Monday, July 1, 2013

Not your ideal recovery week

I did not have an ideal recovery week after Bighorn 100.  Typically after an event, I will take a couple of weeks off, then start back in with daily slow runs, 3-4 miles in length at "recovery speed" or a speed that could likely be walked as fast as I "run" it.  But this time, because of the tendonitis in the tops of my feet, I didn't run at all.  For 10 days.  And my mood really suffered for it.  I also worked 40 hours the week after Bighorn, in three different clinic locations, so needless to say after that week I was pretty ready for a vacation.

I went to California for some sunshine and blue skies.  I got plenty of that.  The Western United States is in a heat wave right now, and even in the Eastern Sierra town of Bridgeport, California, the temps were in the low- to mid- nineties (which is better than in Salt Lake, where the temps were above 100).  My feet have still been bothering me (and mostly my right foot), so I did some shorter runs (4 miles) and hiked a lot of the uphill, saving the downhill for just comfortable running (nay, jogging) pace, but with the temps that high, it's hard to even want to run.

Yesterday, I kept thinking of my friends who were running Western States 100, where the temperature got up to 110 on Saturday, and my friend who stuck it out for a top-ten finish now says that he is crippled.  I joked with him that now he feels like I do after a 100-mile event.

Since it was so hot in Cali and Artie got injured on the first day (cut her foot) and also because I was just getting more and more grumpy, I decided to come home early.  My much-needed vacation did not turn out to be as relaxing as I wanted it to be.  It was hard for me to even enjoy the beautiful scenery around me.  I'd blame everything on the heat, but I'm afraid it's just my own doing as much as anything:  I'm still exhausted from Bighorn and just really in a funk.  I hate to use that term, but it seems a most fitting description of my mood right now.  When it affects others around me, it makes me feel even worse about myself.  Hopefully hanging out at home by myself the next couple of days will help me to get over my foul mood.

Here are some photos from my quick trip to California:  Day 1 is the hike/run up Virginia Creek with the dogs, followed by back yard surgery to stitch up Artie's foot (she handled it like a champ with no anesthetic), Vernon got a fish hook in his ear which needed to be removed, then we took walk on Main Street to look at the 4th of July decorations.  Day 2 is a visit to Bodie ghost town with dogs on leashes.  Day 3 is Buckeye Gulch/Canyon:  really beautiful, but hot, hot hot.  The first 3 miles I listened to the cicadas in the trees and hoped for something better.  Then I got to the big open meadow with a view of the Sierra Crest.  I was forced to turn around early because I found a herd of cattle across the trail and didn't want to deal with them.  It's ok, my foot probably wouldn't have allowed for much more mileage yesterday anyway.  I drove back to Salt Lake after my run, and temperatures in central Nevada got up to 108 on the car thermometer.

Day 1:  Virginia Creek ~

Sierra Columbine

Dogs enjoying a small snow field ~

Vernon's fish hook.  Not sure how that happened.
We were not fishing!
Artie's foot after surgery ~
Bridgeport Courthouse ~
Artie enjoying the buntings~
View from the house at Bridgeport ~
 Day 2:  Bodie ghost (mining) town ~

Picnic under the tailgate in the shade ~

Day 3:  Buckeye Gulch ~

After 3 miles, I was rewarded with this view ~
A field of wild irises ~
Stopped by a herd of cattle ~
The "Big Meadow" of Buckeye Gulch ~

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