I wasn’t sure how I would feel this week after running my first Ultra on October 8. Would my legs be hammered? Would my body be jello? I had no idea, and was terrified of the prospect of going to Moab alone and not knowing if my body would fail me hours after I completed the run. I knew I could run the race; it was the “after” that scared me.
I needn’t have worried. After the race I popped 2 huge blisters that had formed on the sides of each big toe. The arches of my feet were a little swollen and my legs were tired, but that was about it. After sitting in a booth for an hour at the Moab Brewery my left hip flexor got tight, and I limped to the bathroom. That night I stretched out on my sleeping bag inside my tent, out of the desert wind, before crawling into the warmth of the bag and snoozing for 12 hours.
The next morning I got up, packed my gear and drove home. My legs were a little sore, but mostly it felt like I had just run a 2-hour trail run in the foothills of Boulder. No big deal. The 6.5 hour drive home wasn’t bad, and by Monday I was ready to run again.
I gave myself another rest day and hit the Bobolink trail Tuesday morning for a little shakeout to see how the muscles were firing. All was well and during my 60 minute run I hit an easy 9:10/mile pace.
I returned to the streets Thursday morning for a quick 5k run around the neighborhood. The 8:23/mile pace felt speedy compared to anything I’ve done recently, and left me itching to incorporate more speed into my workouts.
Friday morning I ran with a few other local runners (Dave, Leo and Joanna) at the Boulder Reservoir. I wanted to run longer than they were going to run, so I arrived a few minutes before 6am and took my headlamp for a little 4-mile spin around the Res. I met up with the rest of the group at 6:30 and we pulled in another 6 miles, for a total of 10 miles in 90 minutes.
Saturday morning I met at the girls at Mesa Trailhead in Eldo Canyon for our weekly trail run. I hooked in with 4 other women and we powered up Big Bluestem on our way to South Fork. We extended a bit past North Fork and then backtracked and did the North Fork/ South Fork butt-kicking loop, before lollipopping back to the Mesa Trailhead for a total of 8 miles in 90 minutes.
I’m surprised by the fact that I’m actually fine. I lost a few pounds between Friday (pre-race) and Tuesday, when my appetite finally kicked in again, but I’ve regained the weight and all muscles seem to be working.
People keep asking me “what’s next?” I don’t have another race on the books. It feels good to have accomplished the Ultra, and I absolutely want to do another one, but I’m really happy to not have something on the calendar. Right now, I just want to run for the enjoyment of it.