Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. Post-marathon, I headed up to Toronto to visit my brother and his family. It was a ton of fun, and blogging was the last thing on my mind.
Recovery, however, was very much on my mind. My Boston Marathon last Monday was super fun and I felt awesome the entire time despite the abysmal weather; but that doesn’t mean that soreness after the race wasn’t a problem. Here’s a little outline about how recovery went for me in the last week:
Day of the Race: Because of the cold and the location of my team’s post-race meet-up spot, I wasn’t able to refuel or stretch for about an hour after the race. I wasn’t too concerned about this at that time, though, because I’d totally lost my appetite. This happens to me when I race; the longer the distance, the less hungry I am. That said, I managed to take in a protein shake and a protein bar while stretching a little bit about an hour after finishing, and got some chicken and rice for dinner around 7pm that evening.
One Day After The Race: When I woke up the following morning my quads were particularly tight; a side effect of a hilly course. The fronts of my ankles were also unusually sore, I think from having to run in heavy, rain-saturated shoes for 26 miles. I’d thought it was hard for me to find a comfortable position to sleep in that first night after the race, but it was way harder to get out of bed the next morning. I spent a good amount of time reading articles about the marathon on my phone while laying in bed and pretending like I wasn’t just avoiding movement.
When I finally did manage to get out of bed, I found that my normally voracious appetite was still totally gone. I forced myself to have a yogurt for breakfast, and managed some leftover chicken and rice for lunch and dinner. I also had a banana and apple with peanut butter at some point in there. I took a super hot epsom salt bath, then did a little gentle stretching and rolling (so much ouch). I took 3 Advil every 5-6 hours; this is what I’ve been told to do whenever I’m injured, and I’ve found that it really helps effectively alleviate inflammation.
When my appetite started to come back that evening, I treated myself to frozen yogurt (my sweet of choice) and took this guy (my oldest brother’s dog) out for a 30 minute walk to get myself moving!
Two Days After The Race: I was set to fly up to Toronto this day, so I made a point of doing as much walking as possible throughout the day to loosen things up. I walked to the train station and took the T in to the airport, then I walked laps once I got to the airport. I even found a secluded spot to sit down on the floor and stretch out before I got on my flight. (I had a loooooong wait in the biggest terminal, which was filled with other runners in their finisher jackets also walking/stretching all over the place haha)
I still wasn’t that hungry, but pushed myself to snack throughout the day, and continued taking Advil every 5-6 hours to manage inflammation.
Once I got to Canada, I was immediately put to work by my one-year-old niece, who demanded I get down on the floor and play my little pony with her. At first getting down on the carpet and picking her up was a challenge, but I think it helped me gain some mobility back!
Three Days After the Race: Lucky for me, my brother’s building in Toronto has a gym, pool, and hot tub. I stretched, rolled, and hot-tubbed when I woke up in the morning, then took over babysitting duty around breakfast time. My appetite came back WITH AVENGENCE this day and I ate legit every snack I could get my hands on.
Once again, my niece put me to work and we spent the morning running around the building and playing in her pop-up tent. I also got lots of rest time when she went down for her nap. I spent her 3-hour nap time on the couch, watching TV and scrolling through instagram. I loved the below post from Molly Huddle, which felt a little too real. Although I could still feel a little tightness in my hips, I was feeling pretty darn good by the end of this day!
Four Days After the Race: On this day, I was finally feeling ready to work out. I hopped on a spin bike for 30 minutes, and then managed 5 minutes at an easy pace on the treadmill before stretching, rolling, and completing my ab circuit. In the afternoon we took my niece to the natural history museum and I had a blast chasing her around.
I was starving all day this day. It was insane. I could not get enough food. However, I no longer felt the need to take advil round the clock. I did take two advil when I woke up, but didn’t feel like I needed more than that.
It was also on this day that I started really thinking about my next races. What is wrong with runner’s brains that we start planning our next marathon when we’re not even recovered from our last one?! So bizarre.
Five Days After the Race: I so wanted to work out yet again, but I felt like a rest day with a little walking was probably more appropriate. I continued to be super hungry and feverishly gathered plane snacks while out for a walk with my brother in Toronto. My flight got me back to Boston around 7pm, and I already missed my brother and sister-in-law and niece. I totally should have stretched and rolled out, but instead I played on Instagram and just generally was lazy until bed time.
Six Days After the Race: Although my body felt TOTALLY recovered at this point, I knew there was still recovery to be done. I took a 45-minute hike and did some stretching and rolling. I also did some run/walking for about 10 minutes.
My parents threw a post-race cookout for me this day, too! Which was awesome because it was finally nice out.
Seven Days After The Race: Today I went back to work. Having April vacation to recover from the marathon was a gift and a curse; on the one hand, I had plenty of time to take it easy, stretch, roll, and take in the right foods. On the other hand my routine was totally thrown off! I was eating and sleeping at off times, and didn’t have daily workouts to structure my schedule around.
Today I also got back to running sort of for real. I ran with the Dreamfar Running Club and logged about 3 SLOW AS HELL miles alongside some super strong student runners.
I’ll be running a half marathon with a few of them and cheering others on during their first full marathon in just two weeks. I wouldn’t normally choose to run a half just three weeks after a full, but I want to support the kids as much as I can!! I asked my charity team’s coach for a little bit of guidance for recovering and running this half safely, and he said that I should take the first week after the marathon super easy, then rebuild easy miles the second and third week. He also said not to worry about running anything over 8 miles before the half, because my fitness from my Boston training will carry over.
I don’t have a pace goal for this upcoming half; I’ll set a goal for myself based on my first mile on the course. I ran my last half in 1:58, but that was almost a year ago and I haven’t done much speed work since then. I’d LOVE to get a sub-2 time, but I’d be happy with anything under 2:10 and satisfied with just finishing.
After that half, I’ve got about a month before I really have to run again. I start sort of training for my next marathon (more on that later this week) in June!
Now You Tell Me:
- RUNNERS! How do you plan out your racing calendar?
- Fave plane snacks? I’ve got a bunch more trips coming up:)