For someone who openly suffers from the 'post marathon blues', the week following a marathon can often be as challenging as the run itself, and this time I had given myself the double whammy of also facing the end of my Australian adventure. Surely I was setting myself up for misery? However, I am pleased to report that even though this week has been an absolute whirlwind at times with a lot of travelling and emotion, I am sat here now feeling happy, relaxed and positive. My time in Australia and the Sydney Marathon itself was perfect, and whilst this sentence sounds awfully cliche and cheesy, the break and spending time with my best friend feels like it has somehow ignited something inside me, a spark that was threatening to fade before I left.
Running wise this week has been a good week - and not because I have logged lots of miles! Those that know me and/or read my blogs will tell you that I am notoriously rubbish at rest, and my attitude to recovery is very much I know what I should be doing, but do not actually follow it! This time I have promised myself it will be different. I have tested myself this year, 3 marathons means I have almost been in a state of permanent marathon training since January, on top of all the other races I have completed in between. My body and mind have shown a new strength, but I am certainly not unbreakable. It will be hard at times, but this week has actually been welcomed and relatively easy to adhere to my own recovery goals...
MONDAY: Rest Day - the day after Sydney Marathon. It was instantly apparent my quads had born the brunt of the marathon stress as soon as I crossed the finish line on Sunday, and they were no better today. I was quite a comical site struggling around Sydney. Steps were completed one at a time with a kind of sideways action seeming less painful, and my left quad seemed to add the element of surprise by almost buckling from beneath me at random times as I was walking. It was an interesting final day in Australia!
TUESDAY: Rest Day - today began my mammoth journey back to Lincoln. Together with the emotion of having to leave Australia and saying goodbye to my best friend, I also had to manage my legs on the long haul flight ahead of me. I was on a plane for 25+ hours, and after the first journey to Hong Kong I was not moving great at all. However, I am not sure how or why, but when I got off the second plane at Gatwick airport in the early hours of Wednesday morning thankfully my legs seemed markedly improved.
WEDNESDAY: Rest Day - after travelling through endless time zones in the air, I still had more travelling to endure on the train to make it back to Lincoln. When I finally arrived at my front door I was feeling tired and bedraggled and there never was a moment I even considered a run!
THURSDAY: Rest Day - any temptations to run today were thankfully removed, sadly not for the happiest of reasons. I managed a night back in my own home before I found myself travelling again, heading back to Suffolk for a family funeral.
FRIDAY: back in Suffolk and with my sister I could not resist a run with her today. 'It will be slow!' I warned as we laced up our trainers, but she was very understanding and we gently completed 4 miles together. My quads although now fine for walking, did protest a little at running, with soreness especially apparent on any change in gradient. The need to not rush things had never been more apparent.
SATURDAY: now back in Lincoln, I needed my Lincoln parkrun fix to help me gain some grasp on what day it was, and also to allow me to catch up with my parkrun friends. I had opted to volunteer many weeks ago and was pleased to be achieving my 20th stint in high viz - there was no desire to be a runner today! I was also very appreciative of some of the lovely comments and words which I shared with others who congratulated me on the Sydney Marathon - it really was heartwarming. I had joked with my friend 'down under' that the one thing I was looking forward to most about going home was Lincoln parkrun, and with a community such as this, I think I was probably actually being serious.
SUNDAY: long run day... only joking of course! I wanted to try and run again today, but did not want to log many miles, so opted for one of my familiar 5 mile routes. I had no desire to push myself or care about my pace, and the tenderness still lingering in my quads would not have let me anyway. It was pleasant to run carefree though.
On reflection, next week is probably more of my 'back to reality' week as I return to work, resume my Strength and Conditioning classes, attempt some Body Pump and also continue to gently include some running - note the word gentle!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...