My First Boston Marathon – Recovery, Week 1-ish

Wednesday

Up early in Boston to walk Newbury Street a bit and get one last coffee from a place DH found and we both liked. Then breakfast in the hotel room and farewell to the place that was home base for us. It served us well.

We had an 11:30 flight and due to our protective scheduling and less traffic/travelers than anticipated, had plenty of time to kill in the airport.

Arrived home early enough to get inside before a rain storm blew through. DH even had time to mow the lawn before going for his run. I went to the grocery store and started washing running gear (priorities). Discovered that sitting in a cab, in an airport, and on the plane activated soreness in some areas (glutes especially) that really hadn’t been sore. I guess the solution is to keep moving.

In the evening, we got Thai takeout, trying a new place that we’ll definitely get food from again. We had yummy pad Thai, chicken satay and fresh spring rolls along with peanut sauce I can’t get enough of. We watched a little taped TV and back to regular snacking/reading. A bit of thrash for me as I’m pretty much out of running books to read (don’t find the magazines as relaxing in the evening) and still nothing else appeals.

DH went back to work Th and F, and I am glad I took the rest of the week off! I certainly could have returned to work – especially Thursday which is usually a telework day, but will take the extra time away.

Thursday

Slept 9:30-6ish (waking every 90 min), got up around 630. Puttered, started laundry. Around 8, walked at a stroll pace on treadmill for 40 minutes. Then breakfast and reading online. Stiffer than I have been, maybe due to travel and being in bed so long.

I feel TIRED and brain is not working. Think I’m still way down on sleep, and my allergies may be kicking in again as so much is in bloom here. I notice my reaction time, memory, attention span, and ability to perform tasks is off. Wasn’t my usual self driving. Super distractable.

Went to chiro – he was so happy for me! We talked about the race, but early in the appointment, he said – “1 year minus 3 days till next year, let’s get started!” Gotta love him. They put a congratulations sign on the front door and I walked right past it….the office manager told me to go out and back in again, and then I saw it. They were so pleased for me and proud of me. It was just lovely. Apparently my chiro had been tracking me and sent me a text when I finished, but sent it to the wrong number. I was so tired I almost fell asleep face down on the chiro table!

I ran an errand, went to Whole Foods and Mom’s Market. I know better, but let myself get dehydrated and hungry. That only added to fatigue. Eating and drinking not helping so much, really felt like I could nap mid afternoon but I didn’t. Didn’t get much done. My afternoon massage was cancelled as my therapist had some sort of cold/allergies and we decided I shouldn’t risk picking up a bug.

I’m becoming aware of heavier fatigue and a more “down” mood.

I don’t want my first Boston Marathon to be over…I’m missing the preparation, the focus, the anticipation. But I know I need a break after the last year or so, and I’ll be trying to take one, of sorts, for the rest of April and most of May. Easy running, some swimming and cycling and walking, as much sleep as I can get. Figure out the exercises I need to add (my gait analysis in late May and my chiro will help with this, as will Meb’s book, Coach Jay’s routines and Magill’s book)

Friday

Slept 10ish to midnight in the chair, then upstairs. Woke 3a, 4a, 6:20 (with the sun).

Looked like a beautiful morning (for a run – 40 degrees and sun rising though breezy) so I decided to walk to Starbucks and back rather than walking on tmill. That’s about 1.25mi round trip with an extra block or two thrown in. It was beautiful – saw and smelled lilacs in bloom.

lilacs

lilacs

On the way there, my stomach started being unhappy, so I decided not to get anything and walked back home enjoying the sunlight shimmering through the green leaves as they fluttered in the wind.

sunlight through leaves

sunlight through leaves

Of course I was comparing the walk and the view to DH & I walking on Newbury Street to the cute coffee shop, and it was coming up a bit short.

On the way back, I felt a little sad and isolated – it occurred to me that was one of the fantastic things about the Boston Marathon weekend was that the community of runners came together. You could walk up to anyone who kind of looked like they might be running and ask “have you done the race before?” (tell them it’s your first and you’ll get useful info and stories) and launch a conversation about all things running. It really felt like a community and I think I miss that. Of course nothing else will be like that weekend – especially the first time, though I imagine it can actually get more magical as you do more of them – but the conversations on the shakeout runs must be something like you get with a running group, and perhaps those even get deeper as you share experiences and build friendships.

My seat mate on the bus was telling me about her group with her local Running Room store (apparently there are a LOT of them in Canada and they all have groups) and how at the famous Around the Bay race in Hamilton (older than Boston and reputed to be a great race and great prep for Boston). Her group probably had 40 people in the race so when you finished in this stadium, you’d get changed and grab coffee and then come back out to the stands to cheer your friends in. I want to do that race, but I’m not sure if next year will be the year or not, as I have so little experience with racing in a training buildup and it’s a hike (and plane ride) so close to Boston.

I’m not sure if it’s allergies (my eyes feel puffy) or fatigue, but by 8am I feel like I could nap. Had breakfast, messed around online. I got myself to pool for “swim” at 11am, go me! (more time in transit than in the water, and some willpower to make it happen at all). Sport-specific fitness is truth, especially 4 days after a marathon. We’ll call what I did “intervals” to account for the times I was hanging onto the wall waiting for my HR to recover.

Spent some more time online and did more laundry. Eventually I took myself to the porch and worked on my race recap. It was quite chilly and almost blustery, but I wanted to be outside in the sun so I bundled up and made tea, and was out there till DH came home with our Friday Chinese takeout. Did my Whartons for the first time since the race. As usual, we watched a couple of TV shows and called it a night pretty early.

Saturday

Slept in, woke 610 but didn’t get up until 7. After much puttering and iPod fiddling, walked 1.35mi as a warmup, mostly at 0% as my L ham didn’t seem to like 1%. Ran 2 recovery miles. Went between 0% & 1% mostly at 1%. Quads sore! First time since race & only on run. Both at start, R got better after 1st mi, L got worse, sharper, so stopped. (now hurts when squatting, stairs) Glutes sore, all & mins. Hips tight. All else as ok as expected, calves little tight, feet little sore esp outer L bottom. ARGH. May just walk tomorrow as that doesn’t seem to bother it. People say they take 2 weeks off running (elite and non). Maybe I should. Crazy-making, but I’ve got to get this next month of recovery and return to running right to set myself up well for Baystate in Oct (and Beach to Beacon in August) and Boston in April. Don’t want to repeat the mistakes I did around my triple. So, will be trying to control the crazy with walking, biking and swimming. Maybe elliptical/arc at gym but suspect quad won’t love that. Poor DH – he’s racing tomorrow and next Sunday while living with me who’s not running and trying to control calories.

Spent a good bit of time finishing and posting my race recap and working on other Boston-related posts. Read the March Runners’ World while I had some toast and green tea. Dinner – going with Chinese steamed chicken and veg leftovers instead of the incredibly yummy pad Thai, chicken satay, and rolls we had Wed night. If I’m going to eat any potato chips or GF cookies this weekend, have to cut back somewhere. (seems so unfair)

Saturday night, a couple TV shows and an early night. DH is racing in the morning, and I’ll…..walk I guess or maybe bike.

Sunday

Wow. It’s already almost a week ago?! That just seems wrong somehow. I’m still not ready for it to be over.

Apparently my body has decided that sleeping in=sunrise. Ah well. Went to the pool, got in 1 hour pool run – just suit, no wetsuit! – listening to the remainder of the Marathon Talk ep with Yuki Kawauchi (started Sat) and part of the Another Mother Runner ep where Bethany debriefs her Boston Marathon. I wanted to do 90 minutes and finish the podcast, but they started pulling over lane markers for kids’ swim lessons, and I was getting colder and thought I shouldn’t push it. Probably good, as when I climbed out my left calf threatened a cramp and both calves felt like they were twitching. (calf cramps tend to happen for me when I have been off pool running for a while) The middle “meat” part of both glutes feels pretty sore too. Not sure if my massage will address that or if trigger point will need to. I can still feel my L quad strangeness, trying not to panic and just give it time as it seems a bit better than yesterday.

Filled the car with gas and stopped by the grocery store for more produce on the way home. I’m consuming asparagus, sugar snap peas, romaine, mushrooms and strawberries at quite a rate these days. Got some more Brussels sprouts too, even though I roasted a bunch for work yesterday. Breakfast of egg whites and artichoke hearts, cinnamon raisin toast and some coco bread toast. Finished up the podcast while doing food prep for the week and supplements.

Then headed out to the porch – such a gorgeous day, though a bit chilly yet. Working on posts and trying to catch up on blog reading. So much blog/magazine/etc running reading to do. Due to massage, my normal mid afternoon time slot will be taken, and afterward will need to shower before dinner.

In terms of my recovery protocol, I have gotten in a swim and a pool run, some walks and a short run. I haven’t yet done any core or strength work. I haven’t done rolling, icing or yoga. I have started doing Whartons again. Overall I’d grade myself low on recovery except for the first day after Boston. I know what to do, I just didn’t do it. Maybe the rest is doing me good? Yeah, lets go with that.

Monday 

Back to work. As my sis says “re-entry is hard”. 25 min bike in the AM. Glute mins hated standing, sitting, just kinda hated everything. Took a walk to the library before dinner, then Whartons. Worked on getting the Tuesday blog post done – lots of photo editing, kept me online way too late.

Tuesday

I chose not to run today, figuring I’d give my quad, which has been improving – knock wood the tweak may be gone – more time and telling myself that there is NO downside to taking a few more non-running days. None. NONE. (the loudness is for me, not for you) The rest will do my body good, and it’s not like I’ve got a race soon or even the start of training. So, I walked 5.25 miles this morning on my treadmill. My quads didn’t complain, but my hammies did. They also haven’t liked me sitting as much as I have been now that I’m back to work – even with a standing desk, I sit for some meetings, to eat lunch and sometimes to read documents.

Saw my chiro, who stretched my quads (saying the right was tighter than the left which I’d tweaked), e-stimmed and Graston’d them. He said my hams were probably getting more use because my quads were tight (in addition to my known gotta-get-em-stronger ham issues). He was quite amused at me wanting a gold star for stopping my run Saturday and not having run since then. He enjoys teasing me.

Week 2 is proving to be an interesting challenge as I REALLY want to start running again, even short runs, BUT I want to be overly cautious and set myself up well for returning to running and starting training again. I do NOT want to dig myself into a hole like I did last year. I may still be digging out of that hole, in fact. After each of my marathons last year, I got in 15 miles by the end of the following week and was up over 20 the next week. That doesn’t look like it will happen this time. I need to be ok with that.

I’m also finding I’m still easily distractible, a bit moody, having a hard time staying focused and mentally processing when doing even easy things (car keys? oh, they’re on the passenger seat, that’s helpful when I’m trying to drive) and not doing much productive like finishing putting away things from the trip, cleaning or other such required tasks. I’m only moderately useful at work, and the effort required to stay on task is high.

Right now I’m thinking I’ll bike or walk Wednesday instead of run. Saturday I plan to run; whether I run will Thursday or not I don’t know. It’s a different kind of challenge to see if I can make it all the way to Saturday without losing it – or making DH or others too crazy. The pool times don’t work well around my work schedule, so a pool run is unlikely.

Fortunately – or unfortunately (allergies, desire to run) – we’re having good weather if a bit warm. That means a walk to the library, a nearby store, or a lunchtime stroll are possibilities.

Rest and recovery is the priority this month, and staying as active as I can to maintain as much fitness as I can. Eating well but not too much is important (and not easy!). I’m working on getting as much sleep as I can and trying to head toward a routine that gets me to bed even earlier since my “get up” time is fairly fixed due to work. This isn’t easy as there’ll be very little time when I get home to do anything (including spend evenings online), and trying to get to sleep as the evening is light later will be challenging. The schedule may mean not eating dinner or eating a smoothie or soup or something very light.

My gait analysis is May 20th. My training for Baystate will start around Memorial Day (that’s the plan anyway) with a 4 week hill module, 4 week speed module, and 12 week marathon-specific training. I have many tweaks I want to make to my training, and things that need to be caught up on around the house, appointments, etc. (oh, and work) So I have training to plan and things to do to keep me occupied, but I really want to be running!

You know what I mean, don’t you? I thought you would.

Share your best recovery tips for the weeks post-marathon, especially how you stay sane and don’t gain too much weight. I need ideas!