I'm in rest and recovery mode right now, giving myself some time to recuperate from a few nagging injuries. This past summer, I rolled my left ankle a couple times and, while not painful enough to stop running, needs some time to rest. I also strained my left hamstring during the Big Sur Half Marathon, which had been more of a problem leading up to my first ultramarathon - PCTR's Woodside 50K on December 1st.
Leading up to Woodside I had to back off my running a bit, not an ideal situation leading up to ones' first ultra, but necessary if I wanted to run. I committed myself to taking at least two weeks off running after the race. So now, I'm a little over halfway through my self-imposed running hiatus.
It's not easy, but so far my hamstring feels pretty good. And so does my ankle. I really want to run, but a few more days will do me good in the long run and I feel it's worth it to complete the time off.
I have also taken this time to restart a strength training program I had been doing regularly during the summer and early fall, but had let fall by the wayside the last few months. I am very happy with that, because I feel that it helps me a lot in my running, especially the core strengthening aspect. The program is not too involved, and I do it at home. It involves only a little weight lifting, using only dumbbells and exercises like crunches, push-ups, and some balance exercises to help build the little muscles in the feet, legs and hips. I have so far skipped the balance exercises as I haven't wanted to push my legs, up until yesterday.
Yesterday, I went to a climbing gym in Santa Cruz as I just needed to do something else. I actually started out my workout on an elliptical trainer, and my left leg felt really good, so I ended up doing about an hour on it. That felt great - I got a good cardio workout in. Then I hit the weight room and did a variety of exercises, including some leg lifting. No problems or pain, which I am very happy about!! I finished off with about a half hour of climbing to get the upper body some work. Overall, I am really pleased with the whole workout, and I hope to continue doing that routine a couple times a month. Especially the elliptical, leg lifting and climbing routines. It will be good to mix it up, even when I'm back to running regularly.
I'm really itching to get back on the trails, running again. Only a few days left and I can get back to it. While difficult, I know the rest and recovery time will help my running in the future.
And, I have a race on my 2008 schedule: the Way Too Cool 50K on March 8th. My wife and I both got in and we are excited. This will be Lori's first ultramarathon, and unless I do a PCTR 50K between now and then (not likely, but I won't completely rule it out), it will be my second. I'm still trying to put together a race schedule for the rest of the year, as I want to do at least a 50 miler sometime to try to qualify for entry to Western States, and I would like to get a number of PCTR races planned too, as they have begun a race series for 2008 that would be fun to take part in. Hopefully, I'll get a good idea of what I want to do soon.