sad

I’m not a marathon pro, but I’ve run a few of them and I have done my fair share of things wrong. You learn from your mistakes, right?

It’s prime marathon season right now and I figured I would offer up a few tips on how to recover from a marathon. Some do it right, and some do it wrong and I am pretty sure the biggest reason why I got my stress fracture was because I didn’t properly recover from the Vermont Marathon.

After Vermont, I took 1 whole week off of all exercise, but after that I jumped back into running, and while it wasn’t a whole lot of miles, I also added in a lot of strength training and it obviously didn’t work out for me.

Here’s my list of dos and don’ts when it comes to recovering from a long distance event.

DON’T:

  • Run
  • Lift weights
  • Do squats and lunges
  • Race
  • Think you’re exempt from traditional recovery
  • and certainly…don’t run doubles!

DO:

  • Sleep
  • Stretch
  • Drink beer
  • Rehydrate (with Nuun!)
  • Get some extra Vitamin C
  • Catch up on your social life
  • and of course, celebrate!

Personally, I recommend at least 1 week of no running after a marathon, but 2 would be even better. In your second week, I would recommend cross training and doing anything without impact, i.e. the bike or elliptical. Stay away from weights and leg exercises.

An easy run will be tempting and will most likely feel pretty good, but marathons trash your quads and extra stress is put on your bones that your body is not used to. You might feel good, but your muscles and bones are still repairing themselves, I promise you that.

Every person is different and unless you’re super woman, like Laura who eats marathons for breakfast, I recommend chilling out after a long distance event.

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From RunnersConnect.com

Why runners are prone to stress fractures

Bone, like most tissue in the body, can adapt and become stronger when it’s subjected to a stress. However, unlike muscles and tendons, which can adapt and strengthen in a period of days or weeks, it takes many months for bone to become stronger after it’s been put under an increased level of stress.

In fact, there’s even a window of about a month where bone becomes weaker after an increase in training stress because of the way the body remodels bone. Your body first tears out some walls in the bone structure before it can put in new ones, much like remodeling your house.

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The stress mentioned above is the marathon you just ran. Remember to be smart, be patient, and rest. My motto is always; “Do you want to run right now or for the rest of your life?” Rushing recovery won’t do anything but prolong it.

 

Disclaimer: This is all just my opinion. Nothing is scientifically proven and you can tell me how wrong I am if you want. These are the steps I will follow after my next marathon. Take it or leave it.

PS. I created a Facebook page for my blog, which feels kind of weird, but I would appreciate some likes! 🙂

nycmcancellationThis happened yesterday. Even though I had already accepted it and moved on, it definitely hurt to put the final nail in the coffin. I got nervous, sad, and unsure all of a sudden. All I had to do was push a button on the computer and it’s gone, no more New York City Marathon for me.

It sucks to think back when I initially got injured and how I thought I was kind of lucky because I wasn’t going to be missing any races or losing any money, I always thought it could be much worse, and granted it DEFINITELY could have been much worse. But, anyway, how wrong I was. I suppose it was for the better when I think about it. It allowed me to go through my injury period with hope and gratitude, rather than negativity.

Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on this, it’s done and over, I’ve officially cancelled my entry and I WILL be there next year.

What do I have lined up for the Fall? Sadly, not very much. I’m so used to racing so often, and not only all year long, but Fall is the prime racing season, so it makes me kind of sad to not have several races lined up. I’m definitely living vicariously through my friends who are racing the shit out of some marathons this Fall.

I keep considering signing up for one of the many half marathons in the area, but then I remind myself how out of shape I am. I mean, yes, I can cover the distance, but I much prefer to return to racing with some amount of confidence and speed under my belt.

In a little under 3 weeks, I am racing the

Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M)

It will be mixed into a 9 mile training run, but I do plan on racing those 5 miles. I cannot wait to wear this beauty again!

Steph_Oiselle_Profile

I haven’t worn my singlet since VCM, which was 4 months ago at this point. I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long without racing before. I’m sure my bank account appreciates it 🙂 Err…minus losing $235 for NYCM.

As of right now, the 5 mile race and the Rehoboth Beach Half are all I’m signed up for. I’m considering the Race To Deliver, which is a 4 mile race put on by NYRR on November 24th. And I am also considering doing the Hot Chocolate 10k put on by NYCRuns on December 15th, the weekend after the Rehoboth Half. We shall see. 🙂

My focus right now is only run races that I plan on racing. Having this goal helps with saving money and learning to appreciate a race again. I love running races as part of training runs, but I’m not in that mindset right now. I want to race these races and start pushing myself again.

Anyone else running these races? What’s your Fall race season looking like? Are you signed up for several races?

I will not be running the New York City Marathon.

This race has been on my mind since the day I got diagnosed with a stress fracture. I felt pretty positive about still being able to run the marathon, since at that point it was only June and I figured I still had plenty of time to recover and train. I had a lot of positive reinforcement as well, and was trying to stay in the best shape I could while being stuck in the boot of shame.

I’ve been back to running for a little over 4 weeks, but about 2 weeks ago I had a meltdown about everything in my life, including NYCM. #Dramatic

I began to question if it was really possible to train in such a little amount of time. Is it safe to go from 0 to 26 in only 13 weeks? Why am I running? Will suffering through 26 miles while feeling out of shape be anywhere near fun? Do I feel like losing $250? All of these things were going through my head and driving me crazy.

I think the #1 reason I still wanted to run was just fear of missing out. Plain and simple. So many of my friends are running and it’s redemption for last year. Last year’s training was almost perfect! I had a fantastic training cycle and although I used it towards Rehoboth Beach, there’s nothing like training for the NYCM with all of your friends throughout the summer. It’s one of the reasons why I love it here!

nycmMy running buddy, Adriana, running NYCM in 2011!

I became jealous, angry, sad, worried, stressed, all of the above! Every one around me was already at 18 miles and here I am running 4 miles as my “long” run for the weekend. Even though I had a tentative training plan that would get me to 18 miles, it never looked right. It wasn’t safe and I’m pretty sure I would feel miserable at the end of the race no matter how slow I ran.

I want to thank Beth for talking me off the ledge of insanity regarding all my life problems, which in reality were not real problems. But, you know, sometimes you just gotta let off some steam and vent about things and that’s exactly what we did over some delicious Chipotle and a bottle of wine.

And even though this “decision” was made 2 weeks ago, I am finally feeling like it’s real, like it’s the right thing to do. I also feel relieved. I can continue to take it easy and build back up safely without having the pressure to get to double digits as quickly as possible.

It’s a weird sense of relief because I’m not sure if I should feel guilty or ashamed. I know that sounds weird, but everyone assured me that it was still possible to train and run the race, so I’m not sure if I did something wrong. I constantly wonder if I did enough while I was injured, if I should’ve made a bigger effort to get to the pool, just all of these what ifs and I worry that I’m taking the easy way out.

I’m always thinking about if I’m doing too much or not enough with my training right now. I have no idea. All I know is how I feel. I feel out of shape, slow, and stressed about a goal that seems potentially questionable and that’s why I am pulling out of the race. I don’t want to risk injury, I want to be safe so I can have a fantastic year of running in 2014. And I want to make sure that when I finally run NYCM, that it will be fun and I will be ready.

Part of this decision was also based on the fact that I WANT TO RACE SOMETHING! Racing is a huge part of why I love to run. I want to push myself again and to have an actual Fall race goal. Currently, I am signed up for NYCM and Rehoboth Beach Marathon and since NYCM isn’t happening, that leaves Rehoboth. These races are 5 weeks apart, so not really too much time in between. And sadly, still not enough time to train for the full at Rehoboth.

I’m going to drop down to the Rehoboth Beach Half and try to race the shit out of that. So, that’s my A-Race for the Fall. It’s on December 7th and I have about 14 weeks left to train.

Most of all, I am annoyed that I am losing $250, but I know once the New York City Marathon gets closer, I am going to be sad. It’s going to be difficult to stay away from all of the excitement that comes from Race Day. I certainly don’t want to stay away from it, and I’ll definitely be at the race cheering for all of my friends who are running, but I can’t wait for my day to run NY.

I’m glad I still have some time to get over this and accept the fact that this race was just not meant to be this year. I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me, this is not a pity post, it’s just my feelings and what’s really going on with my running and my goals and honestly where I am at. It sucks, but I’ll be fine. And most importantly, I’m super happy to be running again!

I will be deferring my entry to next year and let’s hope that the third times a charm!

Who is running NYCM? Let me know so I can cheer for you!