After achieving my goal and run the Boston marathon my journey continued toward the road to recovery. Running a marathon takes its toll on you, both physically and mentally and it’s very important to plan a meticulous post-marathon training in the same way the pre-marathon training was planned. In fact, what you do the first few hours and days after a marathon is as important as what you do immediately preceding it (tapering). This period is critical to your recovery and your future running. Recovery varies from people to people and I think that the best thing to do is to really listen to your body keeping in mind that you put my body under a lot of stress and recovery is an essential part of your continued success and injury prevention.
The week after Boston
It’s been 10 days since I successfully completed the Boston Marathon. I was not surprised at how sore my legs were over the first several days, but I was happily surprised that the soreness fade away fairly quickly. Each day, my legs continue to feel better….
Day 1 – Monday (post race) – Recovery start right after you cross the finish line! In fact, you should not stop suddenly but you should cool down to avoid leg cramps, dizziness, nausea. Do not stretching! Your muscles are exhausted and intense stretching may lead to cramping or injury. So, I after I finished I kept walking for a while, to keep the blood flowing, and I g0t water, the heat blanket, my medal, the goodie bag, my gears and finally I met my family. I drank lots of fluids (electrolytes drinks included) to help flash the waste products from the body and went to the restaurant to celebrate with family and friends and I had a nice balanced meal (protein + carbs) to refuel my depleted muscle. Oh and Boston’s downhills left me with a black toenail….just in time for sandals season!
Day 2 – Tuesday – My legs were really sore. My boss gave me the day off, so I had a very low key day. I slept in, iced my soared legs, cuddle with my pups, and start to write my journal about the experience. Once I got moving, my muscles loosened up a bit and the pain lessened. The only exercise I did was some easy walking. I replace my glycogen stores with lots of protein and carbs and also replace any lost fluids.
Day 3 – Wednesday – Sleeping in again, it’s funny I consider sleeping in making up at 6:30 AM haha. I went back to work and walking there took me almost double the time usually takes me. I had to walk straight-legged because of the pain in my quads but it felt good to move the legs. Doing stairs was very difficult. Still focusing on replenishing fluids and good calories. At work they had a celebration lunch for me with delicious pasta made by our Italian guide Cristiano, they had flowers for me, I was really touched by the gesture.
Day 4 – Thursday – Still, didn’t not want to risk to run. I could totally feel the heaviness and fatigue in my legs. However, I was not walking anymore with stiff legs but I was finally walking normally =) Stairs were getting pretty easy by then. I was very surprise of how quickly I was recovering in compare to my first Marathon where my legs were really sore for a longer period of time and I got sick with some sort of cold. It took me a month to get back to running!
Day 5 & after – I was walking completely normal, my legs were really not sore anymore and I could actually climb and descend stairs like a normal human being again! However, with the general leg soreness being gone I could now feel that the pain on the back of my right leg was still there! I was planning to go for a short run over the weekend and see how my legs were feeling, but because of my sore ham I decided to take some more time off from running, until the pain subsides.
I really enjoyed the days of recovery as it is allowed more time to devote to my husband, family and friends. Dustin & I had a very fun and happy-go-lucky weekend, even though part of it was rainy we made it fun doing things we enjoy to do together, (shopping, brunch, cuddle with Luna watching a movie) but haven’t had the chance to do in a while, and we spent quality time with family, which we both love to do!
This week I also received in the mail my Personal Trainer Certificate…another occasion to celebrate!