I guess there's something to be said for running a slow 100 miler after all.
When I woke up the morning after Viaduct, I braced for the usual shooting pains and stiffness in my legs, but to my surprise I felt nothing. Even after my 5 hour drive home, I was a little stiff, but let's face it, I'm not getting any younger and that stiffness would have been there regardless of any running done the day before. The truth was, I ran 100 miles on very little training and felt completely fine the day after. Forget all this "racing" stuff, I should run slowly all the time!
Normally I take a week off after a 100 miler to recover and relax, but this time I was itching to get back out there the next day. I took one day off after the race just because I felt like I should, but after that I got right back into my daily training schedule without any problems at all.
...and the best news of all, I was able to run 20 miles at a reasonable pace on the roads the last two nights without even the slightest twinge in my shin for the first time since February...and I didn't even ice it down after! This is a great sign for the next 6 weeks of training for the NorthCoast 24, which is entirely on asphalt. I'm already starting to iron out my pacing plan for those 24 hours...SLOW and STEADY will be the theme; I've learned my lesson.
As for the more immediate future, I'm super excited for my mountain races coming up in the next couple weeks. First up in the Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness 50 miler next weekend. Check out this fun elevation profile...I know I'll be looking forward to those last 9 miles....Weeeeee!!!
I'll be taking it out slowly again at Cheat Mountain to be sure I have a semi-full tank for the Massanutten 71 mile Ring the following weekend (which has a super-stacked field of MMT 100 studs showing up). I'm looking forward to enjoying both of these races exactly as I did the Viaduct 100. Keeping it slow and steady while getting in some solid training miles sounds perfect to me!
One last note: Good luck to all my friends running the Leadville 100 out in Colorado this weekend - Jamie Donaldson, Nick Pedatella, and my man Pete Stringer - he's gonna rock it at 68!! I'll get out there myself some day, but until then, I'll happily live vicariously through you all via the web updates!