And just like that, the final recovery week is in the books. All that remains in two extra-long runs and the much anticipated taper. It may have been obvious to some that I was pretty freaking high on running when I posted last week. Yes, I was very excited about a lot of things (shocking, considering the amount of rain that my week included). Let me assure you that the energy fizzled out shortly thereafter…
The weird thing about recovery weeks in this training team is recovery weeks never really feel like “recovery” weeks (except for the time I complete blew training off). There’s always something else there to challenge you: hills, speed work, or everyone around you that doesn’t seem to be letting down on effort…then I feel like I shouldn’t be letting down on effort. It’s totally good/bad, depending on your angle.
My angle on Thursday and Saturday last week was frustration. I felt like I was pushing and didn’t have much to show for it. My Thursday morning run was with Seal Team PT and we started 5 minutes late; so where I normally get closer to 7 miles, I got just over 6. In looking back at last Thursday’s run, it wasn’t really that bad! But it felt bad; my body was heavy and tired, and couldn’t get into a rhythm.
Friday night’s pre-run meal was a spring mix salad with quinoa, apples, bacon, Gouda and homemade honey mustard dressing. And some cereal + coconut almond milk for good luck. But Saturday morning, my body was singing the same out-of-tune song. Recovery week meant “only” 2 hours, which worked out to “only” 12.5 miles. Yes, I was disappointed again! Have I become a distance snob?! I thought this run was difficult…and, unfortunately, hills will always weigh heavy on my mind and body. During the run, we lost and then gained over 1,000 feet. That sounds like a lot, right?
The point of ALL OF THIS is: I was obviously in need of a recovery.
After my sad little 12.5 miles (ha ha?), I went to the farmers market and bought entirely too much food: fresh mahi mahi, locally-made pumpkin ravioli, some final summer tomatoes, fuji apples, butternut squash, onions, a gigantic shopping bag of kale that I will never finish. I tried to make a dent in the kale by cooking some for my breakfast sandwich. I’d made cheddar jalapeno rolls earlier in the week and used one to hold my bacon, egg and kale—balanced enough for me!
This week at work has started out less stressful than the past few, so I made it to Monday’s workout without too much hustle. Then yesterday morning’s run felt great. As difficult as it is to leave a warm bed at 4:00AM to run in 50 degree weather, the cool air in my lungs and heat of my beating heart make it worthwhile. My faster pace felt comfortable and way less of a struggle than it did on Thursday and Saturday (what a relief!). My only disappointment was only clocking in an hour 22 minute run instead of the full hour-thirty.
Another great realization about yesterday’s run? I only have 3 more ridiculously early Tuesday runs in my future (which, at the moment, is actually more terrorizing and relieving). But that’s reason to celebrate! I haven’t been drinking as much since training started—because who has the time or energy?! That’s why it was extra awesome yesterday evening when I had the opportunity to stop by The Savory Grain before their Art in the Age “spirited” dinner to try out one of their specially-crafted cocktails.
Gregg Brooks, the restaurant’s head bartender, served me a fall-inspired drink that included Art in the Age Snap, bourbon, and cider. I love gingerbread and apple pie spices, so this drink couldn’t have been more perfect for me. Also: I couldn’t even taste the bourbon AND I’ve been meaning to find a different liquor for spiking my apple cider than the goldschlager of my college days. So many wins!
They were also serving up drinks made with their other flavors, including Rhubarb and Root (i.e. root beer). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the 3-course dinner but it sounded outstanding! Bacon-wrapped scallops, duck, cheesecake with the spirits integrated into each plate. They let me sample some of the Root whipped cream before leaving…heavenly.