As I mentioned in my Wineglass Marathon race report, I came through the marathon with a very strong finish – but a very ugly third quarter. On Sunday afternoon my calves – particularly left – were tight, and I was taking stairs slowly. I had already decided to take Monday off.
While that might seem fairly common-sense, there is apparently a school of thought that says returning to running the next day is the best path to recovery. I have yet to test that theory, and don’t see it happening any time soon.
Last year after the Catherine Valley Trail half-marathon I took two days off (of course, under-nourishing and over-training didn’t help me either!). Then after the Wineglass I also took off two days before heading out slowly on Wednesday. I also took off two days after the Red Baron half, because despite being much smarter with nutrition and pacing, I took a good fall on a bump in the road and nearly wiped out a water station!
After the PA Grand Canyon Marathon my thighs were wrecked … but I was on a plane to Kentucky the next day – and could barely move! For most of the week doing stairs was a significant challenge, and a week later running was still a slow and laborious process. Hmmm … I seem to be getting more honest with myself about how bad I felt after that marathon as time passes!
So after taking Monday off I wanted to get up and hit the road this morning – I knew it would be short, slow and rough. But since the weather I had been HOPING for finally arrived yesterday afternoon, I actually wore my Wineglass 2013 shirt for the run!
I did ~3 miles this morning a pace of WHO EVEN CARES! I was NOT surprised that my calves were tight, particularly the left one, but I WAS surprised at how good the rest of me felt. I took it nice and slow, felt my way through it all, and forced myself to come home when I really wanted to extend another mile.
I still ‘felt it’ on the stairs this morning and am tight walking around work after sitting for any time, but as I said this is the best I have ever felt after a long distance race – which I attribute to my preparation … and having the best supporters in the world!