I worked hard at drinking lots of water and eating all the food. Once the heebie-jeebies subsided, my appetite returned with a vengeance. I was hungry--no, I was rungry. I had the runchies. Hey, I recently read that running doesn't increase endorphins as much as it stimulates endocannabinoids! Yep, you read that right. Runners' high, indeed...
Oh dear, I'm on a tangent again....
Back to my recovery story. As I replenished my depleted body, I began to feel more like myself again.
On Tuesday, I was greeted at work with this on my office door. My coworkers all congratulated me and indulged my retelling of my marathon glory. I do work with some awesome people!
But of course, the downside of going back to work is that even though I did this amazing thing, running 26.2 miles, I couldn't broadcast it to everyone that I saw. Oh, but I wanted to. Tell me this hasn't happened to you. I was so proud of my accomplishment, and I couldn't share it with anyone! Nope, I had to put on my professional face and be empathetic to all the families I care for. Because when they bring their kids to see me, it's all about them. As it should be. But I won't lie. I wanted to tell everyone. I didn't, but I wanted to. I wasn't ready to stop basking in my post-marathon glow. Even though this was #3. It never gets old...
Don't you want everyone to know when you've accomplished something this huge? I wore my Chicago Marathon race shirt all day on Thursday, and when I was at Target, another shopper asked me where something was. When I told her I didn't know, she told me she thought I worked there because I was wearing a red shirt.
Oh, so humbling.
Here's the thing: You run a marathon, and you cross a finish line. All along the route there are spectators cheering you on, telling you to keep going, telling you how strong you look, calling your name (or "go USA", which is what I heard). Thousands of people volunteer to hand you water, Gatorade, sponges, what have you, and you take them, throwing the discards on the ground to be cleaned up by more volunteers. Little kids put their hands out to you and you high five them. You push the power buttons on every sign you see. When you cross that finish line, a volunteer puts the medal around your neck and makes you feel like you won the race. People congratulate you. Photographers line the course, snapping your every move. You are amazing. You are a rock star.
|Oh, that finish line feeling....|
That's when the real hangover begins.
Not the physical hangover like I described above. What I'm talking about is what happens when the soreness subsides. When the physical symptoms subside. There's no more goal to chase. No more training. No more planning. No more marathon. No more accolades.
And for some, there's reflecting back on what might have been a disappointing race.
Some call it the post-marathon blues. How does a runner beat that? How can a runner prevent feeling empty after the dust settles? What to do when the
-Bask in your achievement. Not everyone will understand your need to talk about what you've accomplished, so write a recap. Even if it is for your eyes only. I can honestly say that I've probably read my race recap 50 times since I've written it. It never gets old. I look back on Sunday and am astonished at how I ran that race. Personally, it seems like it was someone else's story! Re-reading what I wrote reminds me of how far I have come as a runner. No one is going to tell me that (except my coach). There's nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself. Look at your race day pictures. Even if you don't buy them, those pictures are another reminder of what you've achieved.
|Chinatown. Mile 22. Still running.|
-Eat well and get plenty of sleep. This goes without saying but after you run a long distance race, your immune system is taxed, making you more susceptible to illness. This is your time to pamper yourself and replenish. Now isn't the time to gorge on junk food and all the other things you gave up during your training. Look at your recovery as mile 27--this is the final phase of your training.
-Don't rush back into running. Give yourself time to recover. Sure, you hate to throw all that fitness to waste. And you don't have to. Just go easy on yourself. According to this article, it can take up to 2 weeks for the inflammation in your muscles and 7-10 days for the cellular damage to resolve. Hal Higdon has a return to running plan you can follow (there's also a half-marathon plan). Seasoned runners can listen to their bodies and slowly return to running. While you are waiting to run, you can do cross-training activities--I did some yoga this week, which felt great.
|Triangle pose stretches me out in all directions!|
|Retracing my running route and taking in some of nature's glory!|
|Jumping for joy--that first post-marathon run!|
-Start tackling that "after the marathon" to do list. I already got my dog groomed this week, and I've been doing some purging of the piles of junk that accumulated all over the house. Yep, I fed my family and did the laundry. My medal is hanging up on my bedroom mirror. That broken down car? That's a sore subject. I think it's time for the junkyard, but my husband disagrees. Anyways, there's still a lot to do and now is the time to attack those tasks.
|She got her haircut. Next up is me. We should have done a 2 for 1...|
I'm linking up with Holly at HoHoRuns and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap! Check it out!