Post Marathon Rest

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

Macbeth Act 2, Scene 2

Last week’s race in Denver was cold, wet and very tiring. Perhaps it was the altitude as well as the inclement weather but I felt the need to really listen to the general advice on post-race relaxing this time. I haven’t run at all since last Sunday. Not a mile… not even a little kilometre. Yes, something in me wanted to, just as I have so many times before but I resisted and decided to give my body a full week of recovery. Early nights and lights out have given me 6 full nights of that “Chief nourisher in life’s feast” and I feel much better for it.

Typically after a marathon I’ve managed to “hold out” for 3 or 4 days (max) before I would get out there. The runners’ folly I suppose – thinking if enough does us good then more must be better. We work so hard at maintaining the discipline of our running yet we forget about common sense and ignore the discipline it takes to rest our bodies after the big event. We all read about it but pay lip service.

With Tucson on the horizon (December 2nd) I know I will be ramping up the miles again – perhaps even throwing in some hills and/or speedwork for a few weeks. However, there’s time enough for that, I thought and it’s been good from a mental recovery perspective as much as the physical. I’ve spent what would be running time reflecting on my Denver race buildup (diet – good, equipment – poor choices, appreciation for altitude – overly optimistic). Spent the enforced down-time coming to terms with how unpredictable each race day is and how it can ruin even the best plans.

Well, I’ll be back with the rest of my “Balanced Athletes” on Sunday morning. It’ll be nice to see them all again, regale them with tales of Denver and it’s rain, enjoy a nice breakfast at The Wild Wheat… oh, and run of course.

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~ by John Rankin on Oct 20, 2007.

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