Posts Tagged ‘marathon recovery’

Nearly two weeks after I ran the Boston Marathon, I feel great. Definitely back in the running groove. I took the first week completely off of running and only walked and did marathon sessions (ha ha) of housecleaning. Because I did not push the pace during the race, my recovery was surprisingly easy. Unlike after previous marathons, my quads were not so sore that I ever had to walk sideways down the stairs or brace myself before sitting down on the toilet. In fact I felt so good that I had a little stab of regret that I didn’t run the race faster. It turns out that a marathon is hard no matter how fast or slow you run it, so I might as well have pushed it a little more. I should not second guess myself though. After months of pushing myself to qualify for Boston, I made the decision to take it easier during the race in order to enjoy the experience as best I could. I learn something new every race, and this one taught me that I do not particularly enjoy being out on the course for half an hour longer than my PR time (4:05:09 compared to 3:36:58). Maybe it would have felt different if it had not been such a warm and windy day, but I cannot know the answer to that.

Exactly one week after the race, I went for my first post-marathon run. I took it easy on a 5.41 mile loop and simply enjoyed being back out on the road again. I went for three more easy runs that week, 4.07 miles, 3.52 miles, and 6 miles, for a total of 19 miles. (My husband laughs at the fact that I feel a need to document the run down to the hundredth of a mile, and that I prefer to finish an even 6.0 miles than stop at 5.94. That’s okay, I fully admit my neurotic obsession with the numbers, and I know I’m not the only runner who is the same way).

Now I’m hopping on the training plan I laid out for my husband and 14-year-old to run their first half marathon on June 4, which is five weeks from now. We’re doing the Fontana Days Run (the half marathon is sold out but there are still spots left in the 5K).

What’s the next race you have on your calendar?

Are you obsessed with the exact number of miles you run or are you more easygoing about your training plan and running log?

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Still Recovering

In keeping with Hal Higdon’s marathon recovery plan, I took it easy the week after the marathon, sticking to easy walking and hiking and one cross-training workout on the elliptical machine (yuck yuck yuck never again). By Saturday, day 7, I fought an internal battle about going out for a run: I don’t wanna. That’s just post-marathon blues talking. You can do it. I don’t wanna. You’re not sore. Just get out there and run a few miles and see how you’re doing. I don’t wanna. DO IT OR YOU’LL NEVER RUN AGAIN.

After that internal struggle, I’m not sure if I had a mental or physical block, but whatever it was led me to the slowest 3.3 miles I’ve ever run. It felt like I hit the wall before I even started and no matter how many times I told my body to run faster, it said, “No thank you. I prefer 13:30 miles.” Seriously? I ran 26.2 miles at 9:15 and a week later 3.3 miles at 13:30 feels like torture? Obviously I still have some recovery to do. I know it takes 2-3 weeks to recover fully from a marathon effort, but I didn’t know it would be that bad. My groin injury and posterior shin splints are angry with me and in general my body is on strike and pretending it forgot how to run. I’m going to put some miles on the bike and in the pool and then see if running wants to be my BFF again.

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Right after the marathon on Saturday I made sure to keep walking for about 15 minutes to help my legs recover. Once I stopped walking I wasn’t sure I would be able to start again! Back at the hotel I took an ice bath for 10 minutes. My husband did not quite understand why I would torture myself that way and offered to whip me with a sharp stick if I thought that would help too. I declined. 😉

My family was actually very sweet and thoughtful as I recovered from the race. They met me on the track with hugs and kisses, and walked me to get some food. They carried anything I wasn’t nibbling on. My husband retrieved my gear bag for me and bought me my favorite post-race drink — hot chocolate (great on a chilly day; on a hot day I like a fruit smoothie). The kids could hardly wait to tell me about the surprises they’d gotten for me: a People magazine to read in the bath and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to munch on since I’d been eyeing the kids’ Halloween candy for two weeks but resisted indulging in my favorite chocolate-peanut butter goodness before the marathon.


No worse for the wear!

After the ice bath I took a nice hot shower, dried off and then slathered on some arnica gel for my sore muscles.

I got to choose lunch — pizza, naturally — and we walked to the restaurant from the hotel. I ought to have given in and taken some Advil for my legs but I toughed it out for a long, slow walk/hobble/marathon shuffle. We took a cab back to the hotel!

I slept OK Saturday night but the soreness surprised me every time I tried to roll over or get up to go to the bathroom. On Sunday I gave in and took two Advil. I could walk much better then, and we spent a lovely afternoon at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

So, that brings me to day 2 of post-marathon recovery. Let’s break it down from the feet on up. I don’t have any plantar fasciitis pain in my feet and I’m so thrilled that I trained through it and used the KT Tape Pro for the race. Worked like a charm. I do have two blisters on my second (index) toes. My second toes are not taller than my big toes but they must hit the toe box of my Brooks Adrenaline 12s. My calves are sore, especially the shin splints on my left inner calf. I did use KT Tape for that and it felt OK during the race (tolerable discomfort) but it worsened as expected after I stopped running. My thighs are sore, along with my hips and buttocks. My lower back is also slightly sore. I’ve got a line of chafing on my chest from my favorite Champion running bra, in spite of my liberal application of Bodyglide. The Bodyglide did spare me any chafing under my arms (which I had experienced in training). Lastly, my trapezius muscles (between the shoulders and neck) are sore, probably from my hunchback running form when I get tired!

All in all, I feel about as I expected and no worse off than before I ran the marathon. I mean, sore for sure, but not injured. Stairs are a particular (comical, really) challenge, as is sitting or getting up from sitting. I limp when I walk unless I have some pain medication on board. Today I plan to go in search of more Advil, then walk through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. I’m still glowing from the whole marathon experience and I wear my sore muscles like a badge of honor!

Have you ever been so sore from a workout or race that you had to hobble around? What do you find is the best way to recover from sore muscles?

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