• Michelle Howell

How I spent my recovery week(s)

Today was the first day in a long time I've had absolutely nothing on my schedule. I did not leave my apartment and spent time actually doing the things I've been meaning to since we moved in-like finish hanging our gallery wall and order frames for the last of our new pieces of art.

The last two weeks I've only worked out when I've felt like it, indulged in some sweet treats, and worn regular (non athletic wear) clothes more than I have in the past two months. It's the time of year I find myself fantasizing about toward the end of track season. The prospect of being away from what is fairly all-consuming in my life is a nice vacation in itself (at least for a little while).

Like any sane runner I know my body needs a break from working out. Every year between seasons (track and base building/ cross country) I spend two weeks enjoying whatever my heart desires. So what have I been up to the past week? No much and a lot.


Being on the type A side of the spectrum sometimes it's hard for me to slow down and relax. This is especially true the first few days of my off week when I find myself with a lot of time on my hands and a bit of fomo from training. The first four days exemplified this as I found myself still waking up promptly at 6:00 am feeling an urge to go to the gym or do something. Eventually I'd dissuade myself into doing some active recovery instead- foam rolling, cupping, and epsom salt baths since the point of time off is to recover and let my body get ready to go all over again. Yoga is back into my routine as well and something I'll continue building on into the fall.


When I was younger this meant a smorgasbord of all the foods I'd stupidly restricted myself away from-non-gf pizza, mozzarella sticks, desserts- and fantasized about for half a year. As I've gotten older and changed my approach to food this isn't the case anymore. Yes, I still try to use this time to enjoy food I don't eat regularly like regular pizza (because we all know gf pizza no matter who makes it is no where near as good as regular dough), but it's not an all out frenzy built up like it had been in the past.

Instead what I've come to really enjoy is baking and trying out new recipes. When I'm training full time baking is hard to do since most recipes call for a significant portion of my time and it's easy to just go through variations of the same meals because this is not the time I want to experiment with what I eat.

Port City Brewery

This is also the time of year when I'm most likely to drink so of course Max and I headed to a brewery one afternoon to check things out and after one I was down for the count.

Soaking up some sun

I'm outside a lot. My day to day office is a track and on long days I can spend anywhere between two to six hours outdoors between training and coaching. Since I'm already in the sun so much I try to stay indoors when I can for two reasons:

1. The sun is tiring

2. got to protect that skin

So when I'm not required to spend the majority of my day in the sun training I do like to soak up some rays in a more leisurely fashion- with a book preferably by some body of water pretending I'm back in Florida.

If you know me you probably know how much I enjoy being out in the nature- whether it's a hike, mushroom foraging, or a long bike ride. I checked off two of those things during my time off ( it's not mushroom season 🤷). Since I'll be cycling as my primary means of commuting this fall to and from coaching I decided to get a head start on it and test out a few of the bike trails nearby. I ended up overdoing it a bit riding 48 miles one day and 30 he next, so much for time off.

Mini Getaway

In some ways my recovery week is basically my summer vacation. It's when I get to relax and do the things I don't normally get around to during the year. And what's summer without a road trip? Instead of flying we hoped on the road to upstate New York for a family wedding. Suffice to say we had a great time with family, checking out local spots, and enjoying a beautiful wedding.

As good as it's felt living the life of a NARP, I know that now that my circadian rhythms have adjusted to sleeping in past 7:00 am it's time to get back into my regular flow.

Back to business and focusing on the year ahead

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