Passive Recovery...

Despite having a 10 mile long run on the schedule for this morning, I did something I rarely do--even on the weekends. I slept. And then I slept some more. If it wasn't for the cat walking around my head at around 9am looking for breakfast, I'd probably still be there. Let's just say, it was was a very long week.

I did come to once or twice at key times--about 5:15am (which is the time I'm usually heading out the door to beat the heat), again at about 6:30am (still not too late to get my long run in before the heat), and again at about 8:15 (I'm pushing it now, but it might still be under 80 degrees. Is that cool breeze I feel coming through the window? Or is it just the ceiling fan above the bed going full tilt?) By 9am it was a lost cause.

I've been giving a great deal of thought lately to recovery. So essential, but so hard to commit to. I'm feeling the guilt of a slacker even now as I type. I'm also playing out various scenarios in my head on how to get that long run in Sunday morning and still make it to my regular yoga class. That pushes my regular Sunday morning bike workout to when? Saturday night? If it's like last night, it was still 95 degrees at 8pm. Oy.

A recent article in "Triathlete" magazine by Melanie McQuaid entitled "Knowing Your Limits" did a great job of identifying the various types of recovery modalities used by runners (or in this case, those masochists called triathletes) including massage, heat/cold hydrotherapy, and the old standby, NSAIDS. Also mentioned were what she referred to as 'old school' modalities including stretching, more sleep, active recovery, and nutrition. The irony though is that even when any or all of these modalities are used, there's just no way to know whether recovery has in fact occurred. Sure you might feel better the next day or during the next workout, but you are always walking a fine line between improved fitness and overtraining. Her advice: Follow a sensible training plan--and don't do more than is called for, even if you feel like you could go out and run an ultra. She closes by reminding us that it is "better to be underdone than overcooked on race day." Words to live by, I should think.

Observed: The inside of my eyelids--for a very long time.