The post marathon week is never straightforward for me. I hate the comedown feeling – the post marathon blues - and I always tell myself I will try hard not to let it affect me too much, but it’s tough. Mixed with the comedown though are the moments of celebration, joyously reliving the Berlin Marathon memories and recounting the experience to others. The fact I had a place in the Lincoln Half Marathon on Sunday was also on my mind. Should I do it? A race one week after a marathon is not the smartest idea (although I did somehow do the Berlin Marathon/Lincoln Half Marathon/Royal Parks Half Marathon consecutive triple last year!), but could I really sit out of a race in my hometown?
MONDAY: waking up post marathon in Berlin I did not want to leave – that marked the start of a return to reality! I did not sleep well at all overnight, my legs were restless and my mind was simply not able to switch off from the joy of the day. Today, one day post marathon, my legs were however not as bad as I feared, my quads were tender but movement generally seemed alright – that was until my friend and I tried to run for a train at the station – that definitely did not happen! Once back in the UK I found myself unable to switch off again; I set about writing my blog of the day, which only served to confirm how much I had loved everything about Berlin, and also meant my mind was whirring and I then struggled to sleep again.
TUESDAY: tired - today I was tired. My legs shocked me – they did not seem any worse and walking was only marginally laboured. I have definitely been in much worse states after my previous marathon adventures. Running crossed my mind, but I resisted it, resolving that I must use my time to thoroughly stretch and foam roll my legs instead. Foam rolling my quads was painful to say the least – no change there then, as these muscles always seem to bear the brunt of my marathon exertions.
WEDNESDAY: today was my birthday – which meant I continued with the other theme of this week which has been to eat a lot of chocolate and cake (my diet has been truly appalling!) I wanted to go for a run on my birthday, so I rose early and tested my legs. I was slow, steady and completed a relatively short 3.75 mile loop around the block. Things were not perfect by any means, but again I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t feel sick with pain and that my running style did not feel horrendously compromised – which has all happened in the past when I have attempted a marathon comeback run.
THURSDAY: I felt more of the ‘marathon blues’ today. After a lovely birthday to add to a wonderful marathon weekend, it felt a bit of a void. I ran again later, five slightly faster miles, with a big hill thrown in. My legs coped ok, but were a little niggly and I sensed the further I was going the worse the niggles were getting – not the best omen for an impending half marathon...
FRIDAY: I tried one final run before the Lincoln Half Marathon on Sunday, a brisk 3.5 miles which felt like I had ran much further. I had decided at this point I was going to run the half marathon though; I did not feel overly confident about what I could manage or how my body may cope with 13.1 miles, but I felt I needed to try it.
SATURDAY: Rest day and volunteering at Lincoln parkrun.
SUNDAY: Lincoln Half Marathon - time to test my body. I will write a full review later, but in short my body amazed me. I managed to run 1:42:07, which is a new PB for me (see image with my sister). It was tough, and I had to fight hard for that time. My legs were not at ease for the vast majority, tight in places, often not really feeling 'me', and the hills in the middle part of the course really tested my resolve. I stuck at it though and tried not to doubt myself. I seemed to even get a second wind with two miles to go, especially when I sensed I could get that PB. I loved the support on the course the most though, being in my hometown I saw so many people I knew, which undoubtedly boosted me, so thank you to everyone who cheered my name! Two PBs in two weeks - I guess I better say thank you legs to my legs too!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...