The taking 2 weeks off post race thing I've been doing the past 2 races I probably won't do again either. I definitely believe in taking it easy and letting the body heal which takes a long time, but not running at all for 2 weeks has really just kept me stiff and heavy I think. Very short shakeout runs are the trick I think.
About 4-5 weeks after Buffalo I was still feeling heavy and slow while running. More than I thought I should. I did a mild speed workout and it just felt way harder than it should have. At the end of that week I ran a local 5k and to my surprise, felt great! Felt fast and light, won on a somewhat tight turn course with a 20:09, and then ran 15 more miles total before and after awards each having a tempo, each feeling great!
The following week I headed up to Park City to run with friends Pete and Jen and new friend Dom, and man did I bonk. Or something. My lungs felt tired the entire time and my heart rate went up so quickly all the time. A very rough 18 miles. Maybe heat, possibly altitude, who knows.
I was signed up to run a local trail 10k a few days later and was pretty nervous surprisingly. Yes it doesn't involve nutrition and gear packing and night running and such, but racing a 10k on hilly trail was going to hurt. Sure I could take it easy (not sure I know how to race easy actually) but this was a great chance to get another tempo run in. The race was tough but I'm happy with how I felt and did. Was fun to run trails so fast again. Pulled off another win which was good for the confidence.
While trying to do some shorter, faster running to give myself some time off from the long ultra stuff before Wasatch training commences, my husband got me into trouble. He's been skiing this year and living in Utah you probably think it's funny I don't. I Nordic/skate ski somewhat, but I've never wanted to downhill alpine ski or snowboard. I borrowed a set of skis and skins from a friend though, and off the husband and I went on a ski touring date. I love it! Such a great combination of hiking/snowshoeing to see what you want on the way up, going up on your own power, followed by downhill that didn't freak me out too bad and left me with both ACL's. The slushier spring snow was good to learn on. It was great to discover another activity that we're evenly matched in since we don't run together. I definitely see more of this in my future!
So my next stop is the Ogden Marathon on Saturday. I last ran it 6 years ago and ran a 3:34 or so and bonked hard hard hard the last 6 miles. I've had several successful speed work sessions in the last few weeks including a set of Yasso 10x 800's at the same pace I did in 2013 before my PR marathon. The workout felt harder than it did then, but doable. My PR from TriStates Marathon Dec 2013 is 3:10. I was in great shape, ran hard and gutsy and am very happy with it. I do think that Ogden is a faster course so I'm curious to see what I can do. I don't feel like I'm in as fast a shape as the last marathon, but I'm strong. Feeling good and looking forward to it. I'd like to be under 3:19 for sure and am going to try hard for a 3:0something.