After a big training week last week of 91 miles(!), I had planned this week to be a nice recovery week including two days off and hopefully get my legs back. But plans quickly change when the sun comes out! I took Monday off, which was very enjoyable and my legs felt like they would bounce back quickly if I took it easy this week. Tuesday morning, Justin emailed and asked if I would be keen to get out on Cougar and I had had the same idea, as the sun was absolutely brilliant. We did a nice 10 miles, a bit faster than either of us had really intended in 1:26. I guess we just got talking and our feet just followed. It was great to run in short sleeves and it was great to have the company. That evening, I went up to SRC for the club run and was running with Alan who also ran Orcas and was thus keen to take it easy. About a mile + into the run, I said, "um, if this is recovery pace, then I am going to need to slow down", He said, "I was following your pace". I said, "me, I was following you!". We laughed and told the sizeable group of fast guys that they were going to have to carry on without us, we slowed to a much more manageable pace and had a nice 6 mile run/chat. Wednesday was another beautiful day and I couldn't resist heading out to Cougar for a little longer jaunt. I headed out on the loop Alison and I usually do and added De Lao (spelling?) Wall as well as Wilderness Peak which definitely was not really a recovery effort at all. I could tell my legs were tired and the hills were tough. But the sun was shining, I took my time and other than a minor 1 mile detour near the end, it was a great run. Thursday I rested, Friday I ran (literally) some errands, then ran to lunch with Tara and then home via the uberlong way, up and over Capitol Hill, down along Eastlake, around Lake Union, up through Fremont, down around Greenlake and home, phew. Saturday, I did a nice and easy 9 miles on the roads. I realized at that point that there was nothing very recovery about my week and my Sunday was not looking any better.
I decided to go up on Sunday to Chuckanut with Dan to preview the Chuckanut 50k course, middle 18 miles. Dan was kind enough to take me around for the hilly parts of the course, avoiding all but about 1 mile of the flat part that is the center of the love/hate relationship with this course. Ultimately we did about 20. My legs were absolutely with out juice. Nutritionally, I ran into the same digestive issues before the run, which I need to figure out STAT and thus was feeling a bit low on energy. My legs were just plain tired too, which is natural. Dan was very patient with me and I was happy to get out and enjoy the nice morning. We ran into Laura and her training partners up near fragrance lake and as we ran up Cleator Road it was like grand central station. Everyone was out checking out the course or getting ready. We had stashed my car at the top of Cleator as our aid station, we filled up, I tried a Honey Stinger which is one of my team Inov-8 sponsors. It was quite delicious and despite being sweet (though not any more than any other gel), I liked it. I have heard that sometimes if they are kept too long that the gels (as does honey) can harden and not be very gel like. In other words, they are like honey and therefore act like honey. Which to me is a good thing, as I really am not that comfortable taking things that have no relationship to anything natural. We ran up and along the ridgeline trail, then lost lake and finally up Chin Scraper. At that point we got to "enjoy" a bunch of downhill. Dan had been very patient with me on the uphill and I got to return the favor on the down and flats. I was very happy to be done and ready to be done. Dan drove me back up Cleator and I jumped in my car and headed back to Seattle. All in all, it was a great week although it was not as recovery as I had intended. I am very much looking forward to my day off tomorrow and my massage with Alison! A recovery week with 78 miles is great, not for the recovery part, but at least to know I can put back to back weeks together like that!