Race recovery week
Well, following my first race on the 19th March – the D33, plan was to have a lighter training week than normal. Whilst I generally run at least those distances at the weekend I did feel pretty tired all week – felt like I was wearing someone else’s legs for a while. It did stress me out a little but I guess it’s another lesson learned – racing is harder than training (doh!).
So, this week, I cut the mileage a little and on Monday (shock horror) I skipped the gym and cashed in an old sports massage voucher I had from my birthday last year. I ran in a more cushioned shoe, I wore compression socks, I ate well, I tried to get some more sleep.
By Friday, I had run 100K, been on the bike twice and swam 3 times. Still felt tired though and when Saturday morning arrived I was almost dreading the long run. I may have been tempted to skip it but the thought of the GEDM race in less than 2 weeks was nagging at me. I’ve also been chatting to a friend on twitter who is doing the Marathon Des Sables and with around a week to go – he has to rest and can’t actually get out – so why an I moaning, I can feel his frustration!? Check out his blog btw.
So, having let the porridge settle I packed my stuff. Couldn’t decide on a route and finally agreed that I couldn’t face another boring straight road run. So, some hills, trails and mud was the order of the day. Nothing too technical, so dug out the Brooks Cascadia running shoes. They’re an older model so you can pick them up cheap – and are amazing on the more straightforward trails and hills (and completely comfortable on the road too).
Whilst I was dreading turning the front door handle, the minute I started running I felt great. And, when I was out of suburbia and into the hills and fresh air it just felt right. Hard to explain – I guess when all you are doing is thinking about training, miles, heart rates, more miles, races, recovery, training, nutrition….blah, blah, its easy to forget exactly why it is you’re doing it. This was the perfect antidote – the sun was shining and I was out running in the hills with no-one else around and no pressures, just running because it feels good.
I ran through mud, I ran up hills and bounced down them again. I ate food that wasn’t scientifically developed (fruit!), I stopped when I needed to pee, I took some photos, I found new places. By the time I got home I’d covered 50K. The mileage itself was not significant but the feeling it left me with was. I need to remember why I do it and more importantly, to just enjoy it.
So, this was my recovery run. It’s something I’ll make sure I do more often.
Hard week ahead. And with summer officially upon us – I’m ready for it.
Btw – anyone recommend a good superlight digi camera?