I realized this weekend that I really need a down, recovery week. I have been pushing myself to the max this year and have taken less than adequate rest. I am tired. I have had some awesome 90 mile weeks, but had to follow them with 50 mile weeks. I didn't run this weekend. At first, I felt bad about it. But then I realized that I needed it. I really needed to listen to what my body is telling me. I was not motivated, my legs were tired after 4 days/50 miles. Its hard to not feel a little bit like a slacker when I take days off, but that is dumb. We all need days off. And really, this year has been a huge increase in mileage for me, race volume, speed, etc. I am pushing myself and I do not want to burn out.
So I decided to rein it in. I have raced 4 major races this year (I raced 3 races all of last year: 2 marathons and a 50k), and rested minimally after them. While I have felt good for the most part, in the long term I wonder what effects that will have. I want to race well through the fall and for the long term so I must be smart, patient and good to myself. I have been racing marathons & beyond for 2 years (I just had my two year anniversary) and have accelerated at a rapid pace to my current volume of training and racing. I am ambitious and enthusiastic but I must balance that ambition and enthusiasm with intelligence and patience.
I have a lot going on in my life right now that are stressors: work, school, life....and I want to make sure that running continues to be my sanctuary, my respite, my peace and so when I feel like I have to drag myself out, I know that I am not doing the right thing. I feel that way so rarely that when I do, I should listen! I have gotten really in tune with my body and so now that I can hear, I can't ignore it. While I am thankful not to have pushed myself to overtraining, injury or sickness, I think that this recovery week will bring me back from the brink if I am near, and only a much needed mid-season rest before a late summer/fall season of racing. I have a hopefully long career ahead of me and I have to be smart, ambitious, patient and true to why I do what I do to ensure that....
and its my birthday week, so I will do what I want to.