Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recover, Rebuild, Refocus and Return to Running

What's the best way to recover from a marathon? Everyone is different, but I like to start by eating.
(after the feelings of nausea go away!)

A few of us were able to meet for a post race meal at a local pizza place.

I won't lie here. The venue was chosen, not for the food, but for the fact that I could expect my kids to play in the ball pit for a while. Selfish? Maybe...

We got to eat, though! And talk about everything possibly race related.

Julie and I caught up with each other, while her kiddos and mine battled it out in the padded room. This lady got a huge PR the day after a 50 mile bike ride. Ha! How's that for tapering?

I really enjoyed meeting up with those who could make it. Paul was able to beat his "A" goal by about a minute. He gave me the scoop on CIM and a little comparison to Eugene.
His blog is geared towards stats and race training science. He might obsess over numbers more than I do!

Notice our race T shirts? The Eugene Marathon T shirt is officially the BEST race T shirt I have now. Love the fit and the design!

We missed the lovely Tasha... :(  she came and ate before any of us could get there! So here's an expo photo instead.

Amanda showed up a little late. I have NO idea what we were doing here, but she sure knows how to party!

Yeah, I am running...but it ain't pretty~

What has my return to running been like?
Not as easy as I expected..... My quads came around in about two   five days, my right arm and shoulder (?) in 2 days, but my lower legs were thrashed post race. How is that possible with such a low Vo2 max? There are a few reasons I believe:
  • After my knee injury (I believe now that it was quadriceps tendinitis, and maybe a micro tear) I stopped doing any weight lifting.
  • At the same time, my schedule also moved away from interval (5k) paced training and into just threshold, marathon pace and strides (1mile race pace, short bursts) for speed work. I didn't keep up well with the strides because I was concerned about re-injury.
  • I ran more on-toe in this marathon than I have in the past.  
Here's the rundown since April 29th 
  • Sun: Race day
  • Mon: Nothing
  • Tues: Nothing but push ups and sit-ups
  • Wednesday: Sore still , walking around the house, soreness gone by the PM. Wanted to run, but did nothing but push ups and sit-ups.
  • Thursday:  All soreness was gone in walking. Tried running. I got about 20 yards and came back in. I had fully expected to run without problems.  Both soleus muscles, calves and front tibialis muscles were still very sore with running.
  • Friday: Biked for about a hour. Kept to under 80% max HR (weights)
  • Saturday: running on bark, 5 miles (very broken up with some walking and stretching)
Week 2 (so far)
  • Sunday: ran for a whopping 3 miles (still sore, but no walking). 
  • Monday: I rode my bike for an hour, 80% max HR or less (weights)
  • Tuesday: I ran 8 slow, fatigued, miles 
  • Wednesday: 8 easy miles again, but feeling a bit more pep in my step. Didn't feel fatigue until about 5-6 miles. (weights)
And now, it's time to refocus!

I have really enjoyed the recovery period, but I am more excited to get back to racing this time than after Boston last year. The question is- what should I be training for? Should I use my marathon fitness to try to improve my time in another full, or is that too risky? I am looking at a potential race on June 9th, and would want to get a PR.

Here is some more about that race: Tiny race (less than a hundred people), fairly cheap race, probably with a cooler start than Eugene.  Starts at around 2200 ft and goes to about 3200 ft above sea level and I live at 200ft. Race is about 3 hours from me. Training would be with Pfitz's back-to-back plan..
I could wait until December to race another full, but it would cost more money to do one then- 10 hours away from me.

On the other hand... It would be a lot of fun to get back to some intense workouts, and start chipping away at my 5k and 10k times!

What do you think? Should I try for a second full or get back to speed and short races?


    1. hmmm...that's a good question, and one that I cannot help you with ha, ha! the tone in your post sounds like you are aiming at a bit more "speed" and intensity of the shorter races...I'm just saying ;)

      Thanks for your words of wisdom and reminding me what "faith" can do for us all...I will get my answers and move forward, "posivtively" no matter what!

      Thanks for sharing the pics...looked like a good time!

    2. Do what makes you happy! There are marathons everywhere, all the time. You don't really need to choose between June and December, or speed and distance. Do what makes you happy now, then switch when you want a change. Enjoy!

    3. Wow. Thanks for sharing!

    4. You know I'm all about the full distance. BUT I'm trying to get some speed together since distance in the summer is just gross. I think if you can find some cool mornings, though, you're good for the distance!

    5. I'll be back but gosh I look like a real douche bag in this picture. ha ha. But that napkin penis is really awesome.

      1. Shoot, you look great as always.

    6. A race with 1000' of gain on June 9th eh? You mean the 3 sisters marathon? 8)

      That climb will cost you 3.5 minutes (roughly) right there. I don't think the altitude would be a factor.

      I think you could do another peak without hurting yourself if careful.

      So, if you can eek out 5 minutes of performance by peaking better, lose 3.5 back to the hills, you will PR by 1.5 minutes.

      For a drivable marathon that is small, cheap and cool, could be good...worth a shot is one way to think of it.

      If you will be bummed out if you don't do an absolute PR you might want do some blistering races now and marathon in the fall on a flatter course.


      1. ha! You put it all out there just as it is, except that I hadn't assumed any 5 minute improvement...just a 5 minute loss due to elevation ( shows that)..course difficulty adds to it a few minutes too, eh? I am starting to lean the other way...except for the smallness and coolness of this race. Hm.

    7. This sounds like a cool race and say go for it if you can but don't expect a PR due to elevation. June 9th isn't too far off to hold off speedwork and still all summer for short races.

    8. I'm in injury mode here, so that = conservative. I say hold out for the other marathon in December and work the speed right now.

      Random side note: From what I've read, I don't think altitude comes into play until well above 3200 feet. I remember being excited to do a training run in Kingman, AZ one weekend when my son had a swim meet there and I thought, "Sweet! 4500 feet! I'm going to get a great workout and improve my fitness!" I didn't feel any differently during the run and when I googled, turns out that's still not high enough for any effects. I think you need to be over 5000 ft.

    9. I am so bummed I missed the get together. I wished that I didn't live so stinking far away. :-(

      It sounds like you have been recovering well. Probably better than me. My lower legs were super thrashed too and the odd thing that hurt worse than anything were my abs. How does that happen?!

      I will admit that I probably could have ran an easy couple of miles a day or so after, but figured I would just stick with my 2 weeks off so that I can start over with a refreshed body. I haven't had this kind of a break in over 18 months so it has been nice. I am getting pretty bored with spinning and the elliptical though. I even resorted to wearing a sweatshirt so that I would sweat more. Yep...I am totally crazy!

    10. It takes me a long time to recover from my last marathon. It took something like 3 weeks. Running during those three weeks was ugly.

      Btw, I look forward to eating pancakes and a big brunch after a long distance race. I think that is the only reason I do them.

      1. I like Kepa Wong's post-race plans. Can I make plans for my next post-race with you?

    11. I would certainly go for another full. I'm sure you (and your body) can handle it. Especially at those altitudes I would go for it. I live at 6200ft and race mostly at above 7000ft. Anything below that is a welcome bonus. Nice to meet such lovely bloggers. I hope my chance to do that will be soon.

    12. Yikes - your body was TIRED! Mine is just not cooperating like I want it to. My heel is m.e.s.s.e.d u.p. POOP! I haven't run at all this week. It was probably a mistake to run the 9 last weekend, but at least I didn't do the full 12 I had planned :p I have a little tri tomorrow and I might just skip the final leg and give my foot some more rest.

      Thanks again for the post race pizza. YUM!

      I say when you find the race you are supposed to do, you'll know it!

    13. A small cool race sounds like fun but Paul put the logistics of time right out there. My original plan for the year had me doing a bunch of small, local, shorter races after Eugene and then think about a fall marathon if I even liked the distance. We all know how that played out (not this year!) -- but, I liked the idea of changing it up a bit.

      Also, is the 10 hour away race in December what I think it is? (CIM?) If so, come on down!! I'm going to do that race even if I have to crawl it!!

      Sounds like a fun post race meeting people!

    14. The trouble with marathons is that after you run one you immediately want to run another. At least that's what I've experienced after my two marathons.
      Everybody recovers differently. Some people can go right in to another marathon. Sisters sounds like a fun little race. I love that part of Oregon! There's also Vancouver and Sauvie Island in June and July...

    15. I already emailed you about the running stuff (I think...did I include that in my long novel? :))...but wanted to let you know that I was here and back again....and that I love that race shirt. The color is very beautiful and it'd be my favorite of all shirts, too, if I owned it.

      I think meeting people we know, even if it's just through the virtual world, makes races that much more fun. So glad you got to meet up with a few for some great smiles :).

      Happy Weekend, my friend!

    16. Glad to hear your legs are coming back around! It's amazing what a hard marathon will do to them. I'm not sure what to tell you about training, I'm always indecisive in those decisions, too. :)
      I love that you got to meet up with so many bloggers- how fun! Oh, and those shirts are amazing! I probably have two race shirts that I actually like (and wear).

    17. YAY!!! So happy and proud of you. I say RACE if its close to me :) I will come cheer you on to your PR.

    18. After a tough long race I like to eat too! Then I like to sleep and then I use it all as an excuse to not run ALL week. I don't do too many big races so I don't really take that much time off. But it rejuvenates me :)

    19. Fun pictures! Dang, pushups and situps two days after a nig race? That's hard core!

    20. Beautiful pictures full of big smiles.
      I would go for shorter distances, the body needs a little of rest before coming back to train for another marathon.
      How different the thoughts about the distances are: here we can chose among a lot of races within a range of 100 km.

    21. I guess I'd lean toward trying for some PRs at shorter distances and then do the later marathon (that's what I was going to do until I had to stop with my back issue).

      Those are great pictures! You must have been basking!

    22. I would vote for some shorter race PR's, but that's just my preference. The marathon distance is my least favorite distance and running two so close together wouldn't be great for me (mentally). After marathon training, I love the feeling of speed!

    23. OK-I'm just a LITTLE behind here although I did read this on my phone over the weekend! Just forgot to come back to comment:)

      I always promise myself ALL these wonderful yummy treats after a marathon but yet I'm never hungry. I had an impossible time eating after Grandma's but then 2 days later I made up for it tenfold-ha! LOTS of pizza!! So glad you got to celebrate with some food and friends!!

      Love your pics and that IS a GREAT race shirt!! I have a lot of race "boxes" but that is nice and fitted and cute!

      Love hearing your thoughts and reflections. Also, nice to see your recovery spilled out! I could NOT advise you as you will just know what's right for you! You are sitting on a SUPER marathon PR but yet I think you have a hunger and ability for more here. ON the otherhand, a sub 40 is in the palm of your hand soon and what a great accomplishment that would be!! Whatever you do, I will be in your corner with a painted face cheering! PR's coming whatever direction you go:)

    24. I am new to this but think I'm a one marathon a year kind of a gal (I've only ever done one, in Jan and my next will be Jan 2013 in Houston where I want sub 3hours AND local elite status - aim high!) Summer is for track and speed speed speed then Autumn comes and build those lovely miles again ready to attack that marathon PR.
      I ran track and cross country at school and was always so excited for track by the end of cross country and vice versa, I think it's good to have variety and I like a routine so it works for me....all these years later. What are your long term plans/goals? Once you know that then you can build short term with more certainty.


    Please comment! I love hearing from you!!! ♥