Despite my Tolstoy-esque race report, I do indeed have more thoughts about my Pisgah experience.
First of all, I'm a bit embarrassed I forgot to mention the race directors. They put on a great show. Everything about the race runs very smoothly and efficiently in a relaxed, low-key atmosphere. Perfect. The trails were very well marked, and I never went more than a minute or so without seeing a marker. The aid stations were placed perfectly, and the volunteers were terrific. The post-race barbecue, included in the very modest race fee, was also great. Just a well-run event all around. I highly recommend it, and I can't wait until next year.
My only complaint was the delay in posting the results. They didn't go up until Thursday following the race. I can see Monday or Tuesday, but Thursday is just too long.
Even with time to think about it, I'm still very pleased with my race, but, of course, I've already thought of ways I can go faster. The first that sticks out in my mind is my aid station urgency. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my first 50k was blowing through most of the aid stations. In this race, I did exactly the opposite. I took my time at each aid station. In fact, I took too much time. Conservatively, I estimate that I "wasted" 5 minutes in the aid stations. I didn't have that "get in, get out" mentality. I know that I can be quicker without sacrificing getting what I need. Again, I still have a lot to learn about ultras, but this is definitely an area I can improve upon.
Two weeks later, I'm still in recovery mode. Admittedly, I'm not feeling as good as I would like. The good news is that with no races on the immediate horizon, I don't have plans for any serious training until the beginning of November. I'm certainly not feeling bad, but I'm just not feeling fully recovered. I'm a touch tired and my legs have felt a bit sluggish on my runs. No spring in the step. I'd hoped to feel fine after these two weeks, but that's just not the case. Another very easy week is in order.
With that in mind, I'm not totally surprised. I need to keep reminding myself that I'm actually recovering from two races: Pisgah and the Bruiser, which was just a week prior. That's a pretty tough stretch for me. Additionally, I didn't really have the mileage base to bounce right back. My longest run in my training cycle for Pisgah was 17 miles, and I only had one week at 50 miles. That's not a lot. On top of all that, I also had a bit of a cold last week. Not a great recipe for recovery.
You know what does help recovery? The Church.