Monday, March 01, 2010

Random Recovery Week Contemplations

--in the zone at the San Dieguito Half Marathon a few weeks ago.

I only have 1 more recovery week in my training plan before my taper. Only 5 more weeks of real training. How did this happen? How did I get here? There is something oddly comforting about finding myself here...again. Something eerily familiar. I am just as excited about the anticipation of my 3rd Ironman as I was about my first. Just as nervous and anxious. As I share my fears with others, I get asked, "Is this your first?" I'm grateful that I've still retained the enthusiasm of an Ironman virgin. That gratifying feeling of accomplishing that first Ironman is something very special.

I rested a lot on this recovery week. Probably too much. I'm not that worried about it. As I felt the nervous energy return, I restrained myself from too much activity, knowing I will need every ounce for these upcoming final weeks. My body is doing weird things with weight, muscle, energy, sleep. It's like a newfound wild animal that I observe from afar with amusement.

I enjoyed the hours on the couch, catching up with the news, the Olympics, some bottles of red wine, a lot of dark chocolate, finishing a few novels from bed that had been collecting dust on my nightstand. And the naps, upon endless, glorious naps. Oh, how I love the naps. Complete with vivid dreams, my favorite where I shapeshifted into a coyote and was running full-tilt through a desert canyon, hiding from threatening humans and hunting mice.

However, I was more than ready for my recovery week to be over. The first few days of relaxation and unstructured training was nice but then, the familiar angst of anxiety crept in. Now, I'm craving the structure and routine of the Ironman training weeks to come. No time for anything superfluous. My days finely tuned, each moment planned, giving me a much-relished blanket of security. My bags are packed. When are we leaving?


Grey Beard said...

Love those dreams. I periodically read Jack London's novels, like White Fang, for the liberating sense of movement they exalt. I look for that same sense of freedom on a bike now - especially at speed - as injuries and too heavy a musculature prevent me from running now. I do love those dreams though - and save me some chocolate!

Andy said...

Recovery weeks and taper are always awsome for all that catching back up to the real world. Hell, having the olympics was like TV training for me :) I am sitting here blogging tonight wondering what I am going to do with all this extra time since there will not be three hours of coverage tonight.

When you talk about nervousness, is that that the race is coming up in general, or the question of how you will do when the race comes?

Quote from my friend... "There's a nap for that."

Diana said...

I can't wait to read all about your 3rd IM, you sound like peace is strong in your mind and body. This just may be your best IM of all!

Marni Sumbal, MS, RD said...

Enjoy taper and the rest of recovery week!!!

Karen said...

I love the off training times but I find I miss the comfort of a plan too. I think I feel like I am missing out if I not always working toward something but oh I would love the naps!

Ali said...

It's hard to make yourself relax, especially when you are on a routine. I have only experienced recovery weeks for marathon training, but I often felt like I was getting sick during the recovery period. Books are a great way to relax and escape...enjoy!

Formulaic said...

5 weeks? I'm confused.

You've got a week of recovery then 5 weeks of training plus a (4?) week taper.

I think I am missing a week or two there.

trikarie said...

Hi, I have been following your blog for a little bit. It is fantastic. I live in Salt Lake City, and just got into triathlon last year. Keep up the hard training. I will be at the finish line at IMSG, I have quite a few friends participating, so I volunteered so I can be there to see them crossing the line. I will look for you there as well. Someday I will be crossing my own Ironman finish line.