Recovery Days Make Me Stronger

On my high after the good 8-miler on Saturday, I decided to do a slow, easy three-or-four-miles on Sunday. Being 40 and a half, I usually take a day off after a long run. But I was feeling so happy and hopeful, I thought I'd knock out a few more miles. My left leg was feeling good....until that Sunday run. After two incredibly slow miles, I realized my leg was bothering me. And I was out of energy! I tried adopting a run/walk ratio of 4:1, but I never made it the four. My muscles were just exhausted. I also happened to be a mile from home. It was a chilly walkBold back! Going from running to walking allows your body temperature to drop fairly dramatically. It was about 38-40 degrees, but it felt colder in my sweaty sports bra and base layer. I also noticed I was starving. The whole walk back, I was thinking about cottage cheese topped with blueberries and sprinkled with Beverly International vanilla protein powder, my favorite.

How to tell you are not fully recovered from a long run by the next day:
1. You have zero energy. Your legs feel dead, or at the very least asleep.
2. You are starving. Plus, if you are craving protein, it's your muscles yelling, "Feed me!!"
3. You try to run, and you are overcome with several aches and pains.
4. You are over 40. :-) Seriously, folks, from what I can see, it's all downhill after 40. I've spent most of my 40th year either injured or recovering from an injury. But, hey, that's just me.

I had some food and then did about 40 minutes of yoga to try to stretch out that sore piriformis/hamstring area. Note to self: Yoga only makes an inflamed, painful piriformis angrier. I got a clue and took Monday as a rest day from running. I did do a mini-Crossfit workout on Monday evening involving some sumo deadlift highpulls, push ups, and cleans. I have found that for me, a mini-Crossfit (meaning lighter weights, fewer reps) workout works better than going to the Crossfit gym and making myself so sore I can't walk for four days. Not that I wasn't sore! My quads and inner thighs were definitely feeling the highpulls yesterday and today. But it wasn't debilitating soreness, which is a good thing!

Tuesday was a crosstraining day---a whopping 15 minutes of rowing after a 5-minute warm up on the arc trainer. I did a few upper body strength exercises including pull ups. No running though. I finally ran today and it actually went ok! I managed 3 sub-10 minute miles. Again, it's a start. Still hurt afterward, but felt ok during.

I ran my miles at 9:46, 9:29, and 9:24 with some walking in between. Best case scenario: my half-marathon in 43 days would have miles at this pace! It felt good to practice that pace.

Next week, I won't be messing with my recovery day!


RunnerMom said…
Why is there a dang white square in the middle of my post??? It won't go away on the edit page!
Faith Ann said…
As someone who just turned 40, you're not giving me much hope of a good year lol!

I'm not sure how I stumbled onto your blog, but it's nice to see another 40-year old mom runner!

I learned while training for my first (and only) marathon, that I could not run 2 days in a row. I'm much better off if I run 3 days a week and cross-train 2 days a week. I tend to toss in yoga/pilates on my free days. I think I could probably get my body used to running 4 days a week... maybe? I'm not rushing to try it.