Saturday was suppose to be a rest day, but I was yearning to run. It's been terribly windy in central Illinois this week, but it calmed down on Saturday afternoon. Thankfully, my friend Patty easily adjusted and we headed out a day early for our long run. It was chilly, but a beautiful sunny afternoon for a run. Unfortunately, around mile 8, my running partner struggled with a knee issue. She eventually gave in to the painful IT band and called for a ride. With the sun beginning to set, I stepped up the pace for the 8 miles back to my car. The elevation on the run home was slightly downhill, but I was still happy to maintain a 9:30ish pace in the backhalf of an 18 mile run. Probably too fast for a "long run" but it sure was a nice confidence booster in training for the 26.2 monster.
Total: 18.6 miles in 3:12 (10:19 pace)
By bedtime, I could feel my leg muscles beginning to stiffen. Both the calves and quads were screaming at me. I iced and worked BioFreeze into the sore spots... and slightly worried about the morning. My wonderful hubby got up with the kiddos this morning and let me sleep in until 8am! That's almost 12 hours of sleep - unheard of for me!!
My legs were a good sore, reward for a hard worked run. This afternoon, I slipped on my running skirt and Sauconys to get them moving once again. A year ago, I thought 'recovery runs' were the silliest thing I ever heard of. Now I'm amazed every time at how they assist in my healing. It's not always easy to convince myself to do a recovery run, but I never regret it.
The key to a recovery run is to go short at a slow easy pace, just enough to get moving... and according to the experts, remove lactic acid buildup in your muscles. I usually just do what my legs tell me. Today that was 3 miles at a 10:50 pace. It put the cap on a great week... I came off an exhilarating half-marthon last weekend, only to run a year-high 37 miles this week!
Do you do recovery runs? Do believe in their recovery power?