Thankfully, the level of soreness following a race isn't directly correlated to the distance run. Granted, you're probably going to be worse for the wear after a marathon than after a 5K, but beyond that, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference. In other words, running a 50 miler doesn't leave you twice as sore as a marathon (thank God). In fact, although my legs, and calves especially, were mighty beat up after Lean Horse, it wasn't as bad as Boston or even the Deadwood-Mickelson Half, which both beat my quads into a bloody pulp. So, although my pace was noticeably slower, I was able to get some running done to begin the road to recovery this week:
Monday - Rest. Duh. My policy is that if I can't walk without a hitch in my giddyup, than it's probably too early to start running.
Tuesday - Rest again. I debated running since I generally only take two days off after a marathon and this was day 3 since Lean Horse, but I figured almost twice the distance warranted at least one more day. Plus my calves were still really knotty.
Wednesday - 4 extremely slow miles. Interestingly, my right calf had been the one with the biggest knot and the most sore after Lean Horse, which makes sense because it was cramping the most, but it was my left calf that was most noticeably sore during the run. I also played basketball in the afternoon, which probably isn't the smartest thing I've ever done. Jumping was difficult and running up and down the court I only had two gears: not moving and moving slowly. When my brain said "go", my legs said "no". It wasn't pretty.
Thursday - Rest. I maybe overdid it with the basketball the day before.
Friday - 5 miles. A little faster pace than Wednesday (as in 3 seconds per mile faster). Played basketball again and suddenly my legs felt much better and I actually had some energy, although that damn knot in my left calf was still very noticeable.
Saturday - 6 miles. A little faster yet, but still slower than my slowest normal recovery pace.
Sunday - 7 miles. I finally break 9:00 avg. pace, cranking this run out at an avg. pace of 8:58. To put that in perspective, my normal recovery pace is right around 9:00 and I usually have to forcibly slow myself down to achieve that. On this run, I was pushing the pace (at a "screaming fast" 8:30 pace....my normal easy pace) for the last two miles to get my avg. under 9:00. Still have that damn knot.
Total - 22 miles
I'll try to bump the mileage up into the 30s this week. I have still have no schedule down on paper, I'm just making this stuff up as I go along. I've got the Sundance Trail 10K coming up on Sept. 26th, so I hope to get some trail and hill running done before then, because that race has both (including one particularly formidable climb affectionately referred to as "bitch pitch"). A run up Crow Peak would satisfy both of those goals, but my legs need to bounce back a little more before I attempt that. Hopefully by this weekend, but we'll see.
Football season is upon us, which means that besides reading senseless crap about running you'll soon get a heavy dose of senseless crap about the Seahawks, Grizzlies and Broncs (as in Seattle, Montana and Belle Fourche). I had my fantasy draft last night, which has got me all pumped up for the NFL season to start. I ended up with Adrian Peterson at RB, which is good, but I also made a "from the heart" pick and took T.J. Houshmandzadeh (the Seahawks WR) over Anquan Boldin, so we'll see how that works out. I did get Shannon's favorite player, Ben Roethlisberger, at QB so for once she might actually give a damn about my fantasy team (the Black Hills Buzzards). The Seahawks' first game isn't until Sept. 13th, but Montana and Belle both open their seasons this weekend. The 3rd ranked Griz will get an easy win over Western St.; the Bronc game against Douglas, WY might be more interesting as they try to replace their stud QB/Safety who graduated last year. But, they do return the best running back in western South Dakota and a couple of good receivers, so the cupboard isn't totally bare. Go Griz and Broncs!