Today I didn't run, cross-train or lift weights. I had the option of doing a 30-minute easy run, but my McMillan plan for the Houston Marathon had a big yellow highlighted cell in the spreadsheet for this week that said: "This is a good week for recovery. You may want to run on the low end of the mileage or take an extra day off."
Usually on recovery weeks I try to do the lower end of the mileage range. I always have Sunday off and have felt good on just one full rest day, so I haven't felt the need for more.
This week has been different. I went to spin class on Monday morning as usual and felt no leftover soreness from Saturday's 22-miler. But the rest of Monday was stressful. A friend of mine had something terrible happen, and I was worried about him. This resulted in one of my insomnia nights. I woke up at 1 a.m. Tuesday and couldn't return to sleep. At 6 a.m., my daughter came into our room. I decided up was up and went out for my planned track workout, which was supposed to be eight to ten 800s.
In retrospect, I should have done this on the gym treadmill. It was really cold outside (our window thermometer said 15 degrees when I got back after the sun had come up, so it may well have been colder when I set out). Due to the lack of sleep I felt like crap. Somehow, though, it seemed easier at the beginning to bundle up, skip scraping car and just do it at the high school.
I could never get warm and managed only six 800s before I flat ran out of gas. The six I did were good, right in the range where McMillan wants me to run them, but I hate falling short in a workout. I hate when my mind isn't strong enough to make my legs go. Even now, part of me is still telling myself...."You should have done eight.....you should have done the minimum...." But I didn't. Instead, I jogged home, sad to be wasting all the fast songs I'd put on my iPod for the occasion.
Now that I'm clear-headed (last night's sleep, thankfully, was good), it's evident to me that I needed today to be a real rest day. 22-Mile-Long-Run+Hosting-a-Party+Personal-Stuff+Insomnia=One Tired Runner. Often on rest days I feel draggy, and also like every morsel I put in my mouth is making me fat. That hasn't been the case today (though I probably shouldn't have eaten all those pita chips....pita chips are like crack....) I'm still sleepy, but it's a good kind of sleepy, un-tinged with grouchiness or that deep malaise that I associate with over-training.
I get to run on each of the next three days. I'll be back in the weight room in the morning.
But today is for rest and recovery. I'm going to bed early tonight. I may or may not do some stretching first.
I'm OK with that.