Post Marathon Recovery Time
Since the marathon, the layers have pain have been peeled back day by day and it was time to run again last week. It was 5 days post-marathon where I was able to run a measly mile again. Usually I just ease back into it and do a reverse taper: 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles, etc. By the time I get to 5 miles, I'm usually good to go again. But let's face it, the marathon does A LOT of damage and it will take 3-4 weeks to fully recover, so I always take these miles very easy and slow. Today I decided to head back to the weight room, so I was curious to see if I could lift the same weight I lifted on October 8th (6 days prior to marathon). To my surprise, I was able to do it, but this was not the maximum amount of weight I could lift during this last marathon training cycle. I purposely lifted slightly lighter weights than my max so close to the marathon so I figured I was "safe" to get back to that weight again today. I did fine for the most part. I maxed out on GLUTES at 140 pounds and I pushed 250 pounds on leg press (30 reps in a row), so frankly this is too easy for me now. The torso rotation was tough at 80 pounds....it felt harder to me than usual and I felt like my abdominal muscles were ripping apart - almost to the point that I was going to stop but I said "no freaking way" and kept going for my 30 reps (3 sets of 10). So I did it and I am purposely going to wait until Sunday morning to go back to the gym and give myself 3 days in between lifting. I religiously went to the gym every 2 days before the Hartford Marathon, but I am going to ease back into it. The last thing I want is a flipping injury (hate injuries!) 24 days before the Philadelphia Marathon. Yes, I signed up for it. I couldn't help it. Once I realized my left hamstring was not significantly hurt from the marathon, I signed up. LOL!! I JUST WANT TO RUN. I could not let myself wait until Rock N' Roll New Orleans to run another marathon. I just couldn't wait because I love to run 26.2 freaking miles!! That's the honest truth. Call it what you will - addiction, passion, etc, but I love this journey and I want to keep it going. I love every day that I can run - every training day, every mile, but the races are special. Get one more race in before the end of 2017. Besides, that will give me 5 marathons this year and you know, 4 marathons just seemed kind of wimpy when I ran 6 in 2016. I know it's not but it's how my brain works.....I just HAVE TO do it. There's no debating it. If I'm not injured, I am absolutely doing it. And people could argue that I couldn't possibly PR another race when they are so on top of each other and that is completely OK with me if I don't. I fully accept that I will be jockeying for position with 30,000 runners in Philadelphia, so I won't start off fast for this one (probably in the 10's like SF marathon - it bothered me a bit but what can I do?!) My goal for this race is to run a negative split and just enjoy the journey. I always enjoy the journey so that's a given. I have run other marathons 41 and 43 days apart before so I'm not too worried. Hartford and Philadelphia are 36 days apart I believe, but I can do it. I am just easing back into training and really trying to get back up to running 40 miles a week before I taper again. LOL. It's important to be careful, stretch, eat right, hydrate and roll my legs out (thanks to hubby!) My next real training cycle will be over the winter before New Orleans and I'm going to crank it up then. I am really just hoping my two messed up (black) toenails fall off before Philadelphia now. Come on baby!!! In terms of other physical ailments, I really don't have any....my heart rate is still high (170-180's) even when doing an easy run, so I know I'm still recovering, but otherwise I feel good overall. My heart rate comes right down and I'm back in the 50's in no time at all. This week, I have been coaching hubby back to his old self after he crushed the Baystate Marathon in 3:22. I wish I was that flipping fast, but hey I have short legs so I have to work them even harder to keep up with everyone else. But I run the marathon for me and me only. I really compete with myself and someday I want to break 4 hours. That is my ultimate goal and I know I will do that. I think I will do that in New Orleans being a flat and fast course or maybe Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon? Sometime next year, I will do it, I am sure of that because I know myself and I have the will and determination to do it.
Here are some tried and true tips to get you back to running after your marathon:
1) Drink lots of water to flush out any toxins from your body and keep you feeling good
2) Eat well and consume lots of protein to help repair your damaged muscles
3) Epsom salt baths - the magnesium will definitely take the edge off your pain
4) Ice any injuries as soon as possible - the acute stage < 48 hours is critical for healing
5) Walk as much as possible (try to get in a mile or 2 after the race)
6) Continue taking any supplements and vitamins as it is easy to get sick after a marathon
7) Sleep as much as possible (if you are not in too much pain)
8) Use Tylenol (or even better) use ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation
9) Roll out your legs with massage stick or get a massage from someone
10) Gently stretch your muscles if you can and put your feet up as much as possible!