OK, I’ll admit it: my post-race activities weren’t necessarily the ideal choice for an ultrarunner.
To begin with, only a few hours after finishing I was meant to be squeezed into a train and shooting myself towards Paris, and then on to London to spend a week away with Jamie. This meant being organized and packed in advance (not a problem) and also remembering the train tickets (more of a problem – I remain forgetful about such things…). Add to this corralling a seven-year-old boy through the Paris metro system, through Eurostar customs, and finding him something to eat around the Gare de Nord that didn’t involve a kebab or fried chicken, and I was putting myself through a fair bit of mental stress. This is not ideal.
Also not ideal was walking around on some very tired legs. I would have preferred to rest and recoup, maybe a bath or a long shower with some stretching, but this was not to be. Instead it was stairs, train transfers, and long platforms dragging a heavy suitcase while Jamie “helped” by asking constant questions and managing to find every staircase to walk up or down instead of finding an escalater or elevator.
And somehow, I have managed to injure my knee slightly. It doesn’t really hurt to touch and it’s not a constant pain, but getting started walking or walking after a longer period sitting down means a bit of pain on the side of my right knee. I suspect this is from taking 116 right hand hairpîn turns on the Saint Fons course on Saturday and Sunday but, whatever the cause, it is a little painful right now.
I didn’t run today, preferring to sleep a little later (for the first time in two days I got any sleep, actually after running all night) and then do some shopping here in London with the folks. I don’t think I would have really been up to running all that much, anyway, but I might have a shakeout tomorrow just to see how I feel. Already the muscle aches are starting to subside a little and I think that the “motion is lotion” adage that has worked so well this season is one I’ll continue to endorse. It’ll be a short run if I do get out and it will be interesting to see how I manage the pain but I have another race in a few weeks time so I have to start thinking about how best to prepare for that one, and running on tired legs is probably going to be part of it.
Besides the tiredness, the lack of sleep, and the sore knee, though, I feel pretty damn good about what I did in Saint Fons. I executed according to plan, I didn’t go crazy, and I ran as well as I ever had. Since Christmas I had been working towards Saint Fons and now I get to transition to the next challenge – the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra – and the sleep deprivation that I am hoping to work through.
Both Saint Fons (for the longer effort and the management of a longer, post-100K ultra) and the Ultra Boucle (my first 24 hour race where I’ll dive into painful ascents and descents while getting more and more tired and deprived of sleep and rest) are preparation for the Ultratour du Leman later in the year. If I can take as much from the Ultra Boucle as I have from Saint Fons, I’ll be very happy with the start to the 2017 ultrarunning season.