Tag Archives: crossfit

The 5 Most Surprising Things About My Marathon Recovery

Like the studious gal that I am, I had read about post-marathon recovery in order to avoid the pitfalls that had befallen many a runner before me. However, much like the race itself, reading is not the same as experiencing it. Here are a few of my most unexpected findings.

1. Post Marathon Depression is Real

I had read about post marathon depression, but much like R.O.U.S.’s, I doubted its existence. “Depression” is too strong a word, perhaps the “post marathon blues’ would be a better description, but whatever you call it, I was surprised to find that I did not feel like myself for the next weeks after the race. Perhaps it was the carb withdrawal (no more carrying around a bag of bagels) or maybe the lack of long run endorphins, but I felt more moody and irritable than normal. It may simply have been the normal let down after such a highly anticipated event. Luckily, I felt back to normal in a couple weeks.

2. Recovery Wasn’t That Bad

Headed to church the morning after the race

While the race itself was entirely harder than imagined, the physical recovery was not so bad. Many had warned me “that I wouldn’t be able to walk for a week” after the race. While I was sore, I was back to regular activity the next day. I followed the a post marathon taper I found in Runner’s World and it worked well.

3. I Was Ready to do it Again

I’d heard many people say that their marathon experience really burned them out on running in general and especially marathoning. Even though my experience wasn’t perfect (and maybe because it wasn’t) I definitely want to give my legs another chance to try 26.2. Not this year, the timing won’t work, but perhaps next fall, I’ll try the monster again.

4. Losing a Toenail Ain’t no Thang

I made it through the race with no major chafing or blisters, but about a month after the race, one of my toenails decided to pop off. It never turned black, it simple wiggled out like a lose tooth. No pain or drama was involved.

I'm a "real" runner now!

I’m a “real” runner now!

5. I Enjoyed Exercise Again

While the race didn’t ruin me for running, It was nice to run/walk/swim/crossfit without checking boxes or worrying about pace. While I’m still too type A to be all ‘wild and crazy’ and run without my Garmin, I’m not absorbed with mileage this summer. I’ve even slept in here and there and eaten pancakes with kids.

 

While the race itself was a stinker, other than feeling a little moody and losing a small, expendable piece of my toe, my recovery was rather harmless. Of all the many things I stressed over about the race, the recovery should not have been one of them.

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14 Miles on Sore Legs

As a OB/GYN, my life is rather unpredictable. I can’t really tell my patients, “Hey hold that baby in for another hour, while I log 4 more miles.” This week was one of those crazier weeks at the office, causing me to miss one of my runs and reschedule a crossfit workout to Thursday.

In addition to work’s stress, this weekend’s impending 14 miles long run was haunting my thoughts all week. It would be the farthest I ever ran.

My Thursday WOD (workout of the day) was insane. It included 100 wallballs, 75 burpees, and a new exercise that KILLED my quads called ‘little man in a tree’. I hate that little man. Luckily, I had Friday as a recovery/rest day.

When I took my first step down the stairs on Friday, my quads nearly buckled out from under with me. The pain felt like a  thousand tiny daggers were stabbing me in the leg. I was not injured, merely sore. So stupidly sore that I had to walk down stairs side ways.

I realized, in the famous words of GOB Bluth, “I’d made a huge mistake.”

Friday I hydrated, carb loaded and stretched to get ready for the big run, reassuring myself I would feel better by the next morning.

My Favorite Card Loading: Breakfast for Dinner {My kids loved it too}

My New Favorite Carb Loading: Breakfast for Dinner {My kids loved it too}

Long Run: Bongo to Bongo with the Nashville Striders

I was hobbling Saturday morning, but the long run was still almost perfect. After weeks of running circles around or neighborhood in the freezing dark, we got to run 14 miles in 45 degrees through the heart of Nashville.

Nashville striders organizes training runs for the Marathon, complete with water stops and signs. It was great to simply show up and run and not have to worry about the course or getting lost.

Shannon, Me and Abby (Christina was still in the car)

Shannon, Me and Abby (Christina was still in the car)

The course was 7 miles out and back from Bongo Java in East Nashville to Bongo Java in West Nashville. My legs were really sore and tired from the beginning. I was hoping they would loosen up in a few miles. While the sharp pain with each stride went away at about three miles, they felt sore the entire time.

My favorite stretch was running past LP field right after sunrise. It was light enough to dodge the road kill, but left over shimmers of pink and orange were still peaking over the horizon.(this picture does not do the view justice).

runNash

Shannon leading the pack past the new Nashville convention center

Shannon leading our pack past the new Nashville convention center

The energy of running with the crowd (and also lots of goo) really helped me get over my tired legs and the mental challenge of running further than I’ve ever gone.

Even though it was an official race we still had a huge crowd com,e out to cheer us on. {sure, the said the were trying out for the Voice, but we know the truth}

We had a huge crowd come out to cheer us on! {sure, they SAID that they were trying out for The Voice, but we know the truth}

The course took us through the heart of downtown, so there was always something to look at, distracting us from from the fact we were running so far.

Abby and Christina

Christina and Abby

Running downtown The girl in purple is NOT me.  Though she kinda looks like me circa 1994.

Running downtown. The girl in purple is NOT me. {Though she kinda looks like me circa 1994.}

The final 2 miles were the toughest. Last weekend when we did 12, and I remembered how tired my legs were. I wondered how I could do another 2 on top of that, especially since my legs felt like crap. My friend Shannon is the training for her fourth marathon (the rest of us are newbies) and had the best advice. She encouraged me the the last mile always feels like your legs are dead, no matter if you’re running 10, 15 or 20. So much of it is mental, just push on through. The last few miles were also ridiculously hilly, but her words kept me going all the way back to the coffee shop.

We got back to Bongo Java and cooled down. I’m so thankful for them letting us use their facility, they even provided free coffee (that I accidentally poured in my water bottle as I was still in my post run delirium).

runstretch

It is socially acceptable to stretch on the floor of a coffee shop, right?

We made it ALL 14 miles. The farthest we’ve ever been. It really helps that we are doing this together. Honestly, 15 next week doesn’t seem quite so scary now.

My kids insisted since we had "breakfast for dinner" we should have "spaghetti for breakfast"

My kids insisted since we had “breakfast for dinner” we should have “spaghetti for breakfast”

2014: The Year I’ll Run A Marathon

I am currently registered to run the Country Music Marathon on April 26, 2014.

Gulp.

Despite being a runner for the last 17 years, I have never ran a full marathon. In my early 20’s, I did races all the time, but never more than a 15 K (The Tulsa Run, which is still my favorite race). Over the years the responsibilities of life kept my running to 3-4 miles a couple of times a week, barely enough to stay fit.

Something quite terrible happened when I hit my mid 30’s. Running alone wasn’t enough to stay fit. Despite staying active, my pants were no longer fitting. Rather than buy a new wardrobe, I started eating healthier.

Over the last 2 years, I began to eat “paleo-ish” and do crossfit in addition to running. These changes have made a huge difference in my energy and fitness level. At 38 years old I set a PR this fall for my half marathon (1:48).  For the first time since high school, I feel like an athlete.

Running a marathon is not a decision I have made lightly. I’ve counted the costs. Literally, I made a spread sheet to determine how many hours it would entail to properly train. I choose my “slowest” time at work (first quarter) and  picked a time when we have no other major commitments.

Since I made the decision, I’ve been almost giddy with excitement. Devouring books on running and nutrition. I can’t quite find the proper words to express just WHY this means so much to me, but I get teary every time I picture myself crossing the finish line.

Running is something I truly enjoy, but it can be time consuming. I’m done with most of my runs before my kids wake up, but I still struggle with working-mom guilt over spending my time exercising. But taking care of my self is not a luxury. I’ve realized that running is my sanity, and it’s OKAY to be sane.

This marks my 5 weeks of training, so far I haven’t missed a run. Anyone else out there training for the full Music City Marathon?