Tomorrow marks two weeks since my marathon. Today marks my first outdoor run since the race. (I did an easy 2 mile treadmill run Thursday.) It was in the 30’s but I really wanted to try a nice average paced three miler just to test the waters and get myself back into a routine since I have a half marathon February 13th.
I started going and immediately my lungs started burning. I am NOT used to this kind of cold! I kept going, walking a little bit, and finally got into a little bit of a grove at mile 1.5 but it was still SO HARD! I was running fast while I was running, but I had to keep stopping and walking. What the heck? I just ran 26.2 miles. How can I not even run THREE now! Very discouraged, I finished up and came home. I knew my body was still recovering, not to mention I had a cold for a full week after the race, but I thought three measly miles wouldn’t be a big deal. I came across a couple of articles that seem to suggest otherwise.
THIS ARTICLE from Runner’s World suggests you wait until week three to slowly return to running. It says to cross train in week two, and rest in week one. I rested for a full week, but didn’t do any cross training, I just lifted some light weights once this week and went on two walks. I also found THIS ARTICLE and it says to expect some long term fatigue. It suggests you may feel like you have “run out of gas” (what happened today) on long or hard runs. I knew to expect a little fatigue, but I was not expecting 3 miles to be such a challenge! I felt like a new runner all over again, and it was not a good feeling.
I know I have not done what I should have been doing as far as stretching, icing, eating the right foods. When I was sick all last week, I didn’t have much of an appetite and did not eat much at all. I am hoping that if I just keep going and work through the hard runs (while being careful not to overdo it) that I will start feeling like myself again soon!
So, if you have just run a marathon (or are even new to the half) don’t worry if you don’t feel yourself when you run after your race. Be sure to listen to your body, and take care of yourself post race (and cross your fingers you don’t get sick like me!)
QOTD: Have you ever had a hard time coming back after a hard race? What did you do to feel like yourself again?
For your enjoyment, more pictures!