"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lesson Learned

It's no secret that one of the most important aspects of any marathon training program is adequate rest. I certainly subscribe to this idea but after this morning's run, I now give it the proper respect it deserves.

If you've been following along with my weekly runs, you know that I typically run intermediate distances on Monday and Wednesday and a shorter easy run on Friday in preparation for a long run on Saturday. Sunday is always a rest day and Tuesday and Thursday are sort of in between days (I play full-court basketball for about 45 minutes in the morning). Prior to last Saturday, my long runs had typically been between 4 and 6 miles, including the 10k a week ago. At these distances, Monday morning would come and I would be feeling good, ready to start a new week of training. With the addition of a half-marathon to my schedule though, last Saturday's run became 8 miles, a personal best since starting to run in June.

In conjunction with increasingly longer Saturday runs I also moved my rest days around, allowing my body and extra day of rest on Monday, then running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and taking Friday off in preparation for Saturday. It made sense when I put this schedule together. I should have stuck to it.

When I got up this morning I didn't feel quite right. I was a little bit stiff and a little sore but after a few minutes finally decided to shake it off, stretch and take off anyway. The sky was clear, the sunrise was taking shape and the air was crisp--these are not days to be wasted in a waning Oregon summer. What followed was a 5 mile struggle.

I could tell early on that my legs were fatigued and hadn't fully recovered from Saturday when I pushed myself pretty hard. My diet the last 48 hours hasn't been the greatest either, but I'll deal with that separately. The point is, no how much I think I want to run on a Monday morning (or a Friday for that matter), I need to find something else to do--like stretch, do some light weights, walk, read a book, watch TV or play dumb computer games. Something other than running around the hills of West Salem.

Lesson learned.

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