Friday, July 9, 2010

Dog Days...

Our Aussie Jack, who hasn't had much trail time because of the heat...and mom being a slacker.

I don't know if it's the heat we've been having, or just the fact that I am out of my routine of going to work, coaching, and kid schlepping...but I have been feeling flat and not very motivated to train lately. After my heat-induced implosion at Highland Sky, I took a few easy weeks in the hopes of getting my mojo back. Reading other blog posts about over training and burnout, especially Gary Robbins and his subsequent redemption run at WS100, have been really inspiring and given me some food for thought about training, rest, and recovery.

It has been 8 years since my first ultra, and after looking up my ultra results on, I saw that I have finished 40+ ultras since 2002, averaging 4-5 ultras per year (and that doesn't count the fat ass 50Ks I do each year). The fall of 2009 was one of my better training cycles as I had course PRs for 5k, 50K and 100K in the span of 2 months, all after running Grindstone 100! I really didn't take an extended break from running over the winter (despite my best intentions---but I just LOVE running in snow)---so, it makes sense that my fitness has been on a plateau for the last six months. After talking with inov-8 teammate Sean Andrish last week, we both concluded that despite having strong racing seasons in 2009, we find ourselves in a bit of a fitness lull in the midst of 2010. I think this is the body's way of re-setting after a stressful training and racing cycle and the best thing to do is rest, recover, and rejuvenate.

Four months from now I will toe the line at my fourth Mountain Masochist 50...but today and for the rest of the month I am starting a new training plan that will incorporate easy miles, lots of rest and recovery, healthy eating, and plenty of family time. We are going to the beach at the end of the month and after that I plan to dive into my MMTR training with a full heart and much eagerness to find another level of my fitness. Since this "re-setting" of my training is new to me---I am used to being able to run, recover, repeat with no issues--I plan to report more often on the blog just in case my experience can be helpful to someone else. And, I would love to hear from folks who have gone through their own training "lulls", "plateaus", "funks" or whatever you want to call it...please comment away!

Finally, a big shout out to my Hardrock 100 friends, running in the San Juans for the next 48 hours...Bur, Dobies, Kurisky, Deb, just to name a few...and to Alisa "Make Mine Extra HOT" Springman who is starting her third Badwater 135 on Monday. Wooo-hooo peeps! Have great adventures out there!


Rick Gray said...

Rest and relax. Enjoy a bit of downtime. Will we get to see another picture of the family hiking up a sand dune? Enjoy!

run4daysbill said...

Glad you are chillin' some. Smart play for you. All competitors need an off-season. And it has to start in the head. Glad you are being wise about this, buddy.

Side note: I started mine in 2003 after 4 years of 100-mile DNFs. From a competitive standpoint, one could argue that I'm still in it. :-)

ultrarunnergirl said...

Kudos to you for taking a little break. You have definitely been training hard in the On Season! Interestingly, last year when I ran a 10K after years out of road racing, it rejuvenated my running as well.

Andy said...

Please bring Jack with you when you come to Cincy. All dogs are welcome! If possible, leave on Wednesday so we can do the Thanksgiving Day Race on Thursday AM

Sabrina Moran said...

You are great. I can't believe you enjoy running in the cold! Hope your training for Masochist goes well!

Olga said...

Sophie, dear. Between this post of yours and the comment you left to Ronda, and my chat with my hubby just minutes ago, where I cried out that I am afarid...all makes perfect sense. Burnt out is no fun, and it would be wiser to recognize it ahead of time and take precautious break, instead of one that brings so much blah and flatness. But it's here. And it's experienced by many. And the passion still stays alive...and that's the important thing:) Thank you.