Rest, Recovery, Relaxation and Restart!

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!

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7 Responses to Rest, Recovery, Relaxation and Restart!

  1. Wow. I am in awe of what you are doing. I too am struggling with the rest, how much to do-how much not to do dilemma. But finding at 50 that rebalancing is critical. And in some ways, I’m in better shape, no, let’s say “healthier” than ever before. But sleep…that’s a tough one. So much getting in the way there, at this age, unfortunately.

    • Joselin says:

      It’s definitely high-class problem, but still challenging. And, throw in menopause, and everything feels new. There is also a feeling of ‘I have you get this in now, because I don’t know how much time I have left’
      I need to go reread ‘Ripe’ – no doubt my perspective has changed!

  2. Shelton says:

    Renaissance! Rebirth!

    • Joselin says:

      We’re going to have to find another rave to run together. I found the Chattanooga pix recently, and was reminded how fun that was!

      • Shelton says:

        I take it you meant to type “race” instead of “rave,” but both words are apropos! I will keep an eye out for something in 2014.

      • Joselin says:

        LOL! I see it now-how many thrown backs do you think we would have at the 50-something rave?
        (I see a reunion theme here…)

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