It's been 3 weeks since the marathon. My post marathon schedule so far has looked like this:
Week 1 : Stretches & 2 x (Mild cross-training on exercise bike)
Week 2: 10 miles (2, 2, 3, 3) + 2 x (cross-training + mild strength training) + stretches
Week 3: 21 miles (5, 5, 7, 4) + 3 x (cross-training + strength training) + stretches
This week, I have planned a relatively easy running schedule (6, 5, 10, 5, 6), to ease the transition from 4 to 5 days.
Running 5 days a week may seem like no big deal, once you are used to it. Most medium to high mileage runners run twice a day on most days and only rest once a week. But I have enjoyed the flexibility of 3 non-running days so far; the indulgence of sleeping in and the luxury of 3 grace days, so that a run could be easily deferred to the next day, without too much guilt.
Don't get me wrong. When I manage to rub the sleep away from my eyes and step out into the cold (or warm) fresh morning air, I feel on top of the world. Positive thoughts stream from every pore. And the feeling of accomplishment after a run is worth every moment of pre-run agony.
But I am not the most disciplined individual you will find. The fact that I've been running for 2 and a half years, and not merely for the purpose of competing, has shocked me more than it has anyone else. When I attempted 4 days a week of running, instead of 3, I didn't plan it. I took it on with no real expectations, one day at a time, more out of curiosity and to test my staying power than an actual belief that I would see it through.
However, through running, I have accumulated a wee bit of rigor and self-confidence, so this time around, I feel I can go through with it. I just need to silence that little temptor perched on my shoulder every morning, when I am tucked cozily under the covers.