The Week After Superior 50k
It's Monday and I'm going to post this thing. My training has shifted to BWCA training. There is a bit more upper body strength training happening now as paddling and portaging requires more upper body strength than running does.
I'm going to start this with what has happened so far Saturday, May 25, one week after Superior 50k. It's 10:28am and I've already gotten a workout in and had a protein smoothie. I don't report that because I'm embarrassed about what you're about to read. I point it out because I feel good about at least the decisions I've made this morning toward my next event. It's one choice at a time and I've made an overlying decision to prepare for what's next. If I make choices that get me further from that sometimes, I'm okay with it. I look forward to the next play, the next opportunity to choose and don't get too caught up in the past. It was a great week!
I’ve written quite a few race recaps/reviews over the years. This one has me writing about the week after. The trip we took to the north shore on May 17 and 18, 2019 was a quick one. We were in Lutsen for under 19 hours so it kind of felt like Superior Spring 2019 was just another thing in the rhythm of an already busy season. That’s okay though because there are few things in this world that can fill one’s soul like Superior. It’s the course, the history, the energy and most of all, the people.
That’s not what this is about though. This is about recovering from an event like Superior knowing that the whole season is one giant event and each event is really just a training run with a finish line and an official time and, most often, a medal and a t shirt. So, there are a few more perks than just improvement and season training. There are more people too I suppose. I’m not sure of the exact numbers this year but it was probably 500+ in all three events together.
Let’s try this again… it’s not about the event, it’s about the days that follow the event. We finished up on Saturday afternoon, headed back to the lodge for a shower and a Coke and we headed home. My brother Jesse (12.5k finisher), Son Caden (12.5k finisher) and I loaded up and headed home. I guess it’s not surprising that we were hungry. Just getting to Lutsen was an adventure in itself with a smoking engine in Two Harbors on the way up. Kip at the auto shop said it was nothing to worry about, so we headed up 61.
I’ve eaten really good after events and was probably better off for it. I did have a protein smoothie after the Coke this time so that was good. I’ve also let myself go for a few days and pretty much eaten whatever I wanted and didn’t eat much, if at all, when “in training”. Sometimes it feels really good to eat really good and sometimes I just let it go. We stopped at Hardee’s in Hinckley on the way back down 35 and I had a monster roast beef, large curly fries and large Diet Coke. This is one of those times I’d let it go for a couple days. Multiple donut feedings. There was ice cream involved, lots of chips (many varieties) and more! From Tuesday on there has been less sugar. Now it’s turned to PB and J and still chips.
There’s also a physical recovery that takes place. I’ve done this a few different ways too. Sometimes I’ve gone out and run a dozen miles the next day. In fact, in 2014 I did a half marathon the evening before the Voyageur 50 mile and finished under the cut. In the ultra-community that’s not super unusual, at least not for some of us.
During my training I try to visit the chiropractor a couple times per week, especially during high volume periods. I’ve learned that taking a few days before going to the chiro after an event is a good idea. I feel it gives my body a chance to regulate itself and it takes some time for any more chronic aches and pains to reveal themselves. I didn’t go to the chiro until Thursday. I did, however stretch and foam roll Tuesday. Nothing real crazy, just a quick full lower roll and full light stretching routine.
It’s Thursday now, and a holiday weekend approaches. I look forward to spending time with family and I’ll work a couple of hours tomorrow where I’ll be on my feet for a few hours. Today I went on a short jog/walk and the feeling of the SHT is still with me. Running Superior requires a different gait. For me, it’s a little wider and more from the hips, especially when there's mud. My feet need to be free to avoid roots, rocks and mud. That gait was with me today and for that I am grateful. The first couple runs after an event are always reflective for me. I think about the trail, what I learned from the experience, what I overcame (physically and mentally) and how my body is feeling now beginning again training for next.
I felt great today. Tomorrow is another day and I’m looking forward to it. We’ll be traveling to the BWCA in a few weeks and that will require a little bit different type of training. More strength.