Monday, April 27, 2015

One Weekend, Two Very Different Runs

The transition from marathon to recovery isn't always smooth. I'm someone who hates downtime, much to my wife's chagrin. A lazy Sunday? What's that? I tend to fill my "rest" days with lots of activity, probably as a way to keep my mind off the fact that I'm not running. That said, I learned about the importance of rest and recovery a long time ago and I'm very careful not to rush back to training after a marathon.

After Boston I took four days off of any real physical activity but by Saturday morning, I was itching to go for a run. Expecting to feel a little beat up, I picked relatively flat five mile route by our apartment and headed out at a super easy pace. Well, I felt like crap. Half a mile in I began asking myself, do I have to run? Can't I find another hobby? By mile 4, I decided to stop. It wasn't painful per se, it just sucked. My legs felt like lead, my breathing seemed labored, and I wanted to punch every smiling runner who passed me.

I probably would have taken Sunday off from running, given my terrible Saturday, but I was signed up to run NYRR's Run as One with my wife. We signed up for this race together the last three years in a row so it's kind of a tradition. Even though my wife is in the middle of training for her first Ironman and hasn't run a road race since the fall, she was planning to shoot for a PR. I didn't want to miss the chance to help pace her (and--let's be honest-- I also didn't want to miss out on another race towards my 9+1 for 2015).

Photo credit: The Fit Wanderer
We got up at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday. We were cutting it kind of close for the 8:30 a.m. start, but we both really wanted some extra sleep. This gave us just enough time to eat a quick breakfast and walk the dogs before jogging over to Central Park. The jog to the start felt pretty good, but we were taking it stupid easy so I wasn't sure how I would feel once we actually got started. After some pre-race form drills and a couple strides, my legs still felt considerably better than the day before which made me optimistic.

To make a long story short, the race went very well. We saw a bunch of teammates out on the course, which is always fun. My legs didn't bother me one bit, even though the day before four miles had been a serious strugglefest. Best of all, my wife PR'd by 13 seconds! There may have been a little vomit at the finish, but otherwise it was a great run.

For the next couple weeks, I will be taking things pretty easy and not sticking to any kind of running schedule. Hopefully, the runs that I do will feel much more like Sunday than Saturday.

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