Posted by: runawaynotes | December 22, 2012

First day back to running

It’s been two weeks since my marathon – two weeks off from running (and blogging). First few days after the race were so intense that I could barely walk (or sit down/get up, or squat, or twist, or… ok, you get the picture). My left hip and knee felt like I’ve completely ground down the cartilage and ligaments in those joints. My shoulders weren’t too happy with me either (I tend to tense up when under stress, which causes my neck and shoulders to get really stiff). Plus, for the first couple of days my entire body felt like I was recovering from a bad cold – achy, feverish, stiff.

Gradually, all of these problems went away, and by day 4 or 5 I could move around without looking like an 80 year old with rickets. So, a week after my race I decided to attempt yoga (Gentle flow). That did not go entirely well. Apparently, even though my limbs were more or less stretched out and healed up, my inner core muscles were still very much tight and sore. You don’t realize how much you use your core muscles until you find yourself unable to exit the triangle pose gracefully. In addition (and I don’t know if yoga is to blame for this or if this is just an unfortunate coincidence), all of the sudden my piriformis muscles suddenly decided to freak out and go into a spasm that caused my lower back to arch severely and pinch a few nerves – not a pleasant experience. So, it was chiropractor to the rescue. Thankfully, Dr. Channing and his massage therapists do wonders, so I did not have to deal with this pain in the rear [pun intended] for too long.

However, even though things have finally seemed by be back to normal, I was a little apprehensive about attempting running again. Not that I really had a strong urge to run either. I think I have gotten that desire to just go out there and kick the pavement for 10+ miles out of my system for a while. However, I was still curious what it would feel like. I was concerned about some possible lasting physical damage that my body might have sustained during the race. I was also wondering what it would feel like mentally to be out there running again. I’ve heard stories from runners who couldn’t get their running groove back for weeks after their marathon. So, when my friend Megan asked me if I wanted to meet her for a very easy 3-miler this morning, I was prepared for any kind of outcome.

Thankfully, my first post-marathon run was a surprisingly good one. The air was nice and crisp (upper 30’s, dry). We kept a very conservative 13 min/mile pace and stuck to our 3 mile limit. I did have some mild discomfort in my left arch by the end of the run, but that was about it. Everything else – hips, knees, lower back – felt surprisingly good. Also, and I guess most important, I actually really enjoyed being out there and running again. In fact, I think I’m starting to look forward to the next training season, whereas just a few days ago the very thought of doing a time-trial 5K in January was making me cringe.

I have the next week off, so I am thinking about attempting a couple more short easy runs before picking it up a little. Frigid 5K is January 5th, and I am trying to figure out how much I am going to be able to push myself. Also, I need to do better with my cross training next season – definitely more core and strength training. So, I will need to do some research on that. Even though I won’t be training for a full marathon this spring, I think it would still be good to develop some better training habits that will come in handy next year, because next year I have a PR to beat! 🙂



  1. Rest is always good, but especially after a tough marathon.

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