, race. I should have asked the runner ahead to pass
#4 Take a realistic view of recovery
#5 Keep long term goals in mind when looking at short term