I'm not sure there is a right or wrong way to recover - what works for one, could be a disaster for another. And in today's world of Instagram, Strava, and Twitter where we all follow each other's journeys, it's hard to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing; and of course thinking that's what you should be doing😐
I am reading a great book, "Peak Performance", which no matter what you do, even if it truly is sitting on the couch eating bon bons, you would get something out of it, on how to do that at an optimal level😉 Anyways, a key premise of the book is stress & recovery; and that contrary to what most people think, progress/growth happens after recovery, not after stress (work/training).
STRESS + REST = GROWTHNo spoiler here, I tend to focus on the "stress" portion of the equation, like a champ😩
Physically, I didn't feel that beat up, which is shocking considering all my ankle/hammie issues; however I did take 1.5 weeks completely off anyways. After 3 days I actually felt fine, but just wanted to err on the side of conservative. I shy writing this because I think if my coach had his preference I would still not be running here at the 4 week mark (and sometimes he reads this!); but for me it really wasn't physical, it was mental. I almost needed running to recover, but NOT training....if that makes sense? I was tired from the year, everything about it was a grind. But we don't need to rehash that now, do we?🙅
I have not "trained" at all for 4 weeks - - run yes, trained no. Meaning, I had no schedule, no workouts, stopped strength work, stopped PT, basically stopped anything that sniffed of "training". The first day I got back I saw my "circle" (Doc, Becky, Brian/Torrey, Brent) to make sure everything was in working order - my pelvis tends to tilt after hard efforts - which if left alone can pull and tug at everything and cause a chain of fun. So I got that adjusted, took a few ice baths, and then pretty much decided to be a normal person for the next 4 weeks; and for the first time in...well ever...I took 2 weeks completely off from work; no email checking, nada, nothing. Completely checked out.
So what did I do?
- Slept. A lot. I mean there were nights where I would sleep 10 hours, get up, go for a run, come back, eat and then take a 45 minute nap. And it felt amazing. I'm guessing it was my body's way of saying...I need this, just let me be.
- Just Be. Read, chill out at Starbucks, hike. I really made an effort not to clean, reorganize, reorder, the entire house. This was not about doing all the things I needed to do because I had the time, it was just about being.
|One of my absolute favorite pastimes is to get Starbucks, my famous Acai bowls, and just chill and read, catch up on email, write this blog, etc.|
- Eat. The same. I got this question a lot. Do you have to totally change your diet? No. I don't watch calories, and if I am brutally honest, I actually have to in the reverse manner. So it was SO nice to just eat when I want, and not have to worry about fueling enough. The only thing I really changed diet wise was when I did run, I didn't use UCAN...mentally I want that to be my "training" competitive advantage, and given that I wasn't doing any hard or long efforts I just stuck to cereal😊 Come Jan 1, when we get back to business, UCAN is called back into action!
- Run. Not train. For me, what I missed/craved was running with other people, running routines, run-breakfasts, etc. There's no stress, no harm in those runs in my opinion. So I ran when I wanted to, without any structure. And ANYTHING that felt like training, I said no to...for example a 6 am request, I dinged....that sniffed of discipline, alarm clocks, and rigor😁
|Brenda! One of the best parts of this layoff was not worrying about how far or fast I needed to go; but being able to just run what others are doing and having fun while doing it!|
|Run buddy Tim, who is all kinds of fun to run with, and going to help me a lot in this next build up phase!|
|I actually got to run with Molly Huddle, who trains out here in the winter! Which was interesting given I hadn't run hard or long for 3 weeks; but a run is a run, and it was fun!|
- Let loose. Well...for me. Chasing a dream involves a certain amount of discipline, therefore a lot of choices. To me, they are not sacrifices, but choices; but nonetheless they take a lot out of you. I go to bed, really early, and I wake up, really early. My days are pretty much planned to the minute. I avoid anything that could end up in a sprained ankle😉, and I really don't go out much - I just don't have time between training, coaching, and working. All of my free time, goes to Justin, and I wouldn't change that for anything. So, I stayed up late, I went hiking, I went skiing, I colored (my niece, Eleanor, taught me how😍), I baked, I went out, and I took copious amounts of naps.
|Week night movies and dinner out? #crazy|
|Yep, I totally baked those for my #1 Buckeye Fan for the bowl game 💃|
|And yea, I colored that, Eleanor gave me coloring lessons (hysterical) "So, you really need to just to pick 3 colors and stick with them and stay within the lines. If you need help choosing them let me know". OK boss!|
(I have been thinking a lot about those in my downtime, and that will be my 1st blog for the new year!)
**And lastly, I want to say to everyone who reads this, thank you, your support has and continues to mean so much. From the bottom of my heart, my wish for your 2018 is nothing but tons of good health, abundant happiness, and just plain smiles😉