Yesterday at the Charlottesville 10 miler I had a breakthrough race for 2012. Not because of any sort of brilliant or super speedy performance but because the race, being 10 miles of rolling pavement, is a challenging early season fitness test. One that doesn’t just qualify speed, endurance and racing smarts but also verifies recoverability- or at least it proved as that kind of race for me. After a three mile warm up in darkness to arrive at the race start before the 7:10am gun, I eventually finished the race in a time of 1:01:56 for 21st place overall while somehow also managing to come in first in my 35-39 age group. The finish also gave me a 10 mile road PR, though it was only my second attempt at the distance. All good things, I think, especially considering how damn hilly the course is. Though, again, I realize it was certainly not a brilliant or speedy performance. I got smoked by the fast road boys yet again. I always have and I always will at these kinds of events.
During March, I often felt like my volume and recovery were locked in a dueling tango and each day’s run felt sluggish, as if the kinks were never quite worked out from the previous day. With three months of mostly consistent running in the books for 2012, I feel like things finally clicked yesterday in terms of my volume and recovery reaching some sort of parallel. And so I was able to show up at the 10 miler, even with a big week of running under my belt and sore legs, and put together a hard effort with comfortable ease. Bingo! Like the promise of spring, recovery turnover has returned. The magic recipe of mixing equal parts volume with recovery is the ultimate truth in ultrarunning and racing success. It also happens to make training more fun because feeling good each new day, while getting in quality runs and improving is what we all strive to do . This is no secret. The only secret is how to unlock this truth within ourselves, each new season.