When I finished Nike Women's - my first half - less than a year ago. I hurt. I hurt bad. Navigating stairs was nearly impossible for the three days that followed the event. The same scene was repeated in my next two halfs, but by the time I did my fourth - Footstock - I no longer felt the intense pain. Sure - I was a bit stiff, but nothing debilitating. Just that good "I worked out" ache.
I knew that I would need to do everything I could to recover quickly from this marathon. I knew it was going to hurt. And it did. But not as bad as I had convinced myself it would. In fact - I don't think it hurt nearly as bad as following Nike (the difference between a hilly course and a pancakey one, I presume). Now, three days later, I feel good. I can feel that I worked out, but I can run up the stairs again. I can carry my daughters while descending them. I'm not super sore anymore. I know I still have to heal so I am going to take it easy for a few weeks to get myself back to 100%
To aid my initial recovery, though, I took several steps that I think helped ALOT.
First, was that I stretched after I crossed the finish line. After most races - I just want to escape and get away from the scene of the crime. This time, I plopped down on the grass and did some stretching.
Next - I kept moving. I needed a Starbucks right away so we loaded everything up and headed fora walk to get me coffee. and lunch (gotta refuel and the finish line food didn't seem to exist at this race). So we walked for a good half hour after.
Then, it was into the ice bath for me. The lady we rented our condo from happened to be a runner and it was evident in the thoughtful touches she left around the unit. She had 4 trays of ice made PLUS a big bucket in the freezer. Plenty for a nice (well - not really) bath.
Then I had a hot shower to rinse away the salt from my skin and make me feel human again.
I had bought a pair of recovery compression socks at the expo and I wanted to get them on, but I also needed to keep moving and the thought of putting on anything but flip flops didn't appeal. When we went sightseeing, I wore the sandals and, as soon as we returned to the condo, I put on the socks...and left them on all night. My calves thanked me when I woke up on Monday morning.
Throughout the long drive home, I could feel myself stiffening so I forced Hubby to give me lots of opportunities to get out and walk around. I was still stiff but the walk breaks allowed me to loosen up.
Tuesday - those stairs were not my friend. I couldn't move very quickly at all - thank goodness the girlies were at the dayhome. But my MIL and I went shopping so I could keep moving and by the end of the day, I was feeling pretty good.
Today - I feel about 90% human again. and 10% superhuman because I actually RAN A FRICKIN' MARATHON!!!!
It was a marathon. It was hard. It hurt. But I survived to run
again. I won't do another race at this distance, but it was a nice
accomplishment. Actually - it was a pretty kick-ass accomplishment.
Less than 1% of the world's population will ever run one...and I am now
in that club. Pretty cool.