Marathon recovery

It’s been 5 days since my first marathon and I’m finally starting to feel normal again. Honestly, I had no idea how my body would cope with running 26.2 miles but wanted to write a post for any other first timers about what they can expect for the post-marathon week.

Towards the end of the race itself I knew I was going to be sore. My legs felt SOoooooo tired – my left calf and both quads were busy letting me know how pissed off they were for subjecting them to this race. And they pretty much stayed that way until Tuesday night (the race was Sunday morning).

The muscle pain was similar to what I’ve felt after a particularly hard half marathon (avoid all stairs + sit down as much as possible in work) but it feels as if there’s a whole extra layer of muscle fatigue that I’ve never experienced before. My legs feel heavy – although this is slowly improving.

So what have I been doing?

Sleeping! 7 AM wake-ups for me and usually in bed by 10 PM. That is a lot of sleep for me but I totally need it right now. No 6 AM runs or gym sessions.

Drinking a ton of water. I’m hydrating like it’s my job.

Eating better. A 3 week vacation followed by carb loading has left me feeling a little squishier than I would like. With training volume WAY down and no longer having daily access to cheap Chianti I’m getting my diet back on track. Lots of veggies, not much meat and as unprocessed as possible.

Some cardio. On Wednesday I was itching to get my legs moving again so I went to the gym and did 5.5 miles on the stationary bike. Very easy and nice to flush all that crap out. After work on Thursday I jumped on the treadmill for 3 easy miles. My legs were still feeling pretty heavy but it felt good to be running again.

Foam rolling. I have a huge knot in my left calf that I’m trying to get rid of using my foam roller. It’s the right kind of hurt. Plus lots of stretching.

Cross-training. Marathon training takes up a lot of time and I definitely had to sacrifice other activities.I haven’t been to yoga or to my rock climbing gym since the start of August (!). Hopefully, that will be changing next week. My hard-won arm definition is long gone so I’m hoping to get in more strength training time.

So what’s next? Well, last year I signed up to run my second half marathon (Snow Canyon half) but had to pull out due to injury. I emailed the race organizer who said I could defer my entry until 2014. That means in theory I should be running a half on Nov 1st. Originally, I was pretty excited about this. I could use all of my marathon training to bang out a new half marathon PR. Plus it’s a really fast and pretty course.

Well – I’ve tried to get back in touch with the race organizer and so far no dice. I’m also feeling a bit meh about racing again. I figure if I hear from her I’ll run it but if the deferral isn’t going to work out I’m not going to care that much.

But what I have signed up for – the Ogden Marathon – May 16th 2015. I ran the half marathon at this event as my first ever race back in 2013 and want to go back and do the whole thing. That day was pretty miserable – non-stop rain from 1 hour before the race until after I crossed the line. But it was a beautiful course down Ogden canyon. It’ll be a complete U-turn after Twin Cities but something to get me motivated to go running on dark February mornings.

And finally, my reward to myself for finishing my first marathon. New shoes! What else could a runner want.

2216876-p-MULTIVIEWI’ve been interested in trying out some Altras for a while but wanted to wait until after the marathon to transition into zero drop shoes. Plus they were $50 on amazon. I’ve bought a couple of shoes through amazon. Usually they are sold directly through the company (these are from Altra and are $15 cheaper than their own website) and can be Prime eligible. Hopefully, these guys will be waiting for me when I get home from work later today.

Weekly recap

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday started out with a double digit run. Foot was fine. Knee was meh. But the run felt great.

The first 2.5 miles were on trail – and still no rattlesnake/tarantula sightings – followed by 8 mostly downhill miles on the road. The half I’m schedule to run in 2 (!) weeks is net downhill and I want to make sure my quads can cope. I took it pretty easy (8.45 min/mile pace), took my chocolate Gu at mile 6 and finished pretty strong. I even managed to avoid getting sunburnt – by avoiding the bright side of the street and hitting the dark side of the road.

A good mornings work. Followed by refueling with my favorite foods – chocolate milk, berries + yoghurt, and my signature egg/avocado/bacon toasted sandwich.

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I then did my PT exercises in front of this.

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Saturday afternoon/evening was spent at a friends wedding. So much fun.

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Beautiful venue.

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Cakes!

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Pretty! And the food was so good.

This was a late night for me but I still managed to meet some friends (and Hood to Coast team mates) for a Sunday morning trail run. This was actually in the same canyon as the wedding. 5.50 nice and slow recovery miles. I’m really digging running with other people – it definitely makes the miles go quicker.

Total mileage for the week: 25.85 miles (I am back!)

May mileage: 57.8 miles

May was not the greatest month for me – with two weeks completely free of running. But I’m trying to be more sensible about dealing with injuries – resting early and trying not to run through pain. And this totally worked for my (self-diagnosed) foot tendonitis.

However, it this derailed my half marathon training plan. I had hoped to PR this race but this layoff gave me the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate my goals for this race (no PR – but controlled and sensible race pace) and focus on putting the fun back in running. So hitting more of Utah’s scenic trails and badgering people to come run with me.

Next up: June and the start of marathon training! Holy crap – I am totally intimidated by the thought of running 26.2 miles. I need as much advice as I can get. And maybe a new knee/glute.

What do you wish you knew before you started training for your first marathon?

 

Recovery (and my next race)

Three days later and my quads are just about back to normal……………

Recovery for me has involved lots of foam rolling, stretching, PT exercises, calf compression sleeves and icing. And eating……….mini eggs, chocolate and comfort food.

But I was dying to get out and run again (I might have a running problem). So after work yesterday I decided to try a recovery run. I was a little sore but I knew it was DOMS and was pretty sure that it would be OK to run through. Plus it was 70F and I got to run in a tank and shorts for the first time of the year. I started nice and slow and it felt good. I had watched the Boston marathon earlier in the day and was so happy to be able to run.

It felt slow but actually turned out to be 4 miles at 9.10 min/mile pace. And afterwards my legs seemed looser and today they were even better. In fact, for most of my epic 11 hour day I totally forgot that I was meant to be sore. I even managed a strength session in the gym this evening. I think I might be back to normal.

This week is a reverse taper week for me – low 20s mileage but nothing hard. Then it’s back into to half marathon training. My next race is on June 14 – the Utah Valley Half Marathon. It’s another downhill course through beautiful Provo canyon and is meant to be one of the fastest courses in the US. It had been my original PR target race for the year………and I guess it still will be just with a new time to beat.

But the main reason I’m running is that J will be running the full marathon as his third marathon and I wanted to be there to support him as he shoots for a new PR (sub 3.22 – he’s speedy!). I plan to run the half and then transform into his biggest cheerleader!

April mileage: 77.5 miles/124.7 KM

ATWRBR mileage: 199.4 miles/320.6 KM