Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Aftermath and Now What?

You never know how you're going to recover from a marathon - heck, any race - until you run it.  I didn't know what to expect out of my body post-MCM so I really didn't lay out any rigid plans for myself.  I knew that I wanted to be on the conservative side and allow myself to rest and heal up as needed.

Something I am aware of for me is that I have to have a happy balance of keeping moving and resting.  If I simply lay around, I feel like crap longer and I tend to get really tight very quickly.  If I try to push myself to go and go and go, of course that just delays my recovery time.  So it's all about finding that sweet spot.

Walking the National Zoo (very sloooowly) the day after MCM was a good thing for me, I think, especially since I had a long car ride the rest of the evening to get back home.  The day after, more DOMs kicked in via the quads, but it wasn't too bad.

I wanted to take 7-10 days or more off running.  I didn't (and don't) see any reason to be out running in the days after.  In my belief you won't be helping yourself any, but you certainly can hurt yourself and I don't want to chance it.

In the week after, I went for a couple of easy to brisk walks, rode the bike and got on the crossramp.  The crossramp was the worst, as it generated some odd twinges out of the backs of my knees.  It felt good to be back in the gym and breaking a sweat in ways other than running, though.  Sometimes you just need the change of pace, if you will.  I'm excited about the fact that our neighbor offered us his upright bike when he moved.  We just got it set up in our new place yesterday and it will be nice to have that option here at home.

I ran on the 9th day post-MCM.  To be honest, I was scared because I didn't know how it would go.  It went ok... not great, but not awful.  I had that "I forgot how to run" thing going on at first, but then I eased into it.  I still felt sore in places - particularly my hip flexors - but I was able to keep going.  My body kept wanting to run at marathon pace, and I had to keep pulling back.  It didn't feel like I was running too fast, but I don't want to "accidentally" go too hard/too fast when it is unnecessary.  I got a little over 4 miles in, so no disappointments there.

I'm planning another short run this week and then I'm going to try just running for an hour this weekend sometime.  My goal at this point is to work myself back up to 25-30ish miles a week for the rest of the year.  I'd like to run 4 days per week and do strength training 3 days.  I will have a total rest day, of course, so one day will be both a short run and a lifting session. I'm looking at doing the Strong Curves program (with my own flair, of course) as I still believe I have weakness in the glutes more than anywhere else.  Right now I have nothing set in stone until I get a feel for exactly when I am fully recovered from the marathon.

Nutritionally speaking, I'm happy to be lowering my carbs again and picking up the protein (my diabetic husband is thankful for this as well - less temptations in the house for him).  I usually crave it after racing anyway... My standard post race or long run meal is a juicy burger.  I'm currently back to eating more whole foods and feeling good about it.  Not that I ate like crap during my marathon training, but at the end there I felt like I was eating us out of house and home and while travelling I was leaning on snacky things like energy bars, pretzels, etc.  Last night I made a delicious pizza casserole out of spaghetti squash and Italian sausage and packed it with mushrooms, onions and fresh basil.  Now I'm hungry for leftovers for lunch and it's not even 10 AM.  Crap.

Future plans... Well, in the immediate future I'm going to continue to enjoy the break... from extremely early wakeups, to being exhausted, to the rigid schedule, to the intensity of everything.  I want to get back to blogging more about my day to day and with that I want to catch up on the blogs I've been missing.  I've been reading and reading (bloglovin + long car rides), but I want to reach back out there and be more social.  I feel like I've cut myself out of the loop - I know I did - but I'd like to wiggle back in there.  This is also something I need to have a happy balance of - I tend to either overshare or just not be here at all.  There's gotta be a middle ground.  One of the things I'm considering for the next year is actually training with an actual group.  Maybe finally break out of my comfort zone as a perpetual lone wolf.

Racing...  I'm tentatively saying that my next race will be the Frigid 5 Miler in January.  I've wanted a redo of that since I did it almost 2 years ago.  I'm still trying to make a decision on Pittsburgh.  Part of me wants to go for the marathon to finally say I did it, but at the same time I really love that half and I'm still kinda bummed I couldn't PR it last year.  And, I don't know if I want to do two marathons a year (assuming I'll do another Fall marathon - be it MCM or Philly or another).  I would love to work on getting my speed back in the coming year... I know it's there, just lurking under the surface.  I feel it in the form of "oopsie" sub 8 min miles in the middle of random 5 mile easy runs...  It just needs coaxed out in the form of focused training.   Again, I don't know... nothing is set in stone.

Right now I'm going to enjoy this period of going with the flow.

1 comment:

  1. That pizza casserole sounds tasty!

    I really like the go with the flow idea, and easing back into running. There's no rush, and I agree that it may do more harm than good! After my half, I plan on taking off to Florida for a few days and will be leaving my running shoes behind!