Monday, March 26, 2012

recovery week does not mean easy week

This Sunday brought a very welcome "short long run." After a few weeks of building (and having to do last week's 13 mile run on Monday after work), it was time to scale back a bit to give my body a bit of a rest. This made me quite happy, but got me thinking about the difference between "short," "recovery," and "easy."

While yesterday's run was shorter than last week's long run, it wasn't exactly short, and it wasn't exactly easy. While 8 miles isn't super long, framing it in your mind as "short" only seems to set you up for being tired by the 20 minute mark. As we finished the first 3 of 5 miles going uphill (yes, that's right, 5 miles up, 3 miles down), Suz and I discussed how we think about runs like this. She had thought of it as a short run and as already feeling like it should be over (whereas if we had been running 13, she would have felt just fine). I had decided that 8 miles wasn't short. While I wasn't necessarily looking forward to climbing for another 2 miles, I wasn't feeling too bad at that point. Same route, same run, different thoughts.

That being said - it was still a hard run. It isn't easy to climb for 5 miles and then go down the steep way on tired legs. The start of the recovery week, but not necessarily an easy run. I was tired by the end and ready to be done. My legs definitely felt the hills.

But - yes but - today I actually feel good! Often the last thing I want to do on a Monday is run (which is why I generally don't run on Mondays) - my legs usually feel heavy and I just want a break. But today? Yes, I'm tired and feel like I should go to bed early every day this week, but I also feel like I could run. Even after the last couple of weeks of some higher mileage (and some pretty successful tempo runs), although tight, my legs feel pretty good.

While I don't plan on running today, it is nice to feel like the recovery week is actually going to do its job. The real question though - do I feel great because of the shorter run or because of my new shoes?
yes, i added a bit of brightness - but they're almost that bright
How do you usually frame shorter runs? Do you look forward to scaling back a little?


Marlene said...

Nice new kicks! Is the hubs running off on you??

Anonymous said...

I usually call them recovery runs. I wouldn't really consider 8 miles short. Or easy.

Nicole @ Haute Runner said...

wicked shoes!!