So Sat was 21 miles, I took a couple days off and Tues was 8 miles. Tues went pretty badly. It took me 4 miles just to warm up, my legs were tight and unhappy and I had to run/walk the whole thing. I felt good when I was actually running but kept getting tired. My recovery drink Sat was chocolate milk as I've read the study that showed some serious benefit to low fat chocolate milk as a recovery drink, and love it that I have a good excuse now. I've been rolling out my leg muscles once a day rather than the 3 times I committed to but I take pretty good care of myself and was a bit disappointed with the recovery time.
If there is one thing I have found again and again through running it is the fact that I will continue to spend time with the self pitying, depressive, soft part of myself that finds ways to try to prove that whatever I'm doing is too hard, or not worth the effort. I run with that guy on every run. He's always been there and I've spent a good deal of time in my life learning how to work with him.
I think that one of the most important things you can do in life is get comfortable with that guy. Everyone has one. For much of my life I despised that side of me and treated it like my enemy. It didn't work very well and it wasn't until I found a way to be more gentle with myself that I was able to start realizing some potential. That side of you is there to protect you, from failure, from disappointment, from pain. I talk to that side like it's a scared child. I ask a lot of questions. Why would I quit? Why not a little farther? Why not work on this important thing now?
I don't mean to be platitudinous, but we all get down, we all have setbacks, we all hurt. Be gentle with yourself and let it hurt. Wallow in it a bit. Let it go. Then set a firm deadline after which the self pity is over and stick to it. Set some goals for your post pity recovery time and collect some achievements. These will set your mind back on the right track.
I've got an hour run tonight, an hour tomorrow, and 15 miles Saturday. Then I taper until the marathon in Chicago. I'm getting really excited about it, still trying to decide if I'm barefooting or not, or just part of it. I've made tentative plans to run a 12 hour relay ultra with a good friend 3 weeks after the marathon. A little bit at a time with firm goals that are exciting to me. That's my recipe.
Good running and good living!