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Recovery

People keep reminding me that recovery and rest are part of training. I consistently have a hard time with this concept, despite the fact that I’ve experienced the negative impact of not listening to my body and allowing it to heal, rest and recover.

This last week and a half however I’ve had no choice. 26.2 miles will do that to you I guess. Today I finally went out for a run. Yes, I had gone out for a jog the Tuesday after the race and then again earlier this week, but in both cases, my run was slow and deliberate. My legs would only do so much and that was it. Any harder and my quads would have taken me back to mile 20. I started to have doubts as to whether I could actually run a decent race at this Sunday’s Chilly Half Marathon. I began rationalizing my race results, almost assuming that my original idea of trying to threaten a sub 1:35:00 was out of the question.

So I rested…until today.

And today’s run was sweet. Yes, it was only 5 miles. Yes, I was originally planning to plod along again today. And yes , the first mile was a pokey 8:45. But the moment I started mile 2, something in me revved up. The engine wanted to be let loose.

You see, over the last year I’ve discovered that when I don’t run I get antsy and cranky and grumpy. I start walking around in circles, bumping into walls, just not sure what to do with myself. I think that’s why recovery is so hard for me. I like the drug that is the runner’s high. It’s clean; it’s pleasant and when you’re down from your high, you still feel good. I needed a fix!

So I loosened up the throttle and let the engine rip. By the end of mile 2 I was feeling it. I ran completely oblivious to any pain for the next two miles and then coasted the last mile, riding the remnants of the wave. I never know how long the runner’s highs will last so I milk them for all they’ve got. I ran the last 4 miles of my run in under 28 minutes and the last 3 in 20:20. I haven’t run that fast outdoors for that long since high school, and back then I hated it!

My point is that if I hadn’t taken it easy the last week and a half, I probably would not have had this sweet, sweet run this morning. I’d probably still be trudging along, pulling at my quads and looking at this weekend’s race as a task. I still may crash and burn. A lot can happen in 13.1 miles, but at least my attitude now is that I am gonna try to crush it.

Recovery I guess, as everyone keeps telling me, is a good thing. Now I just hope I can apply the lessons I learned at Manchester and put in a smart race.

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