Finding Recovery

Time, mileage, pace.

The blue ink of numbers, scribbled in a daily mileage log, offer proof of workouts won and lost.

Some argue that numbers don’t lie, but only the person filling in the squares really knows what each numeral really represents. There are good days and bad. Sacrifices and sweat. Some days don’t offer the same rewards. Not all efforts are equal just like not all miles are equal.

But having something always seems better than a large blank space.

Still, satisfaction in the weeks following a busy fall racing season — St. George Marathon and the Fargo Mini Marathon — has come in other forms. Mainly, a chance to head outdoors and catch a few miles at a time with Coby. He thrusts his paws at me, whines and runs in a circle before sitting. No sooner is the leash clipped on the collar and he’s dragging me out the door and towing me down the sidewalk.

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Marathon recovery is part art, part science. It leaves a disciplined runner feeling edgy and unsure. The thought of losing fitness, while balancing both guilt and expectations, before the next bout of heavy training is unsettling. Somehow I’ve countered the numbers and urge to run by trusting how my legs feel.

So I’ve turned to the treadmill more days than not. My research has turned to finding quality treadmill workouts to develop the speed and fitness for the LA Marathon, now just over 3 months away, and developing a new training plan to capitalize on fitness gains this year. Those workouts will be the foundation for spring racing but can’t replace the joy of Coby joining me on a run, especially when it leaves him curled contently on a chair at home.

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