Recovery Days

It's been a confusing week. After last week's WinforKC triathlon, I took a couple of days to rest. That should have been enough, right?

So why did my legs refuse to spin at a cadence higher than 75 on the bike? Why did I wear down to a wheezing mess on a simple 2-mile hill run? Why was I clinging to the end of the pool after each 25?

And why, though I happily dropped off my entry form for the Olathe women's triathlon, couldn't I stand the thought of training?

Turns out two days wasn't enough. Trainer pal Sara put it this way: "You have to be gentle with your body. Give it time. It will come back. You have to recover from the adrenaline of race day as well as the effort."

So I've been gentle with my body. Outside of strength work, which picked up again this week, I haven't asked much of my muscles: a casual bike ride here and there, a deep-water running session, funny laps in the pool where I just play around getting a feel for stroke and water.

I can feel the muscles coming back, as well as the desire to move them. They needed rest. Yet when I mapped out my training calendar for the rest of August, the hardest thing to do was include rest and recovery days on the schedule.

It's hard to understand how I'll train enough in all three disciplines if I don't work every day. How to fit in all the swim, run, bike, and strength components AND take rest days? One a week is all I could bring myself to schedule.

I have to get better at this; I mean, I see the value of cut-backs and rest. My body feels so strong afterward. But I suspect forcing myself to rest is going to be a mental struggle.

I identify my rest with my laziness, with my letting myself off the hook. Maybe I can learn to identify rest with smart strategy. Maybe for the first time, rest won't mean I'm avoiding something — maybe it will mean I'm DOING something.



Anonymous said...

congrats on your success. I walked the Susan Komen Race for the cure 5K yesterday. My first ever but will not be my last. I totally agree with your statement "what we attempt is more important then our shape or size." I could not believe the "high" you get when you complete something so great. Michelle A(Jr's sister) from stay the course

Ann Pai said...

Congratulations on the Susan Komen race! It *is* a high - and no matter how or even whether you finish, the willingness to take the first step onto the course is an accomplishment and great example!