I have been told repeatedly – and tell others repeatedly – that recovery is part of training. Rest is absolutely necessary to optimal performance.
Ever have the best advice that you don’t take? Or take and way overdo?
I have. I did. I have had an insane workload for the last year or so, but thought I could push through and still perform on the road with the same intensity as I had in the past. My training suffered, and more importantely, my sleep suffered. My the time I crossed the finish line at my last marathon, I was finished. The tank felt empty. I needed a break.
Instead of realigning everything in my life, I backed off my running. I still went to the gym, but without a goal, I didn’t give it much intensity. Soon, I didn’t even make it to the gym. I slept. I needed it, and I thought I was doing my body right.
It turns out I was wrong. A couple of minor physical things popped up unexpectedly. Then I started running again. I’m a coach for the Baltimore Women’s Classic. I get to run with the beginner runners, many of whom have never run a 5k before. I was expected on the track on Tuesday night again. I started running again. I started feeling better.
On June 1, I ran a 5k on an insanely hot morning (83 degrees at the start). I don’t do heat well, and quite frankly, I wasn’t in shape for a 5k. I felt every step – for about 2 miles. And then something amazing happened. I remembered, deep down at a physical level, why I love to run. It was as though all the dormant muscles remembered something inspiring in their past. I was hot and miserable and ecstatic as I crossed the finish line.
And so, marathon training begins anew, and for that I am ready and willing. I feel like a beginner again. Thank goodness.
Let’s go for a run!