It is not easy to take this time off, trust me. It’s making me feel emotional, scared and depressed. I’m facing thoughts of self-doubt left and right. Mental toughness is my training ground right now and I am knee deep in it, fighting scary negative-thought demons.
After racing my marathon last Sunday I felt really strong on Monday. Sore in all the right places, happy with my new PR, armed with new ideas about how to perform better in my next race, etc. I wanted so badly to get right back on board with my MCM training plan as soon as my muscle soreness went away. But I really don’t think I was being realistic about what it really means to fully recover.
I didn’t run all week until yesterday morning. I waited until my muscles didn’t feel sore anymore, but they were tight and now today I’m sore again. My left hamstring in particular really does not feel right. I’m afraid I’ll be on a fast track towards an injury if I push this and I just cannot have that happen to me. I’ve worked too hard, been too smart, to have something like this happen to me now.
It’s going to take a lot of courage. A whole lot of faith. And it may take a lot more time than I want it to. But it is time for my body heal and recover. I get that now. This is a crucial part of my training – I believe that recovery is just as important to improving my running as speed workouts, long runs and hill work are. I approach those aspects of my training with a lot of enthusiasm and planning. What I’m realizing now is that I have to be more creative with my recovery time otherwise I will go crazy and fall into a depression. I figure I have two choices: 1) ignore recovery and risk the very likely incidence of injury or 2) embrace recovery and be creative with it so I don’t go crazy: find things I enjoy doing like biking, walking, yoga, pilates…to stay active and fit until I can resume my training again. I’m going with option 2 here. Hopefully I can be back to a more normal looking training schedule in just a couple of weeks but I don’t think I should put pressure on myself. I have to listen to and respect my body. I’ve been asking a lot of it lately and if I want to feel ready on race day I’m going to have to give my body what it is asking of me. REST. It’s a two-way street!