Thursday, 31 May 2018

A Little Post-Marathon Update



You all know how much time and thought went into the prep and training for Sunday's marathon. What I didn't do, possibly because you can't until you've experienced it, was think much about the recovery afterwards. I took the dogs for a walk when we got back on Sunday, then Monday we visited Gilbert White's house for a few hours and went cycling in the evening. I felt fine, slightly achy legs but energy levels were good. I went to bed early (9.30) and slept reasonably well. 

I had almost no muscle pain after the race, except for the first night when every time I turned over I woke myself up because my knees ached. This is normal for marathon runners (can't quite believe I can now refer to myself as a member of that club) and it had gone by the second night. I did some stretching on Tuesday/ Wednesday and that helped tease out the last bits of tension, but I was running down stairs without thinking on Monday afternoon so it really wasn't bad. In fact, it's been worse after hilly half marathons.

On Tuesday I met friends for coffee in the morning and then did some food shopping. But half way round I started to feel a bit grey and decided to cut it short and get home. By the afternoon my energy had crashed completely and I spent the rest of the day on the sofa reading, eating, watching the tele and feeling drained. Not like me at all, but I had absolutely nothing left in the tank. By the time M got back from work at 6.30 I was tucked up in bed snoozing :o). Poppy took advantage of this state of affairs to join me :o)

Wednesday I deliberately took things easy, even though I was champing at the bit to get out and be busy. It worked because by evening I was feeling normal again. This morning I escaped into the fields to walk the dogs for an hour then went out for a little (1 mile) exploratory run. 

I hadn't expected to feel nervous - after all, I'd run over 26 miles on Sunday- but I was. It was purely psychological because I was fine. I don't know what I expected but my legs, lungs and heart all worked and I really enjoyed it. Tomorrow, a longer run and then it's more or less back to normal I think. 

My plan for next time is to set two days aside afterwards for recovery and deliberately not do very much, even if I feel fine. Lesson learnt.

I read an interesting article while I was lying in bed on Tuesday, about marathon recovery times. The general consensus among experienced marathon runners is that it can take 4-8 weeks to recover from your first one, and that after that the recovery time becomes shorter and shorter, until you reach a stage where you could run a marathon a week/ fortnight without too much bother. Obviously, this is dependant on running marathons more frequently so that your system gets used to it.

I was tempted to put another one in eight weeks, but this is me being sensible: I've waited until October when we've got a gnarly, hilly, off-road fest to do. That gives me time to practice on some trails over the summer and see how my knee holds up to it. If it doesn't, I'll go back to roads in the autumn.

Now, my running friends among you- I have lost touch with who's doing what in terms of races. Barbara completed her 10k in amazing style, given that she fell early on in the race. Huge kudos to her, but I need a reminder of who else is doing what?

Hope all are well? And thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my last post. It meant a lot.

CT :o)

21 comments:

  1. To me it seems you are doing everything right.
    I love that the second they can some furry friends love to enjoy a snuggle.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Poppy has some very cat-like tendencies, chief of which is curling up on people to sleep and snuggle x

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  2. It’s so easy to focus on the race without thinking about the after, glad your OK. Are you still on cloud nine, I would be.

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    1. I am! Still chuffed to bits but also eager to get back to proper running x

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  3. Can’t say I’m surprised a little downtime was needed after your amazing achievement. Cant believe people who can manage to run a marathon a day for a month or more. Must be made of steel.
    Not sure where I’m heading next. I think a bit more solo running around the lanes trying out different routes varying between 5 and 10 K. I just want to keep the momentum gently going. B x

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    1. It’s all down to training I think, running back to back marathons. Your body adjusts.

      Now, I want to say something and I don’t want you to get cross and call me Miss Bossy, but I suspect there is a half marathon in you. Promise me you’ll think about it? Do a few more 10k races to practice. You’re half way there already after all xx

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    2. 😹😹😹 Why Am I not surprised lol. We'll see...... But I’m definitely a 10K lady at the moment Miss Bossy x

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    3. I’ve sown the seed.... and I believe in you xx

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  4. Well done you!!! You are such an inspiration. I am doing more walking, and am never likely to run other than for a bus!, but I have been asked to do a 10K walk in a few months and have said yes, and I was inspired by you to say that, so thank you for that! Hope you enjoy some winding down time and getting ready for whatever the next run is! congratulations again!!!

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    1. Amy that is fantastic news! Good for you. I am proud of you 👏👏 xx

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  5. I think you've done great and at least you'll know what to expect next time. 😉
    I needed that amount of recovery just to get over my weekend. X

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    1. 😆. It does get easier the more running you do. But you’ve also got a little person to care for, whereas all ours are huge now and require less time (in some ways 😂). Xx

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  6. How on Earth did Eddie Izzard manage his ridiculous number of marathons?! Love the thought of Poppy sneaking in for a snuggle! Glad you are fully recovered now. xx

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    1. I know- he was seriously impressive wasn’t he? I remember the blisters on his feet too 😳. Xx

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  7. Good grief woman...are you unstoppable?! x

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  8. Hey CT,
    That's something I've missed since not running actually; the tiredness. Which may sound odd, but it's a healthy tiredness - mind, body and soul - and it helped me sleep soundly. It was also good for all my internal workings keeping regular, if you know what I mean. And that's healthy too. First run tomorrow. Half term has meant that I have had to wait, but I can honestly say that I'm up for it. Clearly I'm ready to go once more!
    Leanne xx

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    1. I know what you mean: a healthy tiredness and a properly working body. I miss the feeling of having properly exercised when I haven't run far enough. Being sensible still and not running too far yet (also because my big toe has turned purple after Sunday and hurts like hell. Another nail to lose :o)).

      Yay for tomorrow and your return to running. I am with you and behind you every step of the way. Go, my friend. It's all there ahead of you, waiting xxx

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  9. It's interesting that it takes so long to recover, I had no idea. The children were telling me with great delight the other day that children's muscles recover after exercise so much quicker than adults', even top athletes. I think they were trying to make the point that they were better than Mo Farah at something... Enjoy your run today, and have a good weekend. CJ xx

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    1. They're not wrong, I read the article too. And they have more energy (although quite why it took scientists to confirm what every parents who's ever been knows I don't know :o)).
      Enjoy your weekend, lovely CJ xx

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  10. Your posts brought me a lesson that marathon is a game needs to talk with your body and guts.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x