Last week was the most unproductive training week I’ve had in a while. And I totally loved it. Not gonna lie — not training for a minute was pretty awesome. In my defense, it was 100% recovery week. I ran a kick-ass 23-minute PR last Sunday and due to potential injury issues as well as being on the verge of burnout, I opted to lay low. My original plan was to run the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon the following Sunday. Since my IT bands were giving me a run for my money during my race, I was treading very delicately through the week. Here’s how it all went down:
Recovery Week: Running in the Woods is Good for the Sole
Wednesday — cycled + yoga
Since I was a little out of sorts and most definitely not physically ready to run for a few days after my hard effort race, I got on the bike for what I was hoping would be a few miles. Unfortunately my bike desperately needs a tuneup so although I felt amazing, I opted to cut the ride incredibly short and ended up with just one mile on the bike. I did some very light yoga as well.
Thursday — 3 miles
I ran three, hot, sweaty, glorious, and amazing miles on Thursday. It felt super to be running again. I could have gone a little farther but I didn’t want to push it quite yet. I still wasn’t sure how my hips, glutes, and IT bands would fare so I called it at 3.
Saturday — 4 miles + strength training
Intentionally, I did zero strength work through the week. I didn’t want to aggravate a potential bigger issue. It was recovery week, after all. Instead, I met with my 5K groups on Saturday morning and then blitzed through strength training with both of them. My body most definitely missed the strength work because I was still experiencing DOMS three days later.
The slow running, however, felt really great and I was confident I was on the up and up. Having said that, I was still incredibly paranoid about my IT bands. After a lot of back and forth with my coach and my husband, I made the final decision on Saturday afternoon that I would, indeed, take my first DNS for a big race. It was a tough decision but ultimately the best one. My husband was really the voice of reason in all of this. He kept reminding me what I said during the 20 Mile Drop and that was that I might not have been able to keep going if it were a marathon.
I felt a little bit of a weight lifted when I finally decided I wouldn’t be running. There were a couple times through the afternoon I would ask my husband, “should I run HOF tomorrow?” Each time he firmly said no. And he was right. I have bigger fish to fry in 2017.
Sunday — 4.38 miles
I spent the morning tracking my friends running HOF. I was relieved I wasn’t running the half, and it made my morning super exciting to track everyone I knew running in Canton. The tracking app wasn’t working so I had to get creative and continuously refreshed the website, but it worked pretty well.
Mid-morning, after my half marathon runners finished and while my marathon friends were still going, I took the pupster out for a few miles on the trails. Did you know that playing outside, running (and walking!) in the woods, and being among the trees is good for the soul? It’s true. You can read all about it here.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve run trails. I was actually forbidden last summer due to my history of ITBS and my MCM training. But I missed it terribly so decided to test out the legs on a short run to see how it felt.
It was already pretty warm out, but we had a blast. We started on groomed bridle trails but then veered off course for a while and hit the single track. Trixie kept trying to head toward the river and I finally gave in. She ran up and down the beach, frolicked in the water, and had what I can only describe as the best day in a dog’s life. It was so much fun! After our river splash, we continued on for another mile or so and then headed back to the car.
Running through the trees was just what I needed to end my recovery week. I felt renewed, refreshed, and happy. And now I’m ready to continue tackling the rest of marathon training.
I’m already planning on taking at least one full week off between Grandma’s and MCM training, possibly two. I enjoy training but I definitely need a mental health week between training cycles.
Hopefully this week will be productive and there will be no sign of injury. Wish me luck!
TALK TO ME!
Do you take down weeks between training cycles?
What do you do during recovery week?