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.

Day 37 – Happy Pancake Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras!

Since moving to the US (and after John watched Food Inc. – I as usual slept through it) we’ve been reducing our meat intake. Mostly for health and environmental reasons. Yes we’re liberal European hippies. But I just can’t do full vegetarian. I usually eat turkey for lunch¬† – I think this would be my biggest hurdle. Breakfast and dinner I could cope with but lunch………..What do vegetarians eat for lunch?

Yesterday I finally managed a full meatless Monday. I used leftover roast veggies to make a lentil-based soup. The secret ingredient: cumin. I think this has upped its game to become my go-to ingredient. It looked a little vomity but tasted pretty good.


We visited Boulder, CO last year and picked up some goodies at an awesome spice shop. They had the best Thai green curry mix that I’ve ever used – seriously amazing. If you live anywhere nearby or are passing through you should definitely visit. Last night I made tofu fajitas with one of their seasonings. Yum.


Today was a rest day. Just in time. My knee is a little achy and a little swollen. I’m trying to decide if I need another rest day tomorrow but definitely nothing hard tomorrow.

6 AM yoga is still taking place in the dark.


You should know by now that today is Pancake Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras. Growing up in Ireland Pancake Tuesday was always a big deal. It was probably the only day of the year that we actually ate pancakes – shocking to any Americans out there¬† – and they were not the typical fluffy buttermilk and syrup type but more crepe-like and eaten with sugar and lemon juice. This also included attempts at flipping pancakes – not easy – and was usually a fun family night. Tonight we’re celebrating with our British-Australian friends. So pancakes for dinner and dessert.

Today I also gave in and bought another pair of running shoes. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I am running in Brooks PureCadence 2’s right now. Well what do you know – they were on sale on the running warehouse today $69 plus I had a coupon for an extra 15% off. There are four different colors and now I have three. That’s not excessive, right? I’m not planning on using them until I start my marathon training but I like to be prepared. Plus I can’t pass up a bargain.


Day 26 – The wrong way to choose your running shoes

Rest day! But I hate to leave a blank space in my calendar so this morning started with a gym workout – PT exercises and core work. Emmeline at Run For the Pizza has a pull up and push up challenge. So I tried it out today and I managed to do my first (almost) pull up. I was on the assisted machine but had no weight selected. I was a little nervous to use the pull up rack that the buff bros (and ladies) use in case I fell on my face but next time I think I’ll put on my big girl pants and give it a go. Plus 21 push-ups! My goal was 1 pull-up and 50 push-ups. Let’s see how it goes.

Today I had to run some errands and got to go outside during the day for a change. It was sunny and beautiful. Bring on spring!


Leftovers for dinner last night and leftover pineapple for lunch.


Today I wore my retired Brooks Pure Cadence to work. These shoes got me through my first half marathon and a whole bunch of miles last year and they are so comfy! I also love cute socks.


So how did I choose my shoes? Well, I didn’t. For Christmas 2012, J got me my Garmin and these shoes. Lucky for me they both worked out well but after I got my first injury in August 2013 I thought it was time that I got fitted properly and headed to my local running store. You know, doing what every new runner SHOULD do when they start running and not 9 months later. They taped me running on the treadmill and then we watched it back on their iPad. It turns out that I’ve a pretty neutral footstrike with mild over pronation.

I spent the next 45 mins trying on a bunch of shoes. I didn’t want to go back to a more “normal” 8-12 mm heel drop so I stuck with 4 mm which left me with the Brooks PureConnect, Saucony Kinvara and Hoka. But none of them felt right.

The shoes that I had been running in where not what the sales assistant would have originally recommended but she suggested that I try on a pair and she would film me on the treadmill. I put them on and they felt great and didn’t affect my stride. After taking up about an hour of her time I came out with a pair of (on sale) PureCadence 2. So either J is a total running shoe psychic, or else I got incredibly lucky. I did everything wrong and got very lucky.

Day 15 – Week 3 begins

I can’t believe I’m starting week 3 already – this running is flying by. My quads were surprisingly fresh this morning after skiing yesterday and I did a nice and easy 3.6 mile route. This was a pretty perfect run which was totally unexpected considering it was first thing Monday morning and it was raining. But it felt good from start to finish with only a slight knee pain. I’m resting tomorrow and hoping the PT can fix me up on Wednesday.

But my Garmin still isn’t quite sure where I live……….

We’re having some unseasonably warm weather here this week so I have been able to run in road shoes instead of the trail shoes that have become my winter staple. Yay for non-icy sidewalks.


My trail shoes in sunnier times. Brooks Pure Grit 2s. Love them!


Road shoes – Brooks Pure Cadence 2s. I love Brooks shoes. So comfy!

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted food pictures for a while. This is because I’ve been lucky enough to have people cook for me over the weekend. I also did a Crockpot dinner, which doesn’t even feel like cooking. Back to normal tomorrow.

3.6 miles at 9.09 min/mile pace