Thursday, September 4, 2008

Recovery Week

In everything I've read, you're not supposed to take 2 consecutive days off for recovery, unless you're really in a hole. I wouldn't say I'm in a hole, but I took 2 days off anyways. Monday (Labor Day) was dedicated to reconnecting with my kids with lots of games and fun. During my heavy training weeks, I'm not around as much, getting up early to train, being gone at work all day, and coming home late after training in the evenings. I get some good time with the kids on the weekends, but that's not enough. So, days like this are good too. I don't know who gets more out of spending time together--them or me--because I really like it. It's fun to see the kids with their little personalities. We can really joke with each other and hassle each other over a few games of Horse. Also, as the weeks of training accumulate and I grow exhausted, I am much more terse and stressed. I can be down right grumpy. So, days like this are good because the stress is gone and I can be myself and be fun. No, it's not cool that the kids have to see the range of my moods; I'd like them to always see happy dad. But, regardless of what I was doing, they'd probably still see the full spectrum. The good thing is I know what causes the changes, the cycles, and I (or my wife) can let the kids know it's not them (it's Dad-zilla).

The second day I didn't feel like hassling with packing bags the night before and work has been really hectic. So, I took another day off. In the grand scheme, I think this was a better choice.

Yesterday, I swam 3000 meters after work and got an hour massage afterwards. The massage was the second of three I received for Fathers Day. I like to get massages during my recovery week. So today was as good as any.

In most cases, we associate massages with feeling good or relaxation. That wasn't the case last night. Oh my gosh! Before the massage, the masseuse asked how deep/hard I wanted it to be, being an idiot, I said, "as hard as you can go." The masseuse is pregnant and she likes to lean all of her body weight into her elbow--a detail I forgot since my last massage. Sure enough, the elbow came out and the pain began. I know this is a good pain; since my last massage I've moved, helped someone move, moved my office, changed job responsibilities, trained long hours, worked long hours, raced, and dealt with all the regular day-to-day stresses; so, there was a lot of tension/stress accumulated in my muscles that needed to be worked out. The masseuse did her job and found each knot. Then she proceeded to drop the elbow; inside I was whimpering like a new puppy left outside on a rainy night. The calves, the quads, the muscles around the shoulder blades, and the neck; each a recipient of the elbow. I had visions of the Macho Man Randy Savage dropping down from the ropes elbow first delivering a nearly fatal blow to his opponents. Can I just step into a Slim Jim instead!

The hour was up and she asked me how I felt. Not wanting to admit I'd just been emasculated, I mustered a "Much Better." I went home afterwards and fell into a stupor in front of the television--this is an activity reserved for the longest/hardest training days. It wouldn't have mattered if I was watching Telemundo or Lawrence Welk, all that was registering was the array of moving lights and sounds. I've never taken acid or, for that matter, any other hallucinogenic recreational drug, but I imagine the experience might have been similar. After a while, Tanya told me to go to bed, and I pulled myself off the couch and in to bed to a night laden with strange dreams.

Wow, maybe some massages should be registered with the FDA! I'll have to be less cavalier for my next massage.

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