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  • Writer's pictureJessica Jones

A Little R&R: Rest and Recovery.

I’ve talked off and on about the importance of recovery. Planned rest. Planned recovery. There’s also unplanned rest and recovery. I’ve talked a bit about that, as well. The importance of listening to your body. Well, these past few weeks have been a crash course reminder that listening to my body is a must. My original training plan for this base-building period had the past two weeks at 70-80 miles. You’ll see below that I wasn’t even close. And why. Because these weeks got modified before they really started, (as long as we consider "that's not happening" modified) I didn't record my “planned” runs in my log like normal.

I knew on the Monday after the Estes Park Marathon that the week would not end with 70 miles in my legs. The severity of soreness was unreal. For those of you that have run Boston, at least double that post-race feeling. If you’ve ever done strength training, imagine the days after heavy squats. That deep burn in the quads that makes you not trust in your ability to sit down without falling. Or worse, ability to get up. In my race re-cap, I mentioned that the first few (7-10) miles of the race was straight downhill. And, that I felt it in my quads. Not just during the race, but after. I think it took me three days to start walking “normally” after my first marathon. It took me five days after Estes. I pulled out nearly all of my recovery tricks too. Recovery compression socks after the race. Hydration. Good nutrition (okay, maybe not great for the first day or so post-race). Foam rolling. Self-massage. Still… Five days!! Needless to say, this was a point at which I saw a need to re-evaluate my training plan moving forward. My body needed some extra recovery time. A lot extra.

By the Saturday after Estes, I was feeling “normal”. But, I didn’t want to jump into an 80 mile week. I needed to build back up to it. Coincidentally, I was on travel for work again, so I wouldn’t have a lot of time. Okay, a few miles in the morning and a few in the evenings. I could get a 50-60 mile week. Seemed reasonable. Plus, the following Saturday, my flight home wasn’t until early afternoon. Plenty of time to get up and get in a long run before heading to the airport! Early in the week pretty much went according to my new “plan”. The free-form plan that it was at that point. Then, I woke up with a sore throat. No worries. Rest and catch up the next day. Sore throat and a cough. Ok. Let’s try zinc and rest. At least as much rest as I can get with work. Saturday, the day I’m looking forward to a long-ish run. I woke up feeling like my head had been run over. Headache, stuffy sinuses, cough, sore throat… Ugh. Long nap rather than a long run. So much for the revised plan. We’re now at plan “D”. Survive.

Rested on Sunday as well. But, was determined to get a few miles Monday. Worked on modifications to the training plan, given the last two weeks of drastically decreased mileage. I have another “train-though” race in three weeks, so I can’t get too crazy right now. These are the final weeks of my base period, so need to keep focus of the intent of these weeks. Can’t make up missed mileage. My body obviously needed this extended rest and recovery period. Even if my mind disagrees. Gotta own it. Regroup. Re-plan. Come back strong.

Today, a holiday, plenty of time for that long-ish run I’ve been craving. Woke up feeling much better. Not 100%, but good enough. Didn’t start early enough to really beat the heat, but I didn’t care. I wanted to run! Needed to run. Slow and steady. A few walk breaks to cool down, but 16 miles completed. On the birthday of America. What better way to celebrate? Enjoy the freedom of a run and the beauty of this country!

Training Log June 18-24, 2018: Plan went out the window; all runs by feel. 26.7 miles.

Monday – 3.1mi @ 11:06. Check out that pace! That was without walking. I’d classify this more as a “recovery hobble” than a run. Amazingly sore.

Tuesday – OFF. Travel home from Colorado.

Wednesday – OFF. I can’t walk right. How can I run? Hobble?

Thursday – 5.1mi @ 9:33. Soreness easing up a bit. This was a legit recovery run.

Friday – 4.8mi @ 9:07. Slowly getting back to normal. Need to re-adjust to the humidity at home!

Saturday – 4.9mi @ 8:57 in AM. Feeling pretty okay. 5.4mi @ 9:13 in PM. Hotel treadmill. (Yup, traveling again)

Sunday – 3.1mi @ 9:52. Hotel treadmill. I don’t even have time to get into why this was only 3 miles. Okay, sure I do. Already feeling a little run down from travel, so decided to “sleep in” and leave time for “just” 6-8. I’d try to get some more miles in the evening (ended up working too late to do so). But, my hotel room lock didn’t work right, so I had to call maintenance. It took 10 min or so to get ahold of them. Cutting into my run time. I get to the gym. Realize that I gave maintenance both of my keys, so I can’t get in. Go to the front desk. They can’t decide if I need just a key for the gym or a key for my room as well. Precious treadmill time is ticking away. Finally get to the gym. Demotivated and with little time. But, three is better than zero!

Training Log June 25- July 1, 2018: All runs by feel. 9.6 miles (what?!?).

Monday – OFF. So much to do for work.

Tuesday – 3.1 @ 9:18. Hotel treadmill. Bits and pieces this week.

Wednesday – 4.4 @ 9:23 in AM. Hotel treadmill. 2.2 @ 9:22 in PM. Still treadmill bound. Feeling tired, but getting some miles logged.

Thursday – OFF. Maybe rest will help.

Friday – OFF. Losing the illness battle.

Saturday – OFF. Clearly temporarily defeated by whatever illness this is.

Sunday – OFF. Being sick is no fun. I’d rather run!

Until next week, or so...

Own it. Live it. Be it.

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