It’s hard to believe I am still a few days post marathon. There’s such a long build up for these things, and then “poof!” , it’s over. I am trying to be good, very good about recovery. I’ve done 23 marathons and over a dozen ultras. By now, I no longer need a week until I can walk down stairs. My first marathon I had to use the elevator where ever I went for a full 7 days….stairs weren’t even a possibility of me. By now my course always seems about the same: total misery the day of the race, including a night of bad sleep, semi-misery the next day, but by day 2, I feel pretty good, minus some tightness. I always feel like I would be fine to run, if maybe a little slow. For my last gazillion races I am back doing 12-15 mile runs within 7 days. This time I ‘m really going slow…not that I feel any worse after this race, but ever since I threw my back out when I was pregnant with the Owl, I have realized I need to do whatever it takes to ensure longevity in my running. I was completely out of commission then, and I don’t want to ever be injured to that point again!
So I did not run a step for 3 days. I ran very easy today and will repeat tomorrow. The big difference this time is this weekend I am running much less than I normally would. My eyes are on the prize (Boston), and I want to be injury free for it.
Some other things that work for me:
The ice bath. It really does help me. I did not get to do one after last weekend’s race due to someone not taking his nap 😦
Eating/ drinking protein right away. I read that studies show this does nothing, but I swear I feel better if I do a protein smoothie, or get an egg taco. Now, this is only after a race or massive effort, but I feel less “hang-overy” later on if I get something in my belly.
Sleep with a firm pillow between my knees. I do this most of the time anyway, but after a big race I really make sure to. It just helps my legs feel less achy during the night.
I generally try not to take ibuprofen. It is a good pain reliever for me, so I try to not use it except in times I am really hurting. That being said, there have been some races I’ve just been miserable from and I break down and take 400mg.
Another thing is I generally don’t have a huge appetite the day of the race. I wish I did because I always have fantasies of big feasts, but I usually end up eating something pretty small. I do like a celebratory beer that evening, but I limit it to one.
I also try to stay active. Lots of light walking. Just lying around definitely makes it worse.
One thing I am going to try this time is a massage. I get them every 4-6 weeks, but usually I go before my race, not after. This time I am doing both. I know that makes me sounds like I have money to burn, or at least think I do, but I go to someone who’s very reasonable, and I think it’s a better use of my money than eating out or a shopping trip. I’ll have to report back if it helped. As of know I feel pretty good minus a slightly sore heel and an angry hamstring insertion (aka my butt).
And on that note…time for me to go watch The Walking Dead. I love AMC shows!