The first time I ran an ultramarathon I ran for seven hours and took a week off afterwards. On the weekend I ran for a little more than 25 hours and now – three days later – I’m back on my feet and running again. I guess that the longer you run in this crazy sport the better and faster your recovery is.
Not that I went out and got crazy this morning. Not only was it my first run back after the Ultratour du Leman but I’m also only 10 days out from the Run in Lyon Marathon and a likely shot at my idea of an Ultrarun in Lyon. If I was in real marathon training I would be in a taper but I’m not. I’m between races and so in the next few days I’ll be trying to keep my legs turning over but not pushing hard at all. There’s not a lot of fitness to be gained in the next ten days that I haven’t already managed to win the ten months leading up to today. Easy does it, not too long, not too fast – these are my mantas.
After rolling out of bed early once again I pulled on the running clothes and headed downstairs to the Place des Jacobins to get started. I had a route in mind, a simple loop around the Saone and the Rhone and totaling all of five kilometers. As I said, nothing too stressful, nothing too long.
I headed straight down to the Saone, crossed over the footbridge, and then turned to the right to follow the river up towards Valmy. I wasn’t going to go all the way, just about a kilometer or so down to the footbridge that would take me back across the river to the base of the Croix Rousse colline. Weaving back downriver again, I made it to the turn for the Place des Terreaux and, well, turned.
Crossing Terreaux in the early morning is always a little bit of an eye opener. Between the students coming down from the party the night before, the homeless sleeping or trying to sleep under the eaves of the restaurants and bars, the street sweepers out in force before the tourists wake up, and the occasional youngster making a ‘walk of shame’ home through the city center square, it pays to keep your eyes open for safety’s sake. This morning, though, I had no problems and crossed the square, passed behind the Town Hall to the Opera House, and then kept my footing on the slick stone up to the main road. A quick cross across the Pont Morand, a drop down onto the berges, and I was tracing the Rhone down river for the next few minutes.
When I got to the bridge that would take me back across the Rhone to the Place des Jaocbins, I pulled up onto the street level again, made the crossing, and smoothly passed over the Place de Republique to find my way back to the start of my loop. As I watched the Garmin roll over from 4.9 to 5.0 kilometers, I pressed stop, saved the run, and walked back to the apartment satsified with my first run back after the Ultratour du Leman.
The post ultra recovery is officially over.