Recovery = Reverse Taper Madness

So, two and half weeks after the Twin Cities Marathon and I can safely say I’m starting to get “that itch” again. The past few days I’ve realized that I have way too much energy at time and the only way I am used to burning it is by running.

The week after the marathon, I didn’t run a single mile. Last year I made the mistake of running a 42k Relay with a fun group of runners the weekend following the marathon. I felt like superwoman after BQ’ing my first marathon at Chicago and I knew I was in the best shape of my life. So, I went out there and ran the 2+ mile splits around 6:40-6:50 without blinking an eye. Yeah…THAT was silly. Especially because my right calf had been giving me some grief and I had a minor bout of ‘peroneal tendonitis’ for the next few weeks while I fully recovered. And while it was exhilarating to run my first relay, I knew that this year would be all about real Recovery, with a capital “R”.

 

Last week, I ran a whopping 14 miles. Tuesday’s run was the first one since the marathon. Can I tell you how uncoordinated and clumsy I felt? Honestly! It was like I had never run a day in my life! I know this was all in my head, but my legs felt like they were flying all over the place and my arms weren’t moving as they should. Picture Phoebe from Friends running.  Yeah, that’s what I felt like.

On Friday, I realized that I’d only run 4 miles for the week and went out in the morning. I miss bolting out of bed in the morning to put my running gear on and heading out while it’s still cool to get my workouts done. It’s the best way to wake up, with or without coffee in my belly. And my love affair with the lakefront is seriously distracting me lately. I live 2 miles away from the lakefront so running there, then a few miles on the lakefront, and returning home on foot was out of question. Sometimes I take the bus there to cut back on the miles run, but that just takes more time and coordination. So on Friday, I decided I would definitely run along the lake at some point during the weekend.

….And then I spent my entire Saturday on the couch. I’m not kidding. I was in my pajamas until 7:00 PM. See? Taking marathon recovery to a whole new level this year! I had an ambitious plan for all of the things I’d accomplish that day, but none of them happened and I was depressed about it (but all too happy to be horizontal and watch movies for 7+ hours).

 

I’ve been hanging out with this fuzzy goober a lot. She’s so silly.

Sunday was one of those days that you just want to bottle up and keep for those gloomy winter days in Chicago. The rest of the city must have been thinking the same thing because the path was crowded even around 3 PM. I dropped off some leather boots to be repairs in Lincoln Park and ran south to Division and stopped to enjoy the view.

Does it get much better than this??

It’s amazing how calming the lake can be when you stop to ENJOY it! This past training cycle was ALL BUSINESS and I rarely had the time to just sit and soak it all up. It was like I was experiencing the lakefront for the first time. I sat by the water just north of Fullerton and…thought about nothing. It was great. My bro/Coach ran Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon the day before and I had yet to “debrief” with him so I called him while I sat there and marveled at what he’d accomplished. Seriously, …7 hours of badass trail running that this flatland runner can’t even imagine. Really looking forward to the photo and video compilation he’s putting together.

I ran 5.5 miles on Sunday. I’m one of those “I have  to run even # miles” people, but that day I forgot all about that sillyness. How could I not be happy with the sunshine, beautiful lake, and a gorgeous fall day in October? Not to mention the fact that I spent 2 hours sitting and chatting away with Chanthana afterward.

So far this week, I’ve run 2.65 miles. Yep, you read that right. Less than 3 miles. But it was probably the most relaxing, fun thing I’ve done all week. While I practically live at the lake or running around the city, The Man had never run along the lake before and I was determined to make it happen. So last night our plan was to run/walk on the lakefront and then go to Chipotle for burritos and beer (we were too excited about that). We’re running the Pumpkins in the Park 5k in Lincoln Park together this Saturday for fun. The Man is my cheerleader at races and I always know he’s going to find me at the finish line. He enjoys running for fun now and that makes me one happy girl.

A view of North Ave beach from the lighthouse pier last night.

At the end of our jaunt last night, the moon came out and said hello. Night running in 75 degree weather? Amazing!

It’s safe to say that recovery is treating me well and I’m allowing my body and mind to refuel. For now, I’m trying to stop those thoughts that tell me “do more, run longer, push yourself” and instead sleep late, eat more chocolate, drink more beer, and watch more TV. Don’t worry–it won’t last long. 

P.S. If you want a laugh, you should check out Hillary’s series called “Real Life Moments with Medals“. She had me laughing for an hour straight yesterday!

-J

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Recovery = Reverse Taper Madness

  1. Charlyn says:

    Recovery is driving me nuts too. It’s weird averaging 30+ miles a week and then a whopping 0. I’m doing great with gluttony and sloth mode. But, I do have the itch to get back out and race again before I need snowshoes to get around.

    You deserve all the rest and relaxation after your incredible marathon!

    • wewanderandponder says:

      Recovery is such a weird beast isn’t it? I’m stocking up on winter weather gear because I’m so nervous about the cold! For now, I’m content to drink a beer and lay on the couch 🙂 Cheers!

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