I hate taking time off to recover. My can't my body just go 100% all the time?
I was intentionally going to take the weekend of 1/21 and 1/22 off while we were down in Fort Lauderdale with friends (which was awesome). Then I ended up having to take off the following Monday and Tuesday due to some crazy work travel and very delayed flights.
After four days, I was already getting really antsy and ready to make up for lost time. I figured my legs would be fresh and ready to go.
Wrong. I felt terrible. My legs were really tired, and I had all sorts of tweaks and pains that felt like the onset of injury. I ended up running a bad 8 miles on Wednesday and a terrible 5 miles on Thursday. I enjoyed a 10 mile trail run on Friday, but mostly because I was running on my favorite local trails with sunny and unseasonably warm weather. The legs were still not good though.
Things were no better by the weekend, and I was feeling a bit sick, too. I very reluctantly limited myself to a 6 mile hike on Saturday (which was very nice) and some cross training on Sunday with the bike and stairmaster.
On Monday I snapped back and felt a whole lot better. Apparently my body decided it needed an entire week off and wasn't going to let me run. Over time I have gotten much better about listening to my body. It is tough to feel like you are losing fitness, but you have to trust that taking a few days (or a week) doesn't really matter and that you will come back stronger. I was not happy about taking time off, but I think I am now in good shape to push hard for 5-6 weeks before tapering off for the National Marathon.
Tomorrow night's speed workout with the DC Road Runners should be a good gauge of fitness. Hopefully it shows that the time off was helpful!