"Not too bad for someone training for an Ironman, huh?" I asked my massage therapist, in reference to how tight my muscles were. She paused before responding, choosing her words carefully.
"Not too bad...for someone training for an Ironman."
Hmmm. Guess for anyone else...really bad! My body must be more torn up than I thought.
I felt pretty good on Sunday afternoon and Monday. Sunday, I was still giddy from the endorphins. I had run 20 miles. 20 miles! I was happy I could still walk. No matter that I needed to pop ibuprofen in order to squeeze my swollen feet into shoes. No matter I needed to hold onto the railing to make it down the stairs like an old lady. My expectations were pretty low.
Monday, I still felt pretty good. However, I was thankful it was an off day. I only needed 2 ibuprofen to get me going in the morning. And I could walk around, no problem. Only minor tightness in the hip. I was tired but had no problem working all day in lab. I thought I was in the clear.
Until I hit the pool Tuesday morning. As I swam, my shoulders hurt, my neck hurt, my hips hurt. Everything felt tight and locked up. I felt sluggish and slow. I could feel my SI joint threatening to jam when I kicked during the breaststroke. There was a weird tightness in my left shoulder. Luckily, I had no ambition to go fast anyway; I felt very lethargic. I just focused on getting through the workout. Instead of doing descending sets, I worked on maintaining my time. I focused on my technique and form. I practiced bilateral breathing. It was all about compromise. At the end of the workout, I still felt tired but a little looser. It was a good recovery workout. I think my body thanked me for it.
This afternoon, I struggled through a 4 mile run. Knowing it was a recovery run, I listened to my body and settled into a relaxed rhythm. The first mile was the hardest. My SI joint in my right hip seized up. I thought seriously about turning back. I decided to slow down and see if it would loosen up. I focused on form, watching my footfall and my posture. Surprisingly, half a mile later, my hips loosened up. I settled into a comfortable pace. I lost myself in the rhythm for a few miles. The warm spring air settled around my arms. It felt wonderful.
Afterwards, I stretched...and called the chiropracter. Just in case. The run made me feel better. I feel looser. More energized. I'm learning that during a recovery week, I still need to do the workouts but I need to compromise. Swap the track workouts for a recovery run. Do less yardage in the pool and focus on technique. I felt like crap the first 10 minutes. I told myself if I still hurt after 10 minutes, I could quit. Amazingly, after 10 minutes, I was a different person. I felt great.
Thank God it's a recovery week.