I need to chill.
It’s only been two weeks since my last 100 miler (MMT100) and I’m already chomping at the bit to get back into my normal training routine. My legs felt decent after only three or four days and they were borderline fresh after 10. I’m starting to get mentally anxious that I need to start running more. It’s not that I feel like my fitness is deteriorating. Nor is it that I’m so worried about Eastern States that I feel I need to up my game (though in all honesty, I probably should be feeling this way). I don’t feel guilty for sleeping in an extra hour each day. I’m enjoying not spending five hours every Saturday morning dragging myself around the local trails.
Everything is just really, really good. But it’s like I have this unreachable itch needs to be scratched. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized what it was – a habit. I’ve been running consistently for a number of years, however it wasn’t until earlier this year that I got into a groove of knocking out 5 or more hour plus runs each week. There were even a couple periods where I went a full week without any rest days. I thought I was only conditioning my body to handle the extra miles, but apparently I was conditioning my mind as well. And everything worked out as it was good and sustainable.
But what’s good and sustainable during a training cycle isn’t necessarily good and sustainable during recovery from running 100 miles. If I tried to jump right back into my habitual training miles, I’m sure to get burned out physically at some point over the next couple months. This has happened to some degree in each of the past 2 years. I thought I was taking enough rest after races, however late summer or early fall would find me with dead legs. Instead of a couple weeks rest to get the bounce back in my step, it would take over a month of easy running. I’m not going to let that happen again this year.
So I’m just gonna chill. I figure one more down week at 25 miles and then I can start cranking the mileage back up a bit. Hopefully I can find the balance between maintaining my fitness and completely thrashing my body. I mean, it’s bound to happen at some point. Right?