Yesterday I did a 5 mile race, the day before was 3, and the day before that was my ten miler. I’ve been doing well with running at least 5 days a week and working on mostly short speed runs, with one LSD (long slow distance) per week. I changed my plan from my half marathon plan and it seems to be working nicely.
For my half marathon, my bestie Kristen dragged me out throughout the winter and forced me to run. I whined and cried and walked in every run. That poor girl can run so much faster than me, and yet she stuck by me. Bless her because I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her, or my other friend Liz who often ran with us. I didn’t really know what I was doing so I just increased my mileage each week, so every week I ran one long run that was one mile longer than the week before. We had some weeks that the snow prohibited our run, so it took forever to get to 13. I barely did any short runs, unless I was at school and had time to run on the treadmill. It was rough. The only part I looked forward to was talking to my friends, and I usually felt ill for the rest of the day.
Right before the half I sort of got in to the swing of things and increased my short runs. I started to feel better, had less aches, and looked forward to my runs. The half came and I felt pretty good. I didn’t poop my brains out after the race, which was an improvement from the 10 mile race I did a couple of months before the half (I was SO SICK after that one). I figured out a better way to eat and hydrate, and it paid off.
Fast forward to this training plan. First, I have a great coach Sarah helping me (check out her blog Running on Healthy, she rocks). Second, I have a plan. Who would have thought a plan would make the difference! I can look at my summer and fall and know exactly what’s going on. I can alter the plan, but I have it in place. I have a couple of short runs I need to do during the week, and some cross training, and some rest.
Prescribed rest is a funny thing! You’d think it would make you lazy, but if I have a set day I tend to not abuse it. So today I didn’t rest by laying around on the couch, but I did rest from exercise and it was wonderful and amazing. I also ate myself silly. I try not to go crazy and eat a ton of terrible food on run days, but sometimes I allow myself an indulgence. The “runger” is really getting to me though! I want to eat and sleep and eat some more. Today I had apple pie for dinner. I don’t regret it. My teammates and I were discussing our various food conquests and you all would be quite impressed at the amount of food we put away. The other day I walked across the street to say hi to my neighbor with a beer in my hand and he yelled, “Hey that beer isn’t part of your marathon training!” To which I replied, “Sure it is! Hops are great for running!”
Today’s rest day turned into eat apple pie and bread and ice cream and all the things and I don’t care! I fully enjoyed my rest before I get back in to it tomorrow with a run and gym day. What’s funny is tomorrow I’ll feel fine and not want to eat my front door, but Tuesday I’ll empty our fridge and want to lay down on the couch and never move.
Your body needs the time to recover. You can’t take two weeks off, but if you need a day or two, listen to your body. Injuries often happen when you push yourself too hard. Even if you only take one day, enjoy it.
Marathon friends, enjoy your rest days – kick up your feet and have a beer for me!