Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Zero Week

Woke up yesterday morning and found this on my Garmin.

That means we did it!  We held out the entire week without running.  They call it a zero week, and it is one of the recommended methods of marathon recovery.  I have never before completed a successful zero week.  It usually starts out something like this...
200 metres to the finish line-"What is happening, my everything hurts, WHY DOES THE FINISH LINE KEEP MOVING!!"
As I finally catch the moving finish line and my foot strikes the timing mat-"I LOVE RUNNING SO MUCH, THAT WAS AMAZING, LET'S DO IT AGAAAAIIIIINNNNNN!!"
Precisely one step over the finish line-"Oh crap...I can't walk."
In the car on the way home-"I'm gonna take the week off of running and the gym, I want to make sure I recover properly."
Day 1-"Who's dumb idea was it to put stairs in houses, and who made our toilets shorter?"
Day 2-"I feel pretty good, I'm just going to roll my legs really well today."
Day 3-"Hey!!  I can walk like a normal person
Day 4-"The gym is easier then running, I'm just going to go to the gym...Active recovery is good for you.  Oh look...There's a spin class right now...Spinning is easier then running...Low impact right?  You know, active recovery..."
Day 5- "My legs didn't fall off at the gym, I'm just going to try a little run.  Just a little, easy, slow 5K. 
And thus the demise of the zero week. 
After our 50K last September I did a spin class on the Wednesday, and then ran Thursday and Saturday, and then was back to 5 day/week running and 2 day/week strength training the next week.  It took me a very long time to feel fully recovered, and it was my own fault.  As of last week, I had exactly 6 weeks before the start of my next marathon training cycle.  My next marathon is a hugescaryoverwhelmingterrifying goal (which I will tell you about soon), so I thought it would be wise to be very conservative with my recovery but not with my voting.  I want to be ready to train very hard 5 weeks from now.  It's just the motivation that I needed to actually abide by the zero week. 
That's not to say that there were not moments of temptation.  I thought that working nights at the end of the week would be a great deterrent.  I never really feel like running after night shifts.  In fact I never really feel like being alive after working night shifts  Unexpectedly when I got up around 11 on Saturday morning I really wanted to run.  The weather was beautiful, and Lucas was going to hang out with my mom for a bit, so I thought it would be the perfect time for Leigh and I to stick Cooper in the stroller and go for an easy run (we recently realized that Lucas has outgrown his stroller running days).  I even managed to influence Leigh and convince him that this was a good idea (he is much wiser with his recovery then I).  After a couple of hours and a trip to the garden centre I came to my senses and realized that I needed to stick to the plan.  Then I started really thinking about how Lesley was running a half marathon on Sunday, a half marathon that I had sorta kinda planned on registering for so I could run with Lesley (early in my marathon traning). I started thinking about maybe just wearing some running clothes, and just jumping in for a few couple uhhh...some miles...You know, just if she looked like she needed some encouragement.  I ran that thought by Leigh, and he very seriously (which is very unusual) said, I really don't think you should run your first run back at that pace.  I wore a maxi dress and flip flops, the least running friendly attire I could conceive.
So after a week off I set out for an easy 5K in beautiful weather yesterday morning.  My legs are still a bit fatigued, my IT band still a bit whiney, but running was still there, nothing bad happened, and I still knew how to run after a whole week off.  Planning an easy increase in mileage through the rest of the week, and we'll see how it goes.

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