When I read blogs or articles about running, one word always comes up: recovery. I used to think that this just meant getting your breath back and stretching a bit to avoid stiff legs the next day. Yeah… I think there might be a bit more to it than that.
After the long run on Saturday, I did an interval run on Tuesday. It was very hard. The day was very humid and warm; muggy we call it here. I was dehydrated and my whole body felt tired. But I could not allow myself to have an “easy” run now that I have re-discovered the benefits of the HIT.
And as you know, I usually do my long runs (over 21km) on Saturdays but as my husband and I are going away to a wedding this weekend, I had to do it on Thursday. Again the day was muggy and I felt horrible. My stomach was clearly upset and I felt like I hadn’t been able to bounce back from the Saturday run yet. I ended up doing just over 21km – a weak run physically, I was pushed forward purely by my stubbornness. “There may come a day I won’t be able to do my long run but it will NOT be today” was going through my head. I was on a foul mood, cursing at pedestrians being inconsiderate on the pavements* and cars not stopping for me at zebra crossings. My legs were tired. I felt nauseous and my stomach roiled. I had dead kamikaze insects stuck to my sticky skin. Where my water had lasted me the 30km on Saturday, I now ran out at 19km. It was hot. It was humid. I was drenched in sweat and covered in the white crust you have left when that sweat evaporates. But I did it. I was able to push myself. Just.
I know it was not smart to run another long run so soon after the previous one (yet I would do it again). But it has taught me about why you want to do your best to help the body recover after a workout. You need to put in what you took out and a chocolate bar is not the answer here (damn it!). I need to go back to my chia seed and yoghurt smoothies to start off with and really look into the science of recovery. I might need to re-read all those articles I skimmed through before. It’s time to stop being stupid and smarten up. After all, a good recovery means being back there – strong – for another good run.
* Pet hates being; people who walk 3-aside and won’t budge for you, school kids being walked to the London Zoo forcing everyone else onto the road, dog walkers with multiple dogs all over the place – I could go on