Last weekend, four weeks after completing Paris, I ran Hackney Half Marathon. It was a great race, I can't say enough good things about it, but it left me a bit of a mess. More specifically it left my legs a bit of a mess.
My quads took a beating during Paris, I'd never felt pain like it, but I figured four weeks of taking things easy, getting friendly with my foam roller and doing lots of yoga (well, more yoga than I'd normally do) would sort them out and that by Hackney I'd be up to the job. Maybe it was a bit arrogant, but all through marathon training I'd run a half or further every weekend and bounded out of bed the next day with no issues, I didn't anticipate any problems. Unfortunately life had other plans. My legs started to ache more or less immediately, and by mile 10 I had isolated pain in my right thigh which terrified me. Luckily no real harm has been done, but my legs are tired, and they do need a rest.
Resting is a strange concept for me. I'm torn between my need to be active, to keep moving, and to do what I love (running) and my commitment to listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I don't want to stop right now. I want to run every weekend and train through the week. However I know that if I do that my running career will be short and I won't be able to fulfil my long term goals. A few weeks rest now is a small sacrifice if I want another successful marathon under my belt by the end of the year.
After marathon training when life is run, run, run six days a week, working out how to train at a junction like this is hard. Expect more bikes (but no tri...I am strictly a recreational commuter when it comes to bikes). Expect more time in the gym and on the mat. I'll still run but just twice a week and we're not talking double figures when it comes to milage. I'm also planning to spend a little more time on my friends and family, taking some of the time I might have used to train to hangout with them and talk crap (probably in the pub, probably about the government) and exploring some of my other interests that I don't necessarily write about here (but might, maybe). Much as I find the idea of not running so much upsetting, it's also nice to think I'll have lots of opportunities to invest in the people and things I love the most. Oh and I'm really looking forward to the reduction in my laundry pile. Silver linings.