Recovery Week. Thank God

I'm mid-way through my last recovery week before taper. I can't wait until TAPER! I have to say I'm dangerously close to burning out on this running thing. I imagine by week (geez, what week am I in?? oh, yeah...) 12, LOTS of runners feel this way.

Having the half-marathon and the first 20-miler only SIX DAYS apart certainly contributed to this feeling. The day after the 20, I eeked out a painful 3 miles on the treadmill for recovery--mostly walking. For the first half-mile, I walked, then tried a gentle jog. However, I didn't feel as if I could lift my legs. My quads just would not cooperate. It felt as if my legs weighed a ton. Each. I think I walked .4 and jogged .1. I gave up and decided to try later in the day. That evening I did my other 2.5 and it was definitely better, though still painful.

I took a total rest day on Sunday. Monday called for 6, but 1/2 mile into it, my ankle was hurting to the point I knew I'd better stop. On Tuesday, I ran a slow, easy 4 miles that felt harder than they should have. Today, I ran my "long run" of recovery week-- 7 miles. In the rain, by the way. (After the rainy half-marathon, 7 miles in the rain wasn't too intimidating.) I didn't wear my toe socks, though, and brought home a nasty blister. I'm definitely a TOE SOCK CONVERT! At least for rainy runs. Seven was tough today, however. We started out with 9:30 miles until 3.5 when we took a little potty break. It was a struggle to run at that pace on worn out legs. After the little break, we never recovered the speed and ran 10-10:20/pace. Even the last 3.5 at the slower pace felt endless. Afterward, I felt like I usually feel after a 12 or 13 mile run. Just plain beat.

I miss starting a run with energetic legs. I can't remember the last time I felt like that. My recovery week plan calls for 19 miles---still quite a few miles. As much as I hate to do it, I think I might need to drop a couple of those miles. Last week was my peak mileage week--30 miles. As far as plans go, this one is pretty mild in terms of mileage, but that 30 miles took a lot out of me.

I'm trying to listen to my body and get to the starting line in as good a shape as possible and avoid burnout. Come on recovery week, work your magic! I'd love to start out next week, my last week of big mileage (2nd 20-mile run!) with FRESH legs. Is that too much to ask?


StangLuvr said…
Maybe you need to go out for some stress relief or get a message. Take this week very, very easy and plan for the 20 next week. I'm glad you are good runs. I have not rain in 1 and 1/2 weeks.
MCM Mama said…
I found that I needed two full days of not running right before my 20 milers to have really fresh legs. I also did my 3 20 milers with three weeks in between each one (if I remember right - marathon training is a lot like childbirth - you start to forget the details and the pain).
Bill said…
Yep, gotta love those toe socks! I swear by them.

Fresh legs? What are those? ;^)

The recovery week will do you well. If you need to drop a couple of those miles, don't worry about it. You're better to get to the start line more rested than with a few extra miles.

And I'd second StangLuvr's recommendation. Get a sports massage appointment with Megan over at Miller-Motte. She works wonders.
I wouldn't worry about dropping a few miles. It's best to listen to your body and rely on the training you've been doing to carry you through!

On your last comment -- yes, I dropped the NJ marathon. I wasn't feeling it and all of the crappy weather runs, or long runs on the treadmill were just wearing me down. I decided my heart wasn't into it so I'm focusing on shorter races now with the hope that I'll get to a fall marathon. We'll see!
Tina said…
Sometimes the smartest thing a runner can do is to get some rest -a day off from running or cutting your run short - maybe even more sleep. That should do the trick!