Two Down, Two To Go

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Sunday 15th November 2015: 22:10

So this time last week I was in deep, deep post-marathon recovery mode aka I was asleep. As I lept out of bed and stiffly lolloped around the bedroom, like a new-born gazelle, at 5:45am the following morning (because I forgot to turn my bloody alarm off) I wondered what the coming week would bring in terms of running and exercise in general.

Before I continue, these are the current facts that I have/had to contend with:

  • I am accepting of the concept that the usual recovery rate for a race is one day per mile. So, 26 miles should be 26 days until I am fully recovered from the race, which means I will be back to somewhere near my pre-marathon self on December 5th.
  • On November 22nd, I will be doing the Melbourne Colour Run – a 5K fun event on a very flat course.
  • On November 29th I will be running the Vertical K. A very steep 8KM trail run up a 1KM high mountain.
  • Both of these events occur before the end of a proper recovery period.
  • In my experience, the best way to recover from a race is to keep running, keep active.

The Week That Was, Post Marathon Week

So as well as playing around in the garden this week, doing some general maintenance and preparing our Hen House for some new Chickens, I have been doing some light running. Three runs to be exact.

On Wednesday I did an extremely easy run, just 3Ks at an easy pace with as little hill as I could manage.

On Friday I did a slightly longer 5.5K route along a well trodden circuit that I run here in Warrandyte. After a week of gardening, it felt good to do something close to my usual “very quick short run” distance and I enjoyed going up and down the slight hills leading to and from the Pound.

On Sunday I visited the Dandenong Ranges, the 1000 Step Kokoda Memorial Walk to be exact, and did a 7K trail run up and down slopes of Mt Dandenong. For those who don’t know, the 1000 steps exist as a memorial/taster of what Australian soldiers had to endure in 1942 when they walked the actual Kokoda track in PNG when fighting against the Japanese*.

*More info on Kokoda here

This is the route I ran:

1000steps

The weather was just fantastic and despite it only being a week since the madness and (occasionally) misery of Marysville it was nice to get back on the hills. My first ascent up the Kokoda steps was tough but I managed to run right up to the bit just before the steps, unfortunately the signs said ‘no running’ on the stairs so I power-walked my way up the 1000 steps as quickly as possible. As always, down is a lot easier than up and I really enjoyed the steep downhill bit which meant I had to engage my Fell running muscles to keep the pace over the steep stony ground.

The second up had a very similar maximum height but the path was a little less steep, saying that, it also made it a good half a K longer than the first. The tall shady gum tree forest is rather pleasant but I did have to walk half of the up as it got super steep. Still, I think I kept good pace. I did find myself suffering from switchback flashback nightmares on some of the more ‘switchbackie’ part of the track. I think it is going to take me a while to get over that second climb at Marysville.

What I found promising, was that despite the walking and some obvious complaining from my legs which required a degree of verbal encouragement from myself (yes I am THAT person who shouts at oneself, or ones limbs in this case), I was able to get back into a decent pace fairly easily at the top of the hills. 7Ks in just under an hour with two 400 meter high climbs a week after what is, and I imagine will be for quite some time, the toughest most insane run I have ever done… I think I did quite well. To use an Australian colloquialism, I think I am holdin’ up quite nicely.

This Week And For The Rest Of The Month

So with half the month of November gone, I am looking forward to some ‘middle distance’ figure running over the next couple of weeks – lots of 10K’s with plenty of hills. Not forgetting the two remaining races too, although I imagine this weeks 5K Colour Run will be more social than run.

Feedback

Right bloggerverse and readererse question time:

I know quite a few of you have finished runs of varying lengths over the last couple of weeks, how are you getting along? When’s your next race?

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