One cold January morning I ran 18k with a friend as part of our Half Marathon training schedule. It was frosty but calm. The sky was a 50 shades of azure, lavender and rose. My running buddy and I were chilled at first but quickly warmed up as we hopped, skipped and jumped over the icy patches. It was great run and I felt good afterwards.
The key to recovering from a Long Run is to have a Recovery Plan. My Recovery Plan includes reading a good book in an Epsom Salt Bath. I don’t know how reading relaxes the muscles.. I just know that the more chapters you read, the better you feel. Another important part of Recovery is to Keep Moving…. within reason of course. Getting up to walk to the fridge / cupboard every 30 minutes or so should be about right.
On this particular day I followed my Recovery Plan to a tee. The book I was reading was a wonderful work of historical fiction and I read it until the bath became tepid. Immediately following the bath I rolled out the yoga mat and did some relaxing yoga poses before stretching out on the couch for a luxurious nap. Sleeping in sunshine on a Winter Day aids muscle repair. … or at least that is what I tell myself. And it did feel wonderful.
After my nap Hubby asked me if I wanted to go to the Gym. Are you kidding??? In spite of my rigorous recovery plan I could barely walk, let alone do a gym workout! But I knew that he wanted to go, and if I didn’t go then he wouldn’t go. He has made some positive lifestyle changes to improve his heath and I fully support his efforts and usually tag along to the Gym just to keep him company. Hey, it makes him happy. Driving there, I wondered what my best exercise options were….. yoga? cardio? weights? … none of these appealed to me but I was prepared to try to fake so Hubby could do his workout.
I started with the Elliptical because it’s easy. Just set it on Level 1 and the machine does all the work for you. It felt good to get those stiff muscles moving but after 5 minutes I was ready to call it a day and go home. Hubby was just getting warmed up on the treadmill so I decided to check out the sauna. Fifteen minutes in the sauna then fifteen minutes on the massage chair made me feel relaxed and lazy so I decided to repeat it. On my second session on the massage chair Hubby came over and asked it I was done. I just smiled and said ,” yes.. I had a fantastic workout. Let’s go home. ”
The moral of the story: When exercising with your partner both individuals do not need to experience endorphin release every time. It is okay to Fake it so your partner enjoys the full experience of a good workout without being concerned that it wasn’t Good For You too.
Epilogue: I may not have produced any endogenous morphines, but it was Good For Me.