2016 started out great and stayed steady. In my 52nd year I completed 6 ultra marathons and had personal bests in 50 miles, 50k and 10k and ran over 2500 miles. I even got to the track meet once this summer and had the humbling experience of running a 400M. Definitely my worst event! Now I am training for a trail 100k in Feb. I love running. It’s the first thing in my life that I have found that I am good at and no lies, no bs, no politics and nobody can stop me from doing it. No one can say I didn’t do what i have done or try to undermine what I have been able to accomplish based on some sort of complex requirement or manipulate my results. So much of what we do is based on who you know or who you have paid favors to or how you say something or what kind of crap you can learn…true or not. Running is just running. I know it is under appreciated in our society because it does not provide financial reward and race entry fees add up plus travel expense for those few races I do out of state (although I am lucky to have been able to visit family too)…but the rewards are far greater than financial or any kind of accolades. I feel good. In fact I feel better than I have my entire life and I owe that to the profusion one gets during strenuous exercise. Feeling good translates into my personal life in so many ways and also reflects on my performance at work. It’s amazing how something so simple -perhaps because it is simple – can have such a profound effect. It is about as close to pure physical effort and one can get. Cautious and calculated yes, but in essence totally natural and free. When I am running relaxed I am dancing and when i am doing speed work i am making brief excursions of flight and when, after 28 miles i find myself on a hill my legs don’t cramp anymore, they get pumped and my confidence builds.
Here are some things I have done this year and since it was such a successful year with zero injury(!) i will continue these…and a big YMMV!:
- I like to drink a kale smoothie after every run (i use my own home grown kale when it is available about 9 months in the year). Water, vanilla greek yogurt, lots of kale, a banana or two, 1tbsp hemp oil, 1 tbsp flax oil all in the blender and blend for 2 minutes. Delicious!
- I do not take omeprazole anymore as i think it inhibits calcium absorption contributing to muscle fatigue and injury.
- No icing. I would ice if it were a wasp sting or something like that but never post run anymore. I think it inhibits our natural healing process and weakens bone. It can dull pain but also prevents profusion in areas that need it most.
- Epsom salt baths at least once per week. As hot as I can stand it with a bunch of epsom salts and some coconut oil dissolved in the bath water.
- Balanced training. Hills, intervals and long runs are all important. One thing I do not do a lot of is fast tempo work over 1 mile. I like to save that kind of effort for race day.
- Every day when I go out I always leave myself options depending how I feel and never force myself too hard when I am not feeling it. It’s amazing though, with this technique how seldom I need to bail on any kind of workout!
- I did very few doubles this year and think that helped me stay injury free as much as anything.
- Stretch during and after runs. I like to stop and stretch a lot during long runs and always do a 15 minute routine after and I run from home and almost never drive to where I run. Getting in a car post run without proper stretching is difficult and not good for me.
- Massage therapy and visits to the ART chiro as much as possible. This year I got 16 massages and probably as many visits to Dr Curt for ART & Graston and get my foot adjusted.
- I did cross training (lifting) in the gym for the first half of the year and none of that and just more miles of training in the second half. I have noticed little if any difference in performance. If any only short distance speed which has not been my focus lately but perhaps better performance on long runs. I also lost weight as my upper body muscles atrophied.