For about eight years before I started training for the marathon, I played an aggressive two-hour game of soccer every Sunday morning with a group of Davidson faculty and their friends. When I first started playing with them, I would be so beat up Monday mornings that I could barely walk. It was usually Wednesday or Thursday before I felt reasonably close to normal. Eventually I figured out that if I went for a run on Monday morning, no matter how painful it was, then my recovery would proceed much faster. I'd be feeling better even by Monday afternoon.
It turns out, I may have been on to something. Many runners talk about "recovery" runs as a way to hasten recovery from a difficult run the day before. That's what was on the schedule for me today after yesterday's hard tempo run. After averaging 7:34 a mile yesterday, today I ran 5.66 miles at barely faster than a 10-minute pace. Based on how I felt this morning, it doesn't even seem possible that I could have been running so much faster just a day before. But if the recovery does its job, I should be ready for a moderate-paced 9-mile run tomorrow.