Saturday, January 19, 2013

Patience Pays Off

After finishing TAR in September, I had to take my time recovering.  My knees suffered badly the last 3 stages of this year's route.  Although I finished, I had to tolerate a lot of pain to get the job done.  I was able to manage most issues by getting my knees taped, however I knew all to well that my recovery would look much different than the previous year I ran TAR.
Starting Line in Italy - Stage 8

My family and I spend an extra week in Northern Italy while my husband hired a guide with our friends from Canmore and did some via ferrata's for a few days.  I hung out with my son, Carter, during the day and we went to wellness spas, coffee shops and bakery's.  Not a bad trade off!  Then we proceeded to Canezi where we hiked up to Passo Pordoi at 10,000 feet.  Well, let me be honest here... my husband and Mike hiked from town centre.  Johnny, Carter and I drove up to Pordoi Pass and then we hike up to the top from there.  My husband and Mike ran all the way down to Canezi, which was actually part of the Sky Run Series.  John, Carter and I hiked part way down and then took a tram back to our car.  The ol' knees were still creaky!
The Boys in their Element


We did a family hike the next day for approx. 4hrs.  We actually did this route the year before and loved it so much we went back.  My knees held up but I could feel the stress on the downhills.

Once we got back home in Canada, I was feeling really fit.  I just finished running over 50hrs, 320km, 50,000 feet in 8 days.  Only, when I went to run all the muscles around my knees screamed for more rest.  It was actually pretty frustrating because I had envisioned maintaining my running endurance heading into the new year.  At the end of the day, however I knew if I tried to push it I would end up injured.  My mind felt better than my body and my worse fear was that I would start the new year off on the wrong 'foot' so to speak.  I wasn't going to let that happen.

So I adjusted my mind set and my training plan.  I ran 2-4x's per week.  Mostly trails and short sessions of 30-45min.  I only ran over 2hrs twice.  My 'long run' was approx. 1 to 1.5hrs.  I worked with Sarah Macleod, my TAR partner/friend, RMT at Wave Physio and David Urness, Chiro/ART, at Valleyview Chiropractice and massage.  Both Sarah and David were instrumental in helping me identify the issues with my knees and with my recovery.  I also did yoga at home and through the PUR Yoga Studio at Global Fitness Centre and used Udo's Oil everyday.

As the fitness director and fitness leader at Global Fitness Centre, I returned to teach my scheduled fall classes.  I teach a fun athletic step/tabata interval class on Mondays at 9:15am and a total body super-set strength class called Body Power on Tuesdays at 9:15am.  I also launched a 75min ski conditioning clinic Friday nights.  So the opportunity to cross-train, focus on strength and flexibility was my main goal.  As hard as it was to let go some of the miles, I did a pretty good job on keeping my fitness up and being patient for the new year.

I launched New Years with a family/friend ski weekend in Winthrop, WA.  And I have been out for some 2-3hr runs with ease.  Keeping the effort low but focusing on a steady pace and steady leg turnover.  I have had success in pushing some of my shorter tempo routes and returned to hill training with positive recovery.  My first race is Diez Vista 50k in April.  I would really like to run a steady race and feeling like I am able to push the finish.  I have no time expectation... I just want to pace the race well and finish strong.

I just launched the January Trail Running Clinic with my coaching business, P.A.C.E. Sports Fitness.  This helps keep me motivated.  My athletes inspire me everyday.  We do hill and interval training Wednesday nights and group long runs on Sundays.  It is great to workout in a group and it's fun to push one another in a friendly competitive environment.

I don't believe that we are meant to run long and hard all year round.  Eventually, the miles will catch up to you and leave you injured, sick, over trained or simply uninterested.  I am proud of myself for not getting too excited too soon after TAR last year and allowing myself time to heal.  I am now starting off my training healthy, strong and mentally looking forward to the season ahead.  I will continue to cross-train at the gym, yoga, Nordic ski, snowshoeing etc... until the end of May when I will make the switch over to running and training specifically for TAR 2013

Patience pays off...

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