When you run a marathon on the Inverse Taper (i.e. fairly last-minute longer runs and no taper to speak of) you have to expect to feel pretty sore and tired for a few days afterwards. I was certainly tired last Sunday and my knees had decided that bending wasn’t something they particularly wanted to do, but on Monday I felt great – I could even walk down stairs like a normal person! I think I probably spent the day still high on the endorphins of the day before, but the speedy recovery in my legs is something I still can’t quite get my head around. I can only assume it’s the product of running one extra day in the week since late October and doing so many parkrun sandwiches the day before my longer runs. I must be more accustomed to running on tired legs and presumably adapted accordingly.
That said, I still know to take time off after a marathon, no matter how tempting it is to get back out there again. My body has taken on a big challenge and there will always be unseen damage and fatigue that needs time to return to normal. So this past week has been a recovery week – minimal activity and lots of food. Sounds pretty good!
Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – sports massage
Thursday – Ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest
Saturday – volunteering at parkrun
Sunday – rest
I took my medal to work with me on Monday as I knew a couple of colleagues would want to see it, but with all my senior pupils on study leave I was having a pretty quiet day!
The best part of the day was a friend (who ran his first marathon last year) taking care of my needs by leaving the precise thing my body was craving waiting for me on my desk. Friend for life! (I was in the middle of marking some project work, hence the stickers!).
Although I was feeling good, I was really looking forward to yoga on Monday as I knew it would give me a chance to really stretch out my weary muscles. I fully excepted to take a few easier options during this class, so was surprised to find myself taking part as normal. Maybe McDonald’s, Chinese takeaway and beer is the secret recovery formula 😉
Both Tuesday and Wednesday I took as really restful days. My sister popped in on Tuesday evening to pick something up and we watched some of the elite race from the London marathon together while the kittens clambered about looking for treats (it’s ok, she remembered them this time after coming empty-handed last time!).
And I made sure to enter the ballot for next year. It would be a shame to break my streak of failed ballot entries now 😂
Similar scenes were repeated on Wednesday when my mum visited. The kittens were celebrating their first birthday and she had presents for them. Safe to say she got a little carried away!
And the kittens (are they still kittens if they are one?) had a lot of fun with the gift bag!
I then had my sports massage and my massage therapist was really surprised at how mobile I was and what good condition my legs were in. It was still good to have a massage as that also allows me to feel that there are no sore spots or indications that I should take a huge amount of time off. This time, everything felt good.
Thursday was my Ashtanga class and although I had felt good in Hatha on Monday, I knew that Ashtanga could feel a bit harder and had memories of finding some postures pretty tricky after my marathon last year. As it turned out, I managed just fine. The only issue I had was that my body just didn’t want to do a headstand – something I had suspected might be the case as my body was still dealing with the fatigue of a marathon and headstand demands quite a lot from the core. I got set up but just didn’t feel “right” and every time I tried to move into the posture I could feel that it just wasn’t happening. And to be honest, that’s fine. Someone else in the class noticed and said to me afterwards that I should have called the teacher over to get support with it, but I didn’t need to do a headstand on that particular occasion, I was quite happy resting in child’s pose until it was time to move on. I know I can do it and I know what my body has achieved lately. It can have a night off headstand!
But since I have been feeling so good, I made a decision to enter an upcoming race. Steve already entered this a while back but I was undecided what with being ill then deciding to run the marathon anyway. Had I been really sore, I probably wouldn’t have entered anything else right now, but the idea had planted itself in my mind so I took action.
It’s been a few years since I ran one of the Edinburgh races, so I’m actually looking forward to this and I think there are going to be lots of people around that I know so it should be a good day. It’s an early start but it means I’ll have a decent run in by mid-morning.
Friday was once more a rest day, but actually quite a busy day at work the way things worked out. Still, once I finished I knew I had a long weekend ahead and kicked it off with a nice dinner of fish and chips at the pub down the road. Look at the size of that fish!
Saturday was the first of two volunteer slots for me at parkrun. I volunteer as a pacer fairly regularly, but usually take a couple of other roles in the two weeks after a marathon so I know I’m doing my bit. I was timekeeper this time, but it was just one of those weeks where all sorts of things went a bit wrong. There was an alteration to our route due to some works taking place and a number of runners went wrong (it was still 5k though, phew!). I also missed some runners crossing the finish as they went behind me, outside of the funnel, and the other timer, while clocking more runners than me, was also “behind” the number of tokens that went out. It will forever be a mystery how that happened as usually I’m ok with timekeeping, so well done to the RD who managed to sort it all out and process the results after that! In all the carry on I completely forgot to take any photos, but I do have one of me in my nice new leggings – hipster kittens. Why not!
Usually on the Sunday after a marathon Steve and I head out for a big cooked breakfast in celebration of our efforts, but this time we postponed by a week as my sister invited me to join her and her friends for “Disney Day”. They had planned a day of Disney games, chat and vlog watching – mouse ears compulsory – and some food. It sounded pretty good and with no running to do and a Monday holiday the next day, I decided to join her. I may have got a little carried away in my outfit haha!
We started with Disney Trivial Pursuit, drank tea made in a Mrs Potts teapot (I want one!) and served in one of the Disney/Starbucks mugs. A couple of Linsey’s friends also made Mickey-shaped treats for us to enjoy.
We also played a new game called Villainous. It was a kind of strategy game where you place as a Disney villain and have your own objective to meet whilst also trying to thwart your opponent. It took a lot of checking the instructions and a YouTube video to get us stated, but the others definitely picked it up faster than me as I’m just not used to games like this. I still enjoyed it though and I would play it again now I have a better idea of what it’s all about. In case you’re interested, I played as Jafar (I’m not really a villains kind of girl, but Jafar is pretty cool).
By the time I got home (we were in Edinburgh) it was time for my bath and I decided to stick with the theme of the day by watching a couple of Disney vlogs while I soaked in the tub and enjoyed a glass of red wine. Bliss!
Overall a great week to rest and recharge, but I’m now itching to get back to running and will probably try a couple of easy runs in the week ahead.
Do you like board games?
Who’s your favourite Disney villain?