On paper, this week is supposed to be a recovery week for me. On paper, this week is supposed to be low mileage and low stress. Yeah, but like most things, it hasn't worked out so well in practice. Work has been a mess, with many more patients with complicated issues than we have beds for in the hospital. Workouts have been lackluster (because I'm so exhausted coming home late from work every night) and my right ankle and knee have been giving me trouble ever since my speedy weekend 22 miler. I've also been subconsciously using my runs to blow off steam at work which translates to too high speeds for too many of my runs this week. In essence then, I'm failing at the single most important job I left myself to do this week...RELAX and RECOVER!
But then I ask myself, what is the purpose for this nebulous concept called recovery? In order to recover, must one get an a priori injury or does several high mileage weeks warrant the same level of treatment? To be honest, I've never sustained an injury before, so i'm somewhat clueless as to what that recovery process entails. On the other hand, I'm always running high mileage so I'm pretty familiar with the recovery week as it applies to marathon training. Still, I'm always surprised by the reluctance of the training mind to accept the low mileage week. It is as if we've gotten so comfortable with higher mileage that lower mileage automatically feels inadequate and uncomfortable. This is also the time when phantom pains and weird sensations crop up all over. So even though you're running low and slow, you still feel all kinds of weird and broken down. Ironic right? And the strangest part of this whole process is all the hard training weeks staring you in the face before you get to "recover" again. Are you kidding me? Is this insane? Everything is paradoxical. Everything is screwd up.
I'm still not sure about how I feel about the recovery week. This time last week I thought it was the best thing since man discovered running. This week I think it's a minor version of running hell. But the more I think, the more I realize...that in a lot of ways, this is exactly what running is all about!
But enough about me, how do YOU feel about recovery weeks? Do you welcome them with open arms or do you hide your eyes and pretend you didn't see?