What a difference a week makes... Last week was tough, and after the joy of completing my 9th marathon in Brighton, I hit the post marathon blues, which were also combined with the fact I was in a lot of discomfort from my legs still. This week I feel like I have actually been able to start to recover properly from my latest 26.2 miles, physically and mentally, and writing this blog I feel a lot happier in myself than I did seven days ago.
MONDAY: at this point in the week, my quads were still not my friend. I ran 2 careful miles to the gym for Body Pump and then 2 miles home again - I only really ran to the gym as it was another beautiful Bank Holiday day and it seemed a shame to waste it. My quads still felt restricted, but the pain was slightly less, which boosted me a little.
TUESDAY: I had two further boosts today; firstly I had an appointment with my Sports Therapist for a much-needed massage. The verdict was that my troublesome quads were still very inflamed from the marathon, but they were flushed out, and instantly felt better. My second boost was actually being back at work; I love my job, and at the moment my colleague and I are involved in something very exciting (the fact I am writing about it on my running focused blog gives some vague hints about what it could be connected to..!) and that additional focus helps keep my mind from overthinking running/recovery. I actually rested from running today, but went to Body Pump later and enjoyed being able to actually use my legs properly.
WEDNESDAY: not many people can say they are excited to set a 5:30am alarm, but I was. Being able to get up and run before work felt amazing. Although my legs felt vastly improved, I did not want to push things today, sticking to a comfortably paced 5 miles. My body was pain free, but I felt quite tired still - this emphasised to me that I was still in recovery phase.
THURSDAY: today was the launch of Lincs S&C Run Club - a new development from the Strength and Conditioning for Runners sessions I have been attending for the past year or so. I have never been part of a running club before, but for a number of reasons this has felt right for me, and I have also volunteered to be a run leader. Aspects such as attending the S&C sessions and being an increasing part of the parkrun community have emphasised the benefits of having the social support in my life, whilst pacing my friend around the Lincoln 10k a few weeks ago also made me feel so happy that I have realised how much I also want to help others achieve their goals. Before the Run Club session in the evening I completed 4 miles early morning before work, picking up the pace a little. It felt good to turn my legs over a bit quicker, but I did wonder how I had ran 26.2 miles at an even quicker pace! A sign I still need the recovery.
FRIDAY: my colleague invited me to join her at charity Fitathon this evening - so I signed up for a Yoga class with her (see image). My flexibility is shocking, so I was well and truly shown up by her 7-year-old daughter (who can casually drop into the splits!) but I enjoyed myself.
SATURDAY: the real difference a week can make can be seen in my Lincoln parkrun today. I decided to test my legs and I tried to run as fast as possible, managing a 21:26 time. This is not my speediest 5k, but it was a million times better that last week when I had no choice but to complete 3 easy loops.
SUNDAY: I got out early today for 10.5 miles, making sure I was home in time to watch the London Marathon on TV (see image). Having ran the London Marathon in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and been on the streets supporting my friend in 2016, it was a little strange at first the thought of not being part of the event this year in some capacity. I loved watching it on TV though, and it made me very excited about the potential of running in 2020 (I am praying my Good For Age time is quick enough to get me a place!) I also loved my run beforehand; 10.5 miles with no pre-planned route, just winding through the quiet streets of Lincoln wherever my legs wanted to take me. I will not pretend my legs felt their best, and some tiredness crept in again, but it was just pleasant to be running and enjoying it.
Two weeks post marathon and naturally, the 'what next Alice' question has started to creep in again, and whilst I do have things planned for later in the year, my focus for the next few weeks is on a couple of local events. I may even try and do a bit of focused 10k work for a local race I have entered - see what that could produce time-wise! However, my overarching focus is still on recovering; I have big goals to chase, but I cannot even try and reach them if I am a broken.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...