Steph Treated Herself to 4th at CCC UTMB
ICYMI Stephanie Violett placed 4th at CCC 2019 a few days ago! Her first race back, she entered the 101km trail race as a treat to herself after a tough spring and summer recovering from Achilles surgery. We love seeing Steph back in her element and she was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her time playing in the Alps to talk about the race and how she returned to doing what she loves. Read on and be inspired by one of our favorite Athletes for Yoga!
Okay, let's backup. When did you start running again? Tell us a bit about that journey.
I had achilles surgery on April 28th in Sweden for an issue I'd had dealt with for over a year. It was a huge relief to finally put this behind me, and not be in pain on a daily basis. Running, or any form of activity, took a huge back burner, and I wrote off racing for 2019.
Slowly but surely I healed, and much quicker than I had expected. I started "jogging" at the end of June, but it was sporadic and I had some good and bad days. The thing about ultra running is that just being out on trails and hiking is good training. I really love being outside, and hiking with my pups was very enjoyable. So you could say my head was in a good place. I started running/hiking more when I got over to Europe mid-July and it just took off from there.
How did you go from jogging in June to CCC in August?
I was registered for UTMB, and I knew that wasn't going to be in the cards this year (171 km). I had casually mentioned to my coach about racing one of the shorter races — OCC (54km) or CCC (101km) — and he agreed that MAAAAAYBE if everything went well I could think about it. Around August 5th we decided I was healthy enough and had enough running to do a race. Of course he meant OCC, but I had a bigger goal in mind. At this race you can't really switch last minute, which I totally respect. I had l'apertif with the race directors, explained my situation, and they agreed to let me decide a week before the race. Fast forward to race week, and my coach agreed that CCC was a "less terrible idea" than UTMB, so I decided to give it a shot.
You said the day before it was a "treat". It’s truly your happy place. How did it feel to line up at a race again?
It was such a treat! I didn't go into CCC thinking about racing. I went in with so much gratitude that I could be on the start line and treat myself to a long day in the mountains. I absolutely love spending my whole day in the Alps, and 101km of this seemed a great reward after a tough spring/summer. I know my body and how to pace myself to enjoy that long of a run. So I was really looking forward to it.
You got 4th! Was that in the realm of expected?
Yeah what a nice bonus! I just had a really great day. I had a smile on my face the whole day and absolutely enjoyed every step. Honestly. I know we sometimes say that after the fact, but CCC was just a fun day for me. I wasn't really in a competitive mindset (I couldn't be — not ready for that), so I just ran and didn't place any expectations on myself. I was able to enjoy things that normally get lost during a race mindset. The last climb of the course there was a beautiful sunset and I saw 2 ibex. It made my day and I kept thinking "How cool is this?!"
What are some ways Jasyoga helped you in your return to running and racing?
I started treating my body with love when I added running back in. I was a little nervous about how things would feel, so I used Jasyoga to take care of the little things. I did a lot of the 5-Minute Resets every day — particularly the feet and calves. They really helped me pay more attention to these areas and give them some extra attention.
Haha. Not a race! I'm really just enjoying feeling good right now. I wasn't too beat up after the race so I'm getting some last hike/runs in the Alps before I come back Stateside. Our bodies are so amazing, and I'm giving it some good recovery time before I plan my next adventure!