I took Sunday off to recover from the 20 miler, and on Monday I felt good doing an easy 5. Tuesday I was really excited to get back to running with the morning Flyers. Tuesday is speed work, and half the group did 220s while those training for marathons did 880s. The group did 6 880s, but I was still pumped, so after we said our goodbyes, I did another 3.
My plan was to do another easy run on Wednesday, and then join the Flyers on Thursday for the usual park loop, which if I run with the front group is like a tempo run for me. Then I would take Friday off, and do the Team Championship race on Saturday.
When I went out on Wednesday, however, my legs felt heavy. My pace was slow, but I didn't mind, this was supposed to be a short slow run to recover. I jogged to the park and did the 4 mile loop at a reasonable pace. When I got back, I my right ankle was sore, and both my hamstrings and quads were sore and tired.
I realized right away that my "recovery run" probably should have been a day off, or I shouldn't have pushed the speed work on Tuesday. I had felt that I had recovered from the 20 miler really quickly, but I now realized it's effects were still lingering. I iced the ankle right away - it wasn't bad, but it was slightly swollen and tender, like a minor twisted ankle. I skipped the Thursday morning Flyer run, and my legs do feel better.
It's amazing how much self control it takes to avoid injury. They say "listen to your body", and you certainly should when your body says "slow down" or "stop", but I'm not sure you can always trust your body when it says "go!". You really need to listen to your HEAD. Your head knows how many miles you've run this week. How many were fast, how many were long, and how those miles compare to your training up to this point. So far, my body has let me know in time when I needed a break. I'm not sure that I can always count on that in the future.
Tomorrow, I'll either just go run 2 or 3 miles on the treadmill, or I take another day. I would still like to run the race on Saturday, and tonight I'm feeling pretty positive about it. It's going to be a special race, with only club racers, and a team hang afterward. I also have a certain goal for my race time that I'm excited about, but health comes first.... (stupid health!).