I've been told that it typically takes two days after participating in a rigorous sporting event before your body feels the strain from doing so. If that's the case, then I'm pretty pleased with how I felt today during training. After completing a half-marathon in a personal-best time this past Sunday, I've been waiting for the recovery hammer to drop on my body. To say I'm not sore would be a lie. However, in the past 48 hours I've completed a spin session on the trainer, a yoga class, an hour of cadence swimming this morning followed by an hour run (20 minutes of zone 3 heart-rate) during lunch.
Even though I'm really tired at this very moment, I feel surprisingly good overall!
In the past, I've needed "Vitamin I", Ibuprofen, ice bags for my outer knees and IT bands, and a long nap. That was just immediately following the race. The day or two after that... forget about it. Definitely no training the day after. Maybe something light the day after that. Maybe.
I've been finding many parallels lately between recovering from a break-up and training for an Ironman. Today is no different: Even though I may be sore or in some kind of pain, I'll actually feel better by pedaling, swimming or running through it -- without forcing the issue -- instead of letting myself atrophy until the pain subsides.
It's the difference between an active recovery -- aggressively engaging in overcoming the problem -- and a passive one where the problem overcomes you. One leaves you feeling replenished, the other leaves you feeling empty. One empowers, the other weakens. One rebuilds, the other debilitates.
Maybe that's why tomorrow night, for the first time in several weeks, I'm actually looking forward to a quiet night at home. I haven't spent one here without having plans earlier in the evening in about six weeks. It's time.
It's the next step in the recovery process.
287 days and counting.