Post-Marathon: Many Recovery Runs

recovery eCard

I’m knee deep in my recovery week post-Portland Marathon. Resting and recovering always sounds fun until you actually have to do it. Running slower than a turtle through (all-natural) peanut butter doesn’t seem as appealing when it’s not a choice! Also, my post-marathon hunger cravings have taken me for a ride this week…and I’m still not sure if they’re over yet! So how am I dealing with the achy muscles, fatigue, moodiness and comfort eating that accompany a marathon break-up? Read on!

running hangover eCardSo far (if you’ve been following along) you know that I crashed hard after the marathon. I was fine till about 3pm (I finished running at 10am) when I developed a head-pounding-makes-you-throw-up-and-cry type of migraine. I used to get terrible migraines like this when I was a kid (luckily I grew out of them), so I knew that I wouldn’t feel better until I slept it off. I chugged some electrolytes, took a few aspirin, and then slept with a frozen bag of corn pressed against my forehead until 9pm. I woke up, still had a headache and felt pretty sick, but I ate what I could stomach and went back to sleep until the next morning.

Monday morning I skipped my 8am class…no way I was going to make it…instead I stumbled out for my first recovery run, a mere 2.6mi run at a glacial 9:16 pace! I did feel somewhat dizzy that morning. When I turned my head it seemed to take a moment for my eyes to focus and catch up with what I was trying to look at. I’ve had this happen before, so I wasn’t too worried…

Unfortunately I had to go to my 10am class (I took the bus, no cycling for me thanks!) and for a project I spent 1.5 hours walking around downtown in the afternoon for a ‘neighborhood observation report’. After walking on shaky legs with my group, my body was pulled into a nearby Whole Foods and subsequently hijacked by hunger! I read about how elite runners indulge after a major race, and no offense but I’m always skeptical…for example I recently read about how Shalane Flanagan took some time off running and  indulged in pastries while in Europe after her recent marathon in Berlin. Really? Hmmm… But all that aside, I could not stop thinking about and craving avocados! I exercised my right to indulge that day by raiding Whole Foods’ avocado salad roll and avocado sushi selection. (I spent way to much money on food that day!)

This-Is-How-I-Roll-GirlTuesday, the next day, I got a 30 minutes massage. My quads were the most beat up part of my body, but my hamstrings always give me some trouble! I ran an easy 4 miles in the morning.

Wednesday, I jogged an easy 3.1mi in the morning, cycled to class and home, and ran 1.3 to my favorite running store. I ran 3.3mi with a fellow runner (as part of the store’s amazing running and walking group) and then I jogged 1.3 home. In total I put in 9 miles, but they were all very easy!

Thursday (today), I put in an easy 5.5 miles at an 8:00 pace.

I plan to continue taking it easy for at least another 5 days, until about mid-next week. I am extremely wary of becoming injured by pushing things too fast too soon. After I ran the Newport Marathon in May I suffered my hamstring injury exactly one week later. I would not like to repeat that experience! I am focused on dynamically warming up and doing a brief pass over the foam roller before every run. After each run I am stretching thoroughly and foam rolling more intensely at the end of each day.

Sleep is my friend this week! I’ve made it a priority because I know that it’s essential for recovery. No matter how much homework I have to do, or blogging I want to do, neither is more important to me than my recovery. Nutrition and hydration are the other key pieces to coming back stronger than before. As I’ve written, I’m attuned to my cravings and I am honoring them! The first few days post-marathon I put special emphasis on chugging back the water! I stopped being dizzy in less than a day, it was most likely due to a combo of dehydration and my headache, as well as the all-out effort of the marathon.

rest day what to do

I’ll just have to deal with being passed by snails for another few days! My quads are still feeling sore from the long downhill at mile 23 of the Portland Marathon. My left hamstring has also been protesting as usual, and I am hyper aware of the need to give it some extra TLC. My main focus right now is preventing injury and giving my muscles all the resources they need to make a full recovery. When I start my winter training cycle in a week I want to be 100% healthy and chomping at the bit to begin!

I’m ready to get:

Harder_Better_Faster_Stronger_by_abhijitdara

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6 thoughts on “Post-Marathon: Many Recovery Runs

  1. I’m glad you are recovering well! It sounds like you are right on schedule for starting the winter training season strong.

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  2. Recovery is hard, especially with a marathon high to ride, but it’s so, so important. Keep up the good work so that you can hit it hard when it’s time.

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    • That’s the plan! I’ve been constantly reminding myself this week that I need to take it easy and slow! No need to rush things before I’m ready, but I’m raring to go! Luckily the thought of being injured is a good enough deterrent to keep from doing anything ridiculous 🙂

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    • Thank you! I draw motivation and inspiration from as many people, places and things as I can so I can push myself to give my best effort in running (and school, work, etc.) and your travels and bubbly personality (which I can sense through your posts and pictures) are inspirational too! See you in LA! The race feels so far away, but it’ll get here fast 🙂

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