Saturday morning, I raced out the door to run with a group of early morning fasties on a hilly route in the country.
The first few miles, I managed to keep up with Lonn (or rather he was nice enough to run at my fast pace) up and down the hills. As we stopped at the "aid station" Lonn had prepared (full of Gatorade, Picky Bars and gels), I told him to go on and I dropped to my more comfy (but not painfree) pace of 8:30-8:40s.
This crew has some speedy legs, so I had to remind myself not to succumb to guilt for not being able to run faster. These legs can only do what they can do.
But that's the thing with running - it's each and everyone's own journey. It's not about you compared to someone else. It's about what you learn out there in those miles - about yourself and your abilities.
Someone else might be training for an ultra or a 3:20 marathon or an Ironman. It's okay that ALL I'm training for is to finish X race. Too often we get caught up in worrying what's wrong with us if we're not doing what everyone else is.
Realizing my hip and glute weren't in the best shape on Saturday, I opted to make the smart move and run the longer, yet flat route back to the start. It was nice to get some longer road miles in, but I realized I need to be smart about recovery.
On the drive home, I stopped at the pool to do 20 min of aqua jogging to shake out the sore muscles and joints. At home, I finished the whole shabang with 10 minutes of foam rolling.
It was a good reminder that I need to pull out the foam roller if only for just a few minutes to keep the I.T. bands, quads and hamstrings happy.
And I love that when I do this, Jonah insists on being right by my side. Perfect foam rolling company.
Do you struggle with comparing yourself in your athletic endeavors, career or otherwise? What is your current recovery routine?
Truth be told, for the time being I've ditched the whole ice bath thing after long runs. I decided that warm epsom salt baths feel better and are possibly better for my legs than the icy cold water, which limits blood flow. But like so many things out there, there are so many different approaches to accomplishing a similar outcome.