Tag: recovery

Training Recap Wk of 4/27/15 or Recovery, Week 2

My last training post took you through last Tuesday. I’m doing this one in a bit different format as there’s not much to report.

So your big question is probably – did she make it all the way to Saturday before she ran again?

Yes, yes I did. I gritted my teeth and told myself “recovery is training” and got through it. I recalled Greg McMillan‘s comments in Boston that “we’re always training…when we’re eating, we’re training; when we’re resting, we’re training; when we’re training, we’re training.” Doing the non-running stuff, whether it’s resting, prefab, strength, or just getting to bed earlier, can be the hardest part of training sometimes!

RUN miles for the week: 10.2

Monday 4/27

25 min of bike in the AM, Whartons before dinner. Skipped core.

Tuesday 4/28

Walked 5.25 miles on treadmill at my warmup pace, some at 0% some at 1%. Did Myrtls after. Got gently encouraged to do less by a few folks on twitter who want to make sure I get a solid recovery. Whartons before dinner. Had good chiro appt where he worked on tight quads.

Wednesday 4/29

Core workout, first time in weeks. Ow. Walked 3.1 miles at warmup pace. Whartons before dinner.

Thursday 4/30

Walked 5.25 miles on treadmill at my warmup pace, some at 0% some at 1%. Skipped Whartons.

Friday 5/1

Core (again with the ow), then bike 25 min. Walked about a mile each way to lunch with a colleague, enjoyed that. Skipped Whartons.

Saturday 5/2 – RUN!

4 recovery pace miles. First run since last Saturday’s 2 miles I cut short due to quad crankiness. Today, just sluggish legs, regular soreness/stiffness one would expect (hello hammies!), nothing new or disturbing or unexplainable. Ran some at 1% which hams didn’t like, some at 0% which upper quads and hip flexors didn’t love. Outer quads feeling resumption of core work. A little tight quad/VMO on right. Definitely out of practice stretching and such, feel all sort of tightened up. Hitting that season where the a/c doesn’t work well enough due to similar outside temp and my runs are too warm: 66-68 degrees, 40+% humidity. Myrtls after.

Sunday 5/3 – RUN!

6 recovery pace miles. Noticed when I got up that I was less stiff and sore than yesterday, yay. Room even warmer, 70 degrees most of the run. Myrtls after.

Both Saturday and Sunday, listened to the most recent Marathon Talk, focused on the London Marathon. My runs were short and the ep was longer than usual, but only getting to listen to one podcast over the whole weekend pained me. I want my mileage back!

However, during my walks and Whartons this week, I listened to other podcasts, including the most recent Cloud259 on Boston (pre-London) which was fun.

I had some tweets with Coach Greg over the weekend where he gave me advice about having a really solid recovery then doing a slow base build (much longer than I’d planned) before going into hills, then a shorter speed module and shortened marathon plan. I’m thinking of trying it, with a few tweaks. He reminded me I’d put my body through a lot of stress with all the training and racing I did last year (and life stress on top of it) and I needed to respect that in the recovery and return to training. I want to hit it really hard, but right now I’m trying to follow the “no rush, no reason to push, when in doubt go easier instead of harder” approach.

When’s your next race, and when do you start training?

I’m glad to be in what I consider the first week of Baystate (and Boston) training, even if it is just some easy and long runs at lower mileage. I really prefer being on a plan, no matter how draft and pencilled in it may be. (I even planned recovery!)




My First Boston Marathon – Recovery, Week 1-ish


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.


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)


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


My First Boston Marathon – The Day After

Let’s start with the night of race Monday…..after Ultragen and some hot decaf tea, realized we needed to get something to eat, for DH if not for me. Having scoped out safe restaurants and locations, we knew our options. Checked into a delivery service, but as all the restaurants were close to the race, some had eliminated delivery on race day.

So, DH and I walked – in the colder worse rain – to Five Guys and back for dinner around 6pm. It probably did my legs good. We were able to walk inside for all but a couple of blocks. Those couple of blocks were pretty unpleasant – dark, cold, very wet and very windy. I hoped Dave McGillivray was done! (Little did I know this impressive gentleman would be out on the course still moving toward his 20 hour finish.) After that, we just hung out in the hotel room. I snacked some because we had stuff and was pretending I needed to eat, but not hungry. I tired but so wired from the race or gels or both that I was online past 10:30, up past midnight.

I slept ok thanks to Benadryl and other sleep aids. I was able to make it to the bathroom multiple times (DH stayed on me about post-race hydration) without cursing or running into things or needing to hold on to anything. Woo hoo! Woke up a number of times, finally around 7 am, so not nearly enough sleep.

I want to share this lovely decoration DH bought for me Friday  – I added my own touch of decor Monday afternoon!

yellow roses & medal

yellow roses & medal

Stuff that hurt/was sore the morning after – less than I’d expected! (maybe the extra walk in the cold rain helped) The usual: hips are a little tight, upper hams at attachment just a bit (way less than normal thanks to sleeves), calves tight or knotted. Upper arms, even sore to the touch (happens to me after races). The new: a little above knees – thought it was only R, but it’s actually both (that makes me feel better that it was related to course/effort rather than a potential injury) probably tight VMOs. I should have iced/stretched, but didn’t. However, they improved over the next day or two. And, I knew my chiro appointment Thursday would address any issues. Overall, feeling pretty good – thanks to the sleeves, the cold and my slower pace, I imagine. Can’t really take much credit.

DH went out for a run and I went for a 1/4 mi swim in hotel’s saline pool. My first time in a saline pool, I liked it. I was tired by the end.

Whether because of swim or something else, the food we have in the room suddenly seemed appealing. Last night I ate because I needed to, and though things were tasty, I didn’t enjoy it that much and my stomach was still off. Not queasy, just very cranky when I ate.

I brewed tea while I took my first post-race shower. No chafing issues, no needing to hold on to anything, no real pain. Score!

I ate my breakfast of bacon, turkey on gluten free bread, asparagus, fresh berries and mango and some tasty gluten-free coffeecake. DH brought me a decaf Americano. I controlled myself but still ate quite a bit. I was hoping it would hold me over to our planned very early dinner.

Then, it was off to Newbury and Boylston streets to shop! We first went down Boylston, stopping at Marathon Sports and the Adidas RunBase. We took a few photos of the finish line area and decorations. We walked down to Mass Ave and then headed back on Newbury. We hit the Asics store as I’d seen some cute items there while at the fun run. They happened to be having a sale, so I added to my collection of running gear.

While out and about, got this photo of one of my favorite intersections

Hereford & Boylston

Hereford & Boylston

Below are photos from the very cool RunBase. If you’re in town, it’s worth a quick trip. They packed a lot of info into a small space that also contains an Adidas shop. The course profile sculpture (for lack of a better term) with additional information scrolling on it and graphics is really neat. They have interactive video display screens too. I asked them to please put the course video you can watch on a DVD and sell it – would be something many of us would buy, I think. (right? feel free to tweet them about it, maybe we’ll get it in time to train over the winter)


Adidas RunBase window

Adidas RunBase window

unicorn in RunBase window

unicorn in RunBase window

why the unicorn

why the unicorn

The super cool course profile sculpture in panorama

course profile in panorama

course profile in panorama

sculpture snippet 1

sculpture snippet 1

sculpture snippet 2

sculpture snippet 2

Bobbi Gibb quote

Roberta Gibb quote on course profile sculpture

Each town the race passes through has a blue placard on one side of the sculpture that has a symbol, the distance the race spends in the town, and a bit more info.

sculpture with some town placards

sculpture with some of the town placards

Here are quick photos I snapped (it was crowded and I didn’t want to be in someone’s way, though people were very friendly).

IMG_0772 IMG_0773 IMG_0774 IMG_0775 IMG_0776 IMG_0777


While we were out, we looked high and low for the Boston Globe, since in the past they’ve printed a special section listing every finisher and I’d been looking forward to that. Couldn’t find it. According to the very knowledgeable woman in the hotel gift shop – who was a bit beside herself about it – 2015 is the first time in 100 years (aside from 2013) that the Globe didn’t print the section, and they didn’t tell anyone ahead of time. She said the Kenyan delegation had come over from the Fairmont Copley looking for papers thinking the ones there were just missing the section. I was quite displeased with this decision, and I bet I’m not the only one. (goodness knows the gift shop clerk was, on all our behalf!) I bought the paper to read the coverage anyway, but imagine my disappointment if I’d been leaving town Tuesday morning, grabbing multiple papers at the airport thinking I’d be in them and planning to give them to people, and then finding out once I got home that there wasn’t one.

The “people’s Olympics” deserves its own special section, even if they put it in a commemorative edition and charge more. I’d surely pay for one – especially for this my first year – and I think others would too. Tell the Boston Globe via twitter, email or phone to bring back the section next year!

While on the hunt, saw this banner

Meb - There's Only One banner

There’s Only One banner

We went back to the hotel for a break, then headed back out. We went back over to Newbury to a cute coffeeshop that made me a decaf AeroPress Americano (!) and decided we wanted to go find the Make Way for Ducklings at Boston Common. Sadly, their race bibs were already gone, I was hoping for a picture. We then rode the carousel there (carousels are a thing for us). We made our way back to the hotel again, strolling on Commonwealth. I did a little bit of sorting and packing while we discussed dinner options.

We went out for dinner around 5 to a nearby dosa restaurant – I’d never had dosas and thought it would be cool. It was – they were huge and tasty. The manager was very helpful in keeping me advised of the gluten free options, of which there were many. I’d definitely eat there again or eat dosas elsewhere. I only wish I’d had room for their kheer, a favorite of mine.

Our dosas – mine was chicken tikka (near), DH had roasted eggplant (far).

our dosas

our dosas

The inside of mine

chicken tikka dosa

chicken tikka dosa

“Carrot cake” dosa for dessert- dosa filled with carrot halwa, drizzled with honey – outside and in.

carrot cake dosa outside

carrot cake dosa outside

carrot cake dosa inside

carrot cake dosa inside

We were so full we decided to walk for a while longer after dinner, headed over to the path by the Charles River, just like the fun runs did.

Welcome Runners sign on Charles River Esplanade

Welcome Runners sign on Charles River Esplanade

by the Charles River

runners by the Charles River

I was surprisingly fine with all the walking, I think I was actually more comfortable strolling than sitting, and it was probably good for me. My iPhone app clocked about 6 miles on Tuesday!

Then back to the hotel so I could do some packing and call my sister. She’d been unable to make it into Boston while we were there – she was under the weather and didn’t want to share germs with me, much appreciated. After packing and chatting, decided it was time to try to relax as pre-trip stress was kicking in. Snacked and read, and tried to get to sleep early, avoiding thinking of leaving Boston and that this wonderful experience was about to be over for this year.

Next post, the trip home and recovery week 1!

Arizona and after – What I Ate (the treats & the experiment)

Long post warning!

Faithful readers have patiently read (put up with) my discussing/analyzing/obsessing about my food plan post-race, a potential gluten free (GF) experiment, and what I’d do after. So this is to share what I actually did pre and post-race, what I learned, and what’s next.

(I actually wish I’d taken MORE photos and some I am sure I took seem to have gone missing. However, I’ll say it was weird to be taking photos of so much of my food, especially in restaurants. I found it a bit disruptive, got annoyed with myself at times. While I enjoy blogging and tweeting and connecting with you all, I’m not a “professional blogger” and I don’t live to blog/tweet. It felt like I was breaking the flow of actual life somehow and putting priorities in the wrong place. Anybody else run into that sometimes?)

Pre-race, I stayed on my Paleo diet plan. As always, not the easiest of plans to follow when eating out, but research, grocery shopping and being able to tolerate very limited options made it mostly work. (Thanks and kudos as always to DH for his patience and support!) I am gluten-free (GF) because I’m gluten-intolerant if not celiac – so out of need. I’m Paleo by choice due to other intolerances and a desire to limit carbs and sugar. I’m not Paleo because I believe we should eat what cavemen ate or anything like that, though I do think the less processed foods and sugar in one’s regular diet, the better. Paleo is just the easiest shorthand for the combination of foods that seem to mostly work okay for me – though I also follow the GERD diet for GERD/hiatal hernia and past ulcers, don’t eat nightshades for autoimmune reasons, though I do eat eggs, and am inching toward lower FODMAPS as I seem to have issues with some veggies, especially raw. The Venn diagram of what I can/do actually eat would be amusing.

After the race however……I’d decided to go wild and temporarily abandon Paleo tenets (no dairy, legumes, etc.) after almost two years of following them. I also allowed myself to eat foods that are prohibited on the GERD diet (spicier foods, carbonation, caffeine, citric acid), a bit risky, and I did have some acid issues, especially toward the end of the two weeks. I continued to eat gluten-free as the pain of not doing so would be not literally intolerable, but severely miserable, and not worth it. (I did contemplate trying the gluten-containing Tammie Coe cupcakes and other yummies – we had the Ooey Gooey cupcakes at our wedding, or naan at our Indian restaurant, but decided the risk/guarantee of pain was just too high. If you can eat gluten though, make sure you eat Tammie Coe products while you’re in Phoenix. Amazing.)

One reason for this “break” is that for the last year or so, the Paleo diet had felt like deprivation more than a positive choice. We had some problems over the 2013 holidays while visiting DH’s family that caused stress for everyone, and it seemed everywhere I looked was something I couldn’t have or chose not to have. It got to be kind of upsetting. Another reason I chose to do it after my ultra is because so many of my favorite foods are in Arizona, places that handle GF well (and my favorite brand of ice cream). It would have been best if I stuck to only restaurants for higher quality food but I did pick up some GF packaged foods like Glutino’s pretzels (ate while crewing), some bars I wouldn’t normally eat (Hammer Whey and Picky) and discovered – thanks to DH – the amazing Tim’s Salt and Vinegar potato chips. You may think you’ve had good salt and vinegar chips, but believe me, these are THE BEST. (and, dangerously, available directly from the manufacturer – not sold in our geographic area).

Tim's Salt and Vinegar Chips

Tim’s Salt and Vinegar Chips

Here’s how it went…..

Thursday 12/25 (left home 5am ET, ate my own food on plane, arrived at the hotel around noon local, which is MT)

Ate our holiday “lunch” at the hotel restaurant, beet and spinach salad with candied pecans and small chunks of steak. We went to Walgreens to pick up SmartWater and snacks, but there wasn’t much available. I believe I got a fruit cup. Our shopping was limited as all the grocery stores near the hotel were closed on the holiday and even Walgreens had limited hours.For dinner, room service burger with bacon (which got remade as they’d put GF bread on it) and sautéed veggies.

Friday 12/26

Breakfast – in the room, Paleo bread sandwich and nut butter (I carried these on the plane)

Lunch – salmon and asparagus along with another beet/spinach salad (no meat) at the hotel’s spa cafe

Dinner – spinach/spring mix salad with mushrooms, chicken, bacon, nuts, strawberries and fig balsamic dressing at Picazzo’s (if you eat gluten-free, this is a place for you…only 2 items on the whole menu not available GF)

Picazzo's spinach salad

Picazzo’s spinach salad

We went to a favorite local grocery store and found kabocha! DH pushed me to get it. It IS possible to cook it in a hotel room microwave, but it takes forever and doesn’t turn out as well….also, I think it wasn’t quite ready to be picked.We also went to Whole Foods and picked up sweet potatoes, fruit, asparagus, turkey lunchmeat, a new loaf of Paleo bread, strawberries and some nut butter. I think we also got some GF treats in preparation for my post-race “indulging”.

Arizona kabocha

Arizona kabocha

Saturday 12/27 (day before race)

Breakfast – in room, asparagus, Paleo bread and turkey sandwich, kabocha, some strawberries

Lunch – grilled chicken and asparagus at the hotel’s spa cafe

Dinner – PF Chang’s steamed Buddha’s Feast with chicken – this was a bit disappointing as while I was very clear with the server, some “unapproved” (can’t eat) veggies wound up in my meal. I chose to pick them out as it took so long to get the order in the first place and I needed food in me early, but it was stressful and not the first time it’s happened at PFC. It makes me think I’ll have to re-evaluate them as my go-to option.

Snacked on frozen bananas w nut butter (yes, managed that with a freezer compartment) and Terra sweet potato chips.

Sunday 12/28 (race day!)

Breakfast – none. I did my regular BeetElite and FRS chews in the room before we left. I’d debated about trying to eat something before the race as it was a 9am start (11am ET) but I just didn’t want to risk it. I was pretty hungry at the start.

During the race I had a craving for flat Coke (DH said aid station didn’t have, but post-race they had flat Sam’s Cola which is remarkably similar and was yummy). My brain translated that into also wanting fries and a burger.

Post-race – my usual Ultragen immediately after. Then we had to pack the car and get back to the hotel, get cleaned up, etc. Fortunately, racing usually kills my appetite and the Ultragen held me for a while.

Let the binging begin……

Dinner – Five Guys…..so glad they have gluten-free fries! First time I’d had potatoes in almost 2 years. I got a little burger w/ bacon (no bun) and a medium fries to split between me and DH, and Coke Zero. Turns out all I really wanted was the fries, at a bite of the burger and a little bacon and ate about 2/3 of the fries. Went to Picazzo’s and picked up GF skillet chocolate chip cookie and coconut milk ice cream.

Picazzo's GF skillet choc chip cookie w coconut milk vanilla ice cream

Picazzo’s GF skillet choc chip cookie w coconut milk vanilla ice cream

Monday 12/29 

Breakfast – Went to the AMAZING Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe where EVERYTHING is gluten-free and almost everything is unbelievably delicious! This place is uber-dangerous. Have the pancakes. Trust me. The texture is a revelation in GF pancakes, and they have a “buttermilk” syrup – I don’t know what’s in it, it has a hint of sweetness but not necessarily maple, but it will become your new favorite. (think it might be butter and agave)

Jewel's biscuit and pancakes

Jewel’s biscuit and pancakes

Donuts, oh, donuts, puffy yeast donuts. I loved the cinnamon sugar (but I love cinnamon sugar on its own, so that’s an easy one) but I think I loved the glazed more.

Jewel's donuts

Jewel’s donuts

Also got scones (blueberry, maple pecan, chocolate chip, all excellent – made from their biscuit dough I think), cookies (terrific molasses, dense and subtle oatmeal raisin, okay peanut butter), cupcakes (Elvis – banana cake good, pb frosting good, fluff and bacon overkill, Vanilla birthday cake only okay) and a sample of a swoon-worthy pecan bar.

more Jewel's yummies

more Jewel’s yummies

Dinner – Chelsea’s Kitchen, owned by LGO, which owns other restaurants we’ve liked. I had smoked trout dip (cream cheese, ok, not great, good tortilla chips though), kale salad unique and pretty good, short rib tacos and seasoned fries excellent – great tortillas, amazing fries and nice sauce on the meat (which reminded me of pot roast). They’re pretty good at GF, but always make sure to double-check details with the server as modifications may be required.

Tuesday 12/20 (day before race for runner I was crewing)

Breakfast – leftovers in room

Lunch – kale salad leftovers

Dinner – Picazzo’s again…..sauteed spinach as I was trying to include veggies (even a half order was too much, and a lot of olive oil)

Picazzo's sauteed spinach

Picazzo’s sauteed spinach

and this beautiful GF flatbread/cracker crust pizza with BBQ sauce, goat cheese, chicken and artichoke hearts

Picazzo's pizza

Picazzo’s pizza

Wednesday 12/31 – 24h race crewing day

Breakfast – in room before leaving at 7am.

Rest of day, night, into next day, was food I brought to the race along with a couple of chunks of cold boiled potato with salt. (I’ll put more detail in my crewing post)

Thursday 1/1/2015 – 24h race continues…still crewing (until 9am, then getting everything to the hotel, getting showered, etc.)

Dinner – picked up from Picazzo’s – an even better GF pizza! Cracker crust, BBQ sauce, artichoke hearts, bacon, mushrooms, 1/2 white cheddar, 1/2 smoked mozzarella. And of course another cookie.

Friday 1/2/2015

Lunch – Waldo’s BBQ – a LOT of food. I had pulled pork and a different type of rib than I’m used to…pretty reasonable. Side of a baked potato and lettuce salad (no dressing, unapproved veggies removed) as the GF options were….a baked potato/sweet potato and lettuce salad. (I saw onion rings and mac-n-cheese pass by.)

Waldo's pulled pork and rib

Waldo’s pulled pork and rib

baked potato and salad

baked potato and salad

We’d tried to go to Little Miss BBQ which smelled amazing, but after waiting in the parking lot line for 15 minutes, it became apparent we’d have to stand at least another hour to even get in the door, so we left. Perhaps another trip. Both BBQ places were helpful in answering my question about GF options via email or twitter. (I always research and try to confirm ahead of showing up.)

Stopped by Gluten-Free Creations, which had been my favorite GF bakery and cafe (prior to Jewel’s). I had a couple bites of their English muffin, which needed to be toasted more and wasn’t quite as good as I remembered. Had a bite of a holiday cookie (meh). Ordered their pumpkin pancakes, ate one and took the rest back to the room (think I only ate one more). Bought their buttermilk biscuits (making trip home to be frozen), maple walnut scone (one of these going home too) and a huge iced cinnamon roll (which I’m eating over 3-4 days). Being able to compare them to Jewel’s makes them overall less attractive, though they do offer more breads (bagels, buns, English muffins) than Jewel’s. I think I actually liked GFC’s cinnamon roll better – more Cinnabon-y but with sugar icing which I prefer. Both ship so I could get more if I wanted. Both are worth checking out.

We went to Whole Foods to get Sweet Republic ice cream (best ice cream, IMO) from their gelato counter there (rather than going to the SR standalone store, also this way could get more flavors by the scoop). All flavors were incredibly yummy: eggnog, pumpkin spice (like pumpkin pie), cinnamon (different than fave Maggie Moo’s – good thing I didn’t realize they were in Scottsdale or we would have had to have a taste-off) and Belgian Chocolate (like Lee’s from Baltimore but Lee’s had chunks). I tried a taste of the peaberry espresso, it was terrific too. I’d say DH and I shared them but I’m sure I ate most of them.

Dinner – accumulated snacks, bakery, produce and leftovers in room

Saturday 1/3/2015

Breakfast – some Paleo bread with nut butter in the room

Lunch – buffet at Indian Delhi Palace (hugely recommend, we visit them every trip to Arizona) THE BEST Tandoori chicken I’ve ever had. Excellent chicken tikka masala, goat curry, palak paneer. Very good kheer and a dish of ground lamb, peas and spices. They do their rice with ghee and saffron, unique and works well with their entrees. Unfortunately, no naan for me (I miss naan) but DH assures me it’s still good.

Dinner – the leftover pizza from Thursday and other accumulated snacks, bakery, produce and leftovers in room – we were pretty full from lunch.

Sunday 1/4/2015

Breakfast – Jewel’s again where I ate more than I’m willing to tell you (but you MUST have their pancakes and one of their donuts, whichever kind is your favorite of cinnamon sugar, glazed, white/chocolate iced – the cinnamon roll is okay

Jewel's cinnamon roll

Jewel’s cinnamon roll – that glob is cream cheese icing

but I think the donuts are better) and picked up scones, cookies (chocolate chip, also good), a loaf of their flax bread and pancake mix to take home. Also got some pancakes for breakfast Monday – since we have to be up and out earlier than they open, I wanted breakfast to be something yummy to soothe the pangs of leaving. I wound up eating one pancake and bringing one on the plane with me, then deciding to save it and freezing it to have Saturday morning (Jan. 10) after my run.

So full from brunch that no lunch was required and there was barely room for dinner….during the afternoon while we were packing I did, however, take a little bit of peanut butter from some DH had bought and remembered how much I loved peanut butter.

Dinner – Tottie’s Asian Fusion, a new-to-us Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese place reputed to be able to handle gluten-free and other special needs. They seemed knowledgeable and answered my questions well. The spring rolls and chicken satay were both outstanding and a bit different. The rolls were heavy on veggies including mint, and the satay marinade had a hint of lemongrass in it, which I loved. The peanut sauce was only okay. The appetizers would have been enough for a meal for both of us but we didn’t know that when we ordered.

Tottie's satay and summer roll - 1

Tottie’s satay and summer roll – 1

Tottie's satay and summer roll - 2

Tottie’s satay and summer roll – 2

I had Pad Thai with thin rice vermicelli (how they made it GF) but wasn’t fond of the sauce, not what I’m used to. Ate some of the noodles but mostly the chicken and fresh veggies. DH had a red curry dish that he let me taste which was excellent – I even put some of the sauce on my noodles and it improved them significantly. A good find and one that we can return to again as it has a pretty big menu and can handle my needs.

Tottie's GF Pad Thai

Tottie’s GF Pad Thai

Sunday evening, did some in-room snacking to finish off some pastries, enjoy a few more tortilla chips, pretzels, etc. One day I had a handful of DH’s microwave popcorn, tasted just like I remembered.

On the plane home Monday, I had a Paleo bread and nut butter sandwich, part of a Quest bar and some dried bananas. I brought some Jewel’s treats on the plane but decided to save them for when we got home.

In the week of vacation back at home in Virginia, I continued the binge…. had 2 varieties of GF BBQ chicken Naked Pizza both excellent. Got Pad Thai from the place near us where we get my Chinese food (they changed the noodles and I didn’t like it as well).I checked out Happy Tart GF treats again, European-style bakery goodies – including this flaky apple turnover

apple turnover - 1

apple turnover – 1


along with some okay regular chocolate and chocolate chip cookies, and some yummy cake pops! (lemon, a really good red velvet, and chocolate)

I also stopped by Buzz Bakery (the GF brownie is tremendous). I made plenty of toast from AnnaB‘s multigrain and cinnamon raisin breads (bought at Richmond and frozen) as well as the flax bread from Jewel’s. I ate all the treats from Jewel’s other than the bread (saved some). I tried and liked goat’s milk yogurt both as yogurt and as a sour cream type dip. Wish it wasn’t so expensive.

I ate one Reese’s peanut butter cup, but was much more interested in the new spread DH had purchased. My rec: don’t get it – it’s way too dangerously delicious to have in the house. I’m not kidding.

Reese's spread - dangerously delicious

Reese’s spread – dangerously delicious

Once home, I also tried additional packaged things I’d missed or thought I wanted like GF clam chowder (Progresso). Okay, not great. Packaged GF oatmeal – over sugared and sticky. Didn’t get to the Annie’s GF mac & cheese we bought. (DH may be eating this leftover stuff, or I might take it to work and leave it out for folks.) Tried Swiss Miss instant hot chocolate. I did enjoy it, but it’s one of the suspects in a tummy ache I had that day. Enjoyed some Cape Cod salt and vinegar potato chips (we brought Tim’s back, but they’re hidden for the future) and some Green Mountain Gringo tortilla chips (wow, they were excellent!) as I’d been craving tortilla chips. I enjoyed the bizarre chemical taste of PopChips Salt and Vinegar chips quite a bit – you know you’re not eating real food, but it’s addictive. I also discovered that Harris Teeter (local grocery) makes their veggie “sushi” summer rolls with tapioca paper, not rice paper, so I can eat them even when Paleo. Yay! I did have some of the regular rolls with rice while I was off Paleo, as well as some yummy brown rice from our Chinese place – amazing what you miss, toast and brown rice. (By the way, goat cheese on toast is quite yummy.)

So what’s the result of all this? What did I learn or get out of it, other than probably a record for caloric intake in a 2 week period? (a record I am not proud of holding, btw)

I learned that I do still love the GF stuff – though I’m sure some of it was just the wonder of “look at all I can eat!” after so long of ignoring so much food I see (you should have seen me at the grocery store). I was reminded how much easier it is on me and DH if I’m only restricting to GF. I remember when that used to be difficult – it’s still limiting, but there’s so much more awareness and availability so I feel a little bad imposing Paleo on him.

I also learned that it can still be hard for me to stop with the sugar and carbs – at some point I seem to keep eating them whether I want to or not or whether I’m hungry or not (or even enjoying the food or not). Within the first couple of days I was feeling over-sugared and over-carbed, a bit bloated but decided to carry on with the treats (though i should not have eaten anything near the quantities I’ve eaten – it was a fairly stressful and sleep-deprived vacation but that’s not really an excuse).

I had treats every night after we got back and tonight (Mon. 1/12) is the first night I won’t be doing that, but I can feel the pull. “Fortunately” I ate almost all the treats and have frozen everything else out of sight and will ask DH to hide anything else. Making do with frozen bananas (no nut butter for a while, probably) and blueberries/mango/cherries is going to be a bit rough, though my appetite on Monday is really minimal. It’s 4pm and I think I’ve taken in maybe 600 calories, a chunk of that in a purple sweet potato I just ate. My system is really out of whack now.

Strangely however, given how sensitive I’ve seemed to be to carbs like sweet potatoes – I’d get sleepy and a blood sugar drop resulting in huge hunger 1 hour after eating them – I had NO blood sugar issues or sleepiness at all during my GF grain carb fest. Truly bizarre. My system did start to crave veggies though, and let me know that it was getting a little sick of all the junk I was eating. I also didn’t notice any big boost of energy from all the grain/carbs I was eating, which makes me think I was doing just fine on my prior plan (as my performances would indicate, but I’d been concerned about recovery, etc.). Of course, the real test would be to eat – moderately! – GF grain during a training cycle, but given past good results NOT doing so, I’m sticking with what’s worked.

At this point, I’m thinking of keeping white potatoes as another carb source (even though they’re nightshades) in my diet. I had forgotten how much I liked them. I’ve read they’re considered Paleo/Whole30 ok now – and supposedly if you peel them you address the autoimmune concerns, though I think I’d eat the peel for the nutrients. I doubt the intent would be to let me have baked/regular chips and fries, but that may happen as well as baked or boiled or mashed potatoes. (boiled/cooled have resistant starch, a good thing) It’s easier to be able to have those things and a bag of baked Kettle potato chips is less calories and fat than the straight up Terra sweet potato or Terra chips…yes, I know the answer is “don’t eat them” but I’ve got to be realistic….sometimes it’s just choosing the least bad option. I might also keep the goat’s milk yogurt – like yummy sour cream – and goat cheese as I didn’t seem to have any lactose/dairy reaction. I’m debating that. I’m not a Paleo purist, but it can be easier for me to just say no than have to repeatedly make decisions. (I’m also saving a can of GF chicken noodle soup I didn’t get to…in case of a cold or something, sometimes you just wanna open a can of soup and not have to make it yourself!)

I think not having GF stuff in the house (or hiding it so I forget it, freezing it so I have to think about eating it) is how it has to be. I’ve also decided to try to – next time I do this, possibly post-Boston – go with something I did a few times this trip: is take a bite and if it’s not exceptional, get rid of it. It’s wasteful of money and food, and both those things are problems for me (if I’ve bought it, I feel obligated to eat it) BUT better to waste those things (if I can’t resist buying them) than be in the position I am now, where I’ve overindulged and need to lose weight.

It was yummy, but it wasn’t all great or worth it. I didn’t need to eat as much or as often as I did, and some of it I’ll be regretting as I now have to lose whatever weight I’ve gained and get my body back to feeling normal. (I’m not going to weigh myself – I think I’d just get too upset and it wouldn’t change my approach in any good way.)

Thanks for reading! Hope you found something interesting or enjoyable in the above, whether it’s places to eat or the details of my experiment in informing your own food choices.

What, if any, “rules” do you follow about what you eat, and how did you arrive at them? What experiments have you tried?





Recovery & Return to Running Post-Shamrock (week 1)


Because I had already planned to run two back-to-back races in April (“for fun”), a few weeks ago I asked the coaches at the Endurance Planet podcast (a fave) for a recovery/training plan to fill the four weeks post-Shamrock. Lucho at EP said the first week post race was to be 4-5 days of NO running, then easy 3-4 miles on Saturday and Sunday to test my recovery. So that’s what I did, though it was awfully tempting to run a couple of those days, psychologically if not physically. I also used one of Sage Rountree’s books – The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery – for tips.

Workouts the week of 3/17:

Mon 3/17 – light core workout, bike 40 min.
Tues 3/18 – bike 70 min.
Wed 3/19 – light core workout, bike 40 min.
Th 3/20 – bike 60 min.
Fri 3/21 – core workout, bike 60 min.
Sat 3/22 – run 4.35mi at recovery pace on treadmill
Sun 3/23 – run 6 mi at recovery pace on treadmill
Other: some use of Roll Recovery in the evenings, chiropractor appt, 3 massages. I’m fortunate to be able to have those appointments, and they really help.
Overall, noticeably better each day with no new complaints from my BQ body!

If you want more detail, read on….


I was incredibly lucky to start the race healthy and with no more than niggles than the ones that I seem to have to live with. I was also incredibly lucky to finish the race feeling only the same niggles: no new ones and no injuries! (I don’t count the joint pain that’s just what happens after 26.2 miles of pavement impact — it’s expected and it fades.)

I mention products, coaches, podcasts, etc. only to be specific about what I do & use in case it’s of help to any of you. I’ve paid for these things (unless I say otherwise), I’m not shilling for anyone, I don’t have any affiliate store or get any benefit from you trying any of them. My use and mention of something isn’t necessarily a recommendation for you. But I know we’re all looking for new products to try, to help with a problem, to get improvement, whatever, so if you try something and it works for you, that’s great. I link to some items that might not be as familiar to you or easy to find, but I suggest you shop for best prices and at retailers you like.

Day of race/trip home — nutrition, gear & routine

When we left our intrepid runner (me), I’d finished the race, swigged my post-race cappuccino flavor Ultragen recovery drink within 10 minutes, gotten sweats on and gotten back to the hotel. I ate a sweet potato with some nut butter for the carbs and some protein/fat (though I wasn’t hungry pre or post Ultragen) and made hot decaf tea for the road. I also wasn’t thirsty, though I had to be dehydrated.

I cleaned up a little, stretched a little, and put some magnesium lotion on my shins/calves and Biofreeze on my quads, hammies & glutes. I layered my favorite recovery socks (SL3S) and 110% knee sleeves and shorts under sweatpants, and put on a wicking turtleneck under my race shirt (since I finished, I could wear it – I don’t wear a race shirt unless I’ve completed the race). I also did a quick pass over my legs with my Roll Recovery, which came with me in the car, easily accessible (and used) each time we stopped.

Knowing we’d be driving for a while, particularly if the weather hit before we got home, I packed a bunch of snacks in one of my many “front seat” bags, including bacon jerky (protein, fat, salt), another sweet potato w/nut butter (carbs, fat, protein and well tolerated by my tummy), some Terra chips for salt/crunch cravings, a Larabar and an applesauce packet for quick blood sugar hits if that became an issue. Along with tea I had Zico coconut water for electrolytes and hydration. As it turned out, I drank the Zico (11 ounces over maybe 3 hours) plus a few swigs of tea and ate the sweet potato. I was only briefly hungry, an hour or so into the drive (probably caused by eating the first sweet potato, how it works for me) and still wasn’t thirsty. I have a bad habit of dehydrating myself on car and plane trips though, so I was making myself drink.

We stopped three times on the way home — twice at gas station/convenience stores with restrooms, where I could walk for a couple of minutes to stretch my legs, which were pretty well locked in one position due to the amount of stuff packed in/around my legs in the front seat. After I walked, I’d take a moment in the cold outside the car to use my Roll Recovery on my legs, and it helped. I also sat on a trigger point ball for a while, trying to soothe an aggravated glute min that tends to act up sometimes and doesn’t like car rides. I was already sitting elevated on two blankets (our swag from a Valentine’s 5k) to keep my hips at a decent angle. My legs were sore and stiff, certainly, but some of that was probably from the cold they’d endured as much as the effort. The worst thing probably was that my knees seemed to stiffen up into a slight angle, and they didn’t like bending/straightening for things like stairs once we got home. But I was walking pretty well, considering the circumstances, and far far better than after the marathons I did years ago.

When we got home, my DH (angel!) told me to go in and start eating the food we’d picked up while he unloaded the car in the falling snow. I didn’t have much of an appetite though and wound up putting all that food away until the next day. What did I eat that night? A frozen dessert I’m fairly addicted to called Arctic Zero (it’s like a whey protein shake w/fiber, but tastes sort of ice cream like once you get used to it), plantain chips with extra salt and Terra sweet potato and apple chips. Hey, it was what appealed to me!

I got to bed not too late, but had a really hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. I woke up multiple times during the night with snippets of my playlist songs in my head. (I must have heard the music after all!) I knew to expect this for one or two nights (turned out to be two) from reading Sage Rountree’s book Racing Wisely, which suggests mental/emotional excitement and the physical effects of hard racing may cause sleep disruptions. I was able to get to the bathroom and back during the night with no problem (and no pain-induced moans, hisses or profanity).

Monday 3/17 (the day after)

DH and I had both taken the day off work, since we’d originally planned to stay in Virginia Beach Sunday night. I slept in until about 7am. I did a shorter, easier version of my M/W/F core workout and got on my trusty bike up on the trainer.

trusty bike on trainer

trusty bike on trainer

I rode with about as little resistance as you can imagine for an hour. For the first 20 minutes or so, my knees (still probably the unhappiest part of me) weren’t thrilled. Then everything seemed to loosen just a bit and the next 20-30 minutes felt pretty good. After that I started to tighten up again, but wanted to make it to a full hour (I’m like that) so kept going. The inside hamstring behind both knees particularly didn’t like stair activity — so it wasn’t helpful that the downstairs toilet broke that day (still broken), causing a rehydrating runner a lot of trips up and down stairs. Thinking positively, maybe all the stair climbing/descending helped work out the kinks.

The rest of the day was spent online and hanging out with DH. We ate the yummy dinner we’d picked up Sunday and watched some TV. I didn’t want the day or the post-race glow to end!

Tuesday 3/1

I telework on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I didn’t have to get myself to the office just yet (yay). I did 70 minutes on the bike, after another night of broken sleep. Some old familiar crankiness (L tendon behind the ankle, L glute min) made its presence known. I was still surprised at how good I felt and how mobile I was without real pain or significant problems. Tuesday I saw my chiropractor who did a “runner’s tuneup” (general focus) and some e-stim. Tuesday night, I saw one of my massage therapists for a light massage and stretch session.

Wednesday 3/19

Up and at ‘em — well, up anyway. Back to work after a light core workout and 40 minutes on the bike, less time than I’d wanted because I was a little poky. Had some GI trouble overnight that woke me for a while (this happens to me sometimes) so I was a little tired after 3 nights of broken sleep but otherwise physically better than the day before. My L hamstring (a known crank) was a bit sore at the point where it attaches to the glute, possibly from Tuesday’s massage. Other than that, the only thing I noted different was that despite a little less soreness and stiffness in general, my hips were tighter than they had been. I have a standing desk at work, but made sure to sit more than I normally would to help me legs out. I got a light sports massage Wednesday night, which felt pretty good.

Thursday 3/20

I started to feel even better. I was impressed with the other full and half marathoners from last weekend’s races who were tweeting about their quick return to running. I was tempted. Heck, it was day 4 and the coach said 4-5, and I was teleworking…but I told myself it wasn’t worth the risk to run yet. So, another hour on the bike for me, telework, and a light trigger point massage in the evening. Started having those “a week ago we were…” thoughts. Hard to believe I was packing for the race a week ago.

Friday 3/21

Back to the office after a core workout closer to my usual length & difficulty, and an hour on the bike. Wanted to run today mentally, legs probably would have managed it fine. But I decided to stick with instructions — they’d said 4-5 and since I wanted 4, I should go for 5 (it’s easy for me to overdo sometimes and restraint had gotten me to the race healthy, so I decided to stick with it). A relaxing evening of TV watching and carryout Chinese (if you consider steamed chicken and vegetables with no rice in that category – I do) part of our regular routine. I was getting a little nervous about my first run post-race the next day (how would it feel, would it hurt, was I sorer or more damaged than I’d thought). A week ago we’d been at the expo and I’d been getting ready to run with Bart Yasso!

Saturday 3/22

I slept in until 6:30 or so, then got up and puttered through my slow pre-long-run routine, though this run was to be only 3-4 miles. Got my podcast iPod set up and got on the treadmill. I do a 15 minute walking warmup before all my runs (5-10 minimum, 15 usual/preferred) as I read once that Amby Burfoot said the thing he did most to prevent injury was add that type of walk and warmup to his runs. (or as Lucho said, “Recovery starts with the warmup”) Then I ran 4.35 miles at a recovery pace (my usual recovery pace, per my feel and McMillan’s calculator, at the low end of the pace range). It felt okay, a bit sore, stiff and tight as I’d expected, but no surprises, which had been my biggest concern — something that wouldn’t show itself until I started running. I started feeling better toward the end of the run (typical, usually after 6 miles I start to feel good) but I restrained myself and stopped. Got on the bike for 30 minutes (still with laughably low resistance, just enough to spin the wheel) which is what I normally do after long runs to stretch my legs out.

Relaxed the rest of the day, read running-related stuff. (all I’m reading these days it seems!) Had  a scare when I was wearing socks in the kitchen and slipped and fell on my tailbones, tweaking tweaked my right knee a bit. I thought, “oh no, seriously?!” It was just a careless move on my part, lucky I didn’t get really hurt by cracking my head on something. My knee responded to some ice, Traumeel and my 110% compression knee sleeve. I probably just yanked something in it, but DH had to spend some time calming me down, asking me when it hurt, telling me it would be okay. What would I do without him?

Sunday 3/23

Another “sleep-in” day. I could have (maybe should have) run outside, but it was another rough GI night and I thought perhaps I should be close to facilities…though I turned out to be fine. Warmed up, then did 6 miles at recovery pace. I know, it was only supposed to be 4, but I really wanted more. As on Saturday, felt better toward the end of the run. My right knee was still unhappy about my fall (but less so, and not during the run at all) and my hamstrings at the attachment points made their presence known (but evenly on both sides, that’s good) but nothing that would make me stop running or inhibit other activity.

Overall, I was in pretty good shape to start with and every day got better and better. I never needed to take any painkillers (I can only take acetaminophen anyway) though I took some arnica and extra Wobenzym after I tweaked my knee on Saturday. I didn’t even need to ice anything from the race! I probably haven’t stretched enough as I was afraid of over stretching something that was still mending from the race. I haven’t gotten back into my Wharton flexibility routine (note there are free videos of him on youtube and info online) or yoga stretches yet, and certainly didn’t do any of my chiropractor-instructed leg strength exercises. I’ve used the Roll Recovery briefly most evenings, which has probably helped. I wear compression knee socks every day since I stand a lot for work, but hadn’t noticed any swelling even immediately post-race. During this week, I kept eating my regular diet (I eat the same things over and over on a daily/weekly basis) just less quantity since I figured I basically wasn’t burning any calories biking.

Excited for week two, when I will get to run more!