This week has been a bit of a whirlwind - and I am only really now taking it all in. A week ago I was in Chicago having just completed my 10th marathon, and since this day I have travelled back to the UK, squeezed in a lot of hours at work, had post marathon therapy, celebrated running milestones, and caught up with friends post my America trip. It has been busy; but I have needed the focus. Post marathon blues can often hit me hard, and without structured running in my life I can feel very lost and empty. Running recovery has been my priority though; I have put my body through a lot this year, not just in the past 16 weeks, and I know I need to be sensible. The fact this week has been so busy has essentially helped distract me from lacing up my trainers too early...
MONDAY: this was my final day in Chicago, and I made the most of my last few hours in the city, walking and taking in some final sights. My legs were not too bad post marathon; now and again my troublesome quads would spontaneously give way on me, causing my legs to almost buckle, and there was some definite soreness in this muscle group, but I was generally ok. I had a long journey ahead of me in terms of travelling though and this would be the test.
TUESDAY: today was a challenge in terms of my tiredness. Having flown at 4pm from Chicago on Monday afternoon, I landed today at 5am into London Heathrow, feeling like I just wanted to go to bed! I had a long tube traipse across London, and then a number of trains to catch in order to make it home to Lincoln, arriving just after lunchtime. I could have gone to sleep there and then - but I powered through, keeping myself as busy as possible in the hope I would sleep well that night.
WEDNESDAY: back to work and a long day finishing at 9pm - hello reality! Luckily I started work a little bit later as had booked a sports massage with my therapist first thing. My quads were very tender still and some therapy certainly helped to flush them out.
THURSDAY: it felt hard today not being able to go and join my Run Club; I wanted to see people and to thank them for their support, but I also knew my legs were not up to running, especially not the hill session that was planned. I made myself work later and catch up on a few things as a distraction instead.
FRIDAY: another really long day at work, starting at 7.30am. I then had my sister and her boyfriend come to visit in the evening, so was able to essentially avoid logging some miles. My legs felt quite good by this point though, I was back to normal walking and only some slight soreness remained if I really contracted my quads.
SATURDAY: it was great to be back at Lincoln parkrun today; I only missed one week whilst away, but as I attend pretty much every single Saturday, it felt strange missing an event! I had opted to volunteer, which was the perfect way to rest my legs a little more whilst still catch up with friends. My sister's visit was due to her completing her 50th parkrun, which she had chosen should be at Lincoln. I was really pleased to be able to witness my sister's 50th run; she will admit at first she did not get parkrun, despite me trying to convince her to go - why would she travel for longer than it would take her to run when she could just step out her door for a 5k? She gets it now though, and I am happy she feels a connection to our Lincoln community to have wanted to achieve her milestone run here. Being at parkrun ignited my desire to run again and I knew I would try a few miles on Sunday.
SUNDAY: for the past weeks Sunday has been about getting up and logging some very long runs, and I have had a very set routine in terms of setting alarms, eating etc. It felt a little strange this Sunday not to have this focus I will admit, but having my sister and her boyfriend staying helped me feel a little less lost. They accompanied me for my first test run of the legs; a 6 mile meander around parts of Lincoln. My quads were not exactly happy as I ran, which at first frustrated me as I had been so good at resting them this initial week. A weel may not seem long, but I have been known to go straight back into exercise/running pretty quick after a marathon! The tightness and tender sensation in my muscles was bearable though, but my pace had to be slow; perfect for some conversational miles at least, and I hope some active recovery will support long term. Later that afternoon I met with a couple of my friends, both non runners but both so keen to hear about my time in Chicago. It touched me how proud they were of me; I do not talk running with them too much as I know its not really their thing - however they know it is mine and what it means to me. The fact they cared made me feel quite humble.
It is clear I am still very much in recovery and I need to remain patient. My mileage may have to be low for a while still, but I know I also need to find a way to keep my own spirits high.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...