We ate our race snacks on the ride home, and showered when we got there. We were on the road to Ashland by 12:30 listening to a book on CD. Sadly, I cannot say we stretched, rolled, or had ice baths. All three of which are preferred ways to recover from a difficult work out. All three I know I need to do after every race, every hard work out, and every time I’m nursing an injury. Instead, I rushed myself and got in a car for 4 hours. Part of training is creating a schedule/system to follow. For any schedule/system to work, you have to take your speed of recovery into account. You also control your speed of recovery. If you run your hard training run then go mountain bike on trials through Bernheim Forest for hours, you haven’t adequately let your body recover to complete your next workout. Without recovery it is only a matter of time before you injure yourself. Recovery has two major components nutrition and physical. Nutrition has been written about eleventy-bazillion times at Runner’s World, Active.com, Running Times, and every running blog out there. I’ve read several of the articles, and I sum it up as eat soon after you run. I usually eat a banana, Greek yogurt with Chia seeds added, PBJ sandwich, apple, oranges, strawberries, protein bar, chocolate Zico, a slice of pizza or whatever is close at hand you can stomach. Physical recovery focuses on rest and gentle movement. I try to stretch, use foam rollers, use the stick, walk, cool bath or ice bath, and a shower. I try to keep my usual routine going for the day. I also try to not sit around or lay around, but I keep from doing strenuous activity. I have been known to do a late night recovery run around the block. A recovery run is a very light run that makes your body go through your natural running motions without the muscle stress of effort. I didn’t do any of this after Rodes.
We arrived in Ashland around 3:45. It is a river city like Louisville, so the roads near the river can be confusing. I had seen on satellite pictures through Google Maps that there was (what I thought) a park on the river’s edge near the bridges downtown. Because of the flood walls, we couldn’t see the direct route to the park. We also couldn’t find it on our GPS map. After a few wrong turns, we found The Port of Ashland parking lot/boat slip and took pictures. It will be our starting point. It is as close to the river/boundary as I can get safely. From there I will run up to 12th street and leave Ashland on US-60. Ashland was my first strong warning from my body that I was going to pay dearly for the car ride. We traveled taking pictures and notes following the planned route, then backtracking at times to find a better road. We arrived in Morehead around 5:45, and took Brookshire to dinner. After some good conversation and food, we continued on US-60 until we missed the turn onto 211 (I think). We didn’t realize our mistake until we had progressed too far to turn back. Good news, we have an alternate route by following US-60. We will continue to look at the route in the future.
When we stopped the last time, you could almost hear my back and ankle creak like rusty hinges. We were both tired and heading into cranky, so we headed back home on the interstate. This morning I awoke with a nice bit of congestion, coughing, and sneezing. That was just an annoyance to the achy stiffness in my ankle and back. It is the lesson. You get a lesson with every run and every race. Mine was “don’t skimp on your recovery routine.”