Sunday, October 9, 2011

What post race blues?

Leadman events didn't leave me tired.  Instead they energized me. I hate the post race blues.  That feeling I often get once a big goal has been accomplished and I am left with a ho hum mood. Seems so counter productive but it's there nonetheless.  Recovery from the summers adventure went really well.  I am pretty sure the addition of mountain biking has paid serious dividends. My body is much stronger and my power generation is better. I can climb better, I can accelerate better and I most certainly recover faster. The drawback, I am slower.

My lack of natural speed has been laid out countless times in this blog.  Any and all speed I have is earned the old fashioned way, hard work. I have to dial it in my training schedule week after week, monitor it, push myself and keep track. This year I had very little speed work, if any, in my schedule. I think there is only so much you can cram into a week. My body did it's fair share of adapting to mountain biking and adding speed sessions might have thrown me over the edge. The adaptions I am referring to include my back, my glutes, my shoulders and my hamstrings. All of the above were quite developed to run, do speed work, go long, climb and run technical trails, etc without injury. In fact, I have not been laid up with an injury since before The Grand Teton's 100M in 08 (I am currently knocking on wood and banging my body on it for good measure). This year, at times, I felt as if I was riding a fine line. My mid back has been so tight at times I swear my waist would shrink a whole inch. My medial glutes were always fired. Trying to get my legs to swing was challenging and just when I got it worked out, bam! another hard MTB ride. My shoulders and mostly my traps did not like the forward lean. Learning to drop them and relax is still hard. As for the hamstrings, well, let's just say I didn't have any. I have some now!  I must have spent hours upon hours on a foam roller. The pull portion of the pedal stroke forces those babies to work.

At times throughout the year I felt so slow and sluggish. Mostly after a measurable event when my time and effort were not what I remembered. I had this constant battle of desires. Not wanting to lose my speed but needing to make serious gains in another area raged a war in my head. I have pretty much mastered my emotional/logical action center. I am driven by both emotion and logic. I blame this on my up bringing.  Raised by 2 woman who couldn't have been more opposite in how they marched through their lives. My mom, the original bra burner of the 70's, free of almost all logical thinking, extremely loving and always emotional. She defined the free to be attitude, the who cares what others think, be your own woman kind of stuff. My grandmother, who couldn't have been more realistic, the penmanship scholar, the accountant, the stoic woman. She would always presented herself appropriately, never talk about issues and march on with the up most respect for herself and matter what.  I am pretty certain, after years of debate, that I carry both these fine woman's ideas.  The issue......conflict.....the gift....conflict.

So choosing the more logical/practical notion that something has to give. So get on with it.  I guess I would have a good Fall project, speed work. When I got home I had nothing on the books with regards to workouts. I immediately found myself becoming a race registration slore (bad word I know). My friends were sick of me emailing them trying to coheres them into to joining me. I even signed Bill up for a 1/2 while he was out of town. Anything I could do that was short and would force me to run fast, due to pride, I was all in. I got into Todd's Portland Trail Series, I ran the Wildwood 10K and signed up for the Forest Park Marathon. To enhance my drive to run faster I threw my name in for Javelina 100M in November and thanks to Susan's fast fingers got into Umstead 100M in March. Both these 100's are flat courses so I will need to find my legs. In between the 100's I am going to ride the Old Pueblo 24Hr Solo again. I got a single speed MTB and am anxious to ride it in a race. I'm not sure if I will ride OP on my single speed or go geared. The guy riding single speed at Leadville made it look so easy! It's not!

After the first couple of Portland Trail Series events I found I wasn't as slow as I thought. It also reminded me that I am a mental basket case. I can decide I am slow and be slow. Then I can be put into an environment where I should run fast and I can. Of course, this is all relative. I am pretty excited to incorporate speed sessions back in my training.

Speaking of training. This will be the first time I have not had a coach in 7 years! I think I am going to do my own schedule. The issue, I am not so good at holding myself accountable. I am sure I can blame that on my childhood too, ha, ha, ha. I am going to give it a go and see if I can create some alter ego to hold me accountable.


  1. Ronda,

    I think it's awesome that you are changing things up and going for the speed now! And, I am coaching myself this year and it has been a nice change as well. Looking forward to hearing about Javelina!

  2. You can do your own schedule, and it is actually fun! I know about natural speed (or lack thereof), and that's my goal for the next few months. I had to sign up for a marathon to keep myself occupied on track:) Best of luck and hard work!

  3. No need to create an alter ego to hold you accountable....just get me your schedule. The General will keep you in line :-O

  4. With all the biking you have done, I think you will be faster and stronger than before. Your muscles are more balanced which will enable you to achieve greater things with fewer injuries, along with some focused training. Looking forward to seeing the new faster you!

    Thanks for sharing some of your family traits. We all can relate. Good or bad, we get traits from all sides. We usually only like to ID the good stuff! I like to view it like diversity in which a little of each trait makes me stronger overall vise getting only one.

    Speedwork and tempo runs - Bring it!

  5. Speed comes and goes quickly -- no need to worry! Get thee to the track...