The post marathon week is never easy for me; in the past I have struggled to physically recover as quickly as my mind wanted me to, whilst mentally I have been a frequent sufferer of the 'post marathon blues' effect. What would the post London Marathon 2018 week throw at me?
MONDAY: I slept poorly on Sunday following the marathon and unsurprisingly woke feeling very tired. I tentatively dragged my body out of bed and was shocked to find my legs were not bad at all. My quads are always sore after a marathon, and whilst they moaned a little with each movement I made, it was nothing on the scale of how I have felt after past races. I took this as a positive and had an active day at work walking a high number of miles (albeit at a slightly slower pace to normal!) which helped keep me from getting stiff. The negatives were however my complete lack of appetite and the nagging nauseous feeling I had that did not go away all day. I was also very emotional still - the London Marathon had been an emotive day for me, and it was not easy just to park such strong feelings.
TUESDAY: physically I made more improvements today, I still completed no exercise, but another day with lots of walking and a trip to see my Sports Therapist for a massage kept my muscles in recovery mode. My nausea had shifted but my appetite was still poor - frustratingly when there was justification to be eating anything I liked really! Mentally I felt less emotional after unravelling the race via my blog, but I was still very tired and had a sense of feeling a bit lost and empty.
WEDNESDAY: I knew I wanted to run today and I had an extra purpose behind my choice. I wanted to run 3.7 miles for Matt Campbell who sadly passed away after collapsing at mile 22.5 at the London Marathon. I put on my London Marathon vest and ran an easy loop, in a reflective mood, and finished what Matt was sadly unable to (see image). My legs were good running, some quad tenderness, but nothing excruciating, and I was feeling simply grateful that I was here and able to do this.
THURSDAY: with no ill effects from yesterday's run I decided to lace up my trainers again tonight. I ran two miles to my gym, completed a Body Pump class, then ran home. I kept my leg weights in the class slightly lower so not to inflict extra damage, but otherwise I felt almost normal and my pace was quite steady during my running. It felt good to be in this position; I struggle if I cannot run (my friend prays every day that I never get injured!) and to be back running without discomfort was good for me.
FRIDAY: I rested today, I did not want to push things, and more importantly I wanted to run parkrun tomorrow!
SATURDAY: proudly wearing my marathon finisher top I headed to my home Lincoln parkrun, unsure of what my legs could do, but determined to enjoy it regardless. It was lovely to catch up with fellow parkrunners after the marathon, and I tried not to get emotional reliving it all again! I went off as normal at the start and as mile one progressed my legs felt great. During mile two things suddenly felt a little harder, with the power seeming to drain from my stride. By mile three my legs had turned to lead and I was left simply trying to keep going as quick as possible - here the real post marathon feeling was coming out! My friend who ran London too had the exact same experience across each mile and we laughed as we shared each other's progressive decline. I still loved it though (see image) and to be honest my 21:11 finish time is something I would never have predicted running so soon after a marathon.
SUNDAY: today felt like I had stepped back in time a few weeks. On a cool, grey and pretty uninspiring morning I met my friend on one of our usual street corners and we set off for a Sunday long run. It felt surreal that just seven days ago we were weaving through the capital in scorching heat. I actually like the familiarity of it all, as much as I loved the marathon madness of last weekend, a long run chatting to my friend makes me equally as happy. Physically we ran well; we both seemed to hit a point about 11/12 miles though where suddenly our legs went - what are you doing? So we didn't push it much more. 14 miles at 8.30 min/mile pace a week after a really tough marathon - pretty good effort I would say!
I want to finish by saying a massive thank you for all the lovely messages I received about the London Marathon and to those who read and follow my blog. I like to run and I also like to write about my running, so it is really encouraging to have support - I hope I encourage others to explore their running too.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...