But first, the big question- would I do another one?
Well, on the way around (finding it so tough) I decided that I would never say never, and that I probably will do another marathon, but when I am a bit faster. Mainly because then the pain would last for less time! I have the Great South Run booked in the Autumn (10 miles) and I think this sort of distance, some 10k’s and maybe a few more half marathons are what I need to up my speed. Plus this year I missed a lot of races that I had previously enjoyed because they did not fit with the marathon training plan. So I am going to spend time doing those shorter races (it’s all relative- I am not saying they are short, just less than the marathon), hopefully speed up again, and then maybe do one later on (e.g. Autumn 2012 or something like that). It is funny because already, less than a week later, all I can remember are the good bits (the finish line!) and the hard parts (eg 3/4 of it) seem to have faded away in my memory! Plus now I can walk properly again it does not seem to bad!
I have been thinking about recovery a lot these past few days!
I think the walk from the stadium to the hotel was a good thing, as it did mean my legs did not seize up straight away. I did think I had a blister, so I made use of the free compeed plasters, but actually nothing has come of that.
As the marathon finished late in the day, we had time for a shower and then a very slow walk to dinner, and that was it. I used the ice gel after my shower and that also helped, but I did forget to have a cold blast with the shower that day.
During the night I remembered my compression socks (duh!) and put them on- they actually gave me calves immediate relief and I wished I had some kind of compression things for my thighs too. Ah well. In fact I was stiff all over- my shoulders must have totally tensed up near the end, despite me trying to roll my shoulders and wiggle my arms.
On the Sunday (after enjoying the hotel breakfast- how I love rye bread and muesli- and also a shower with some cold blasts at the end) we decided we should not stay in the hotel all day, so braved a trip on the underground to the old town (Gamla Stan). Going down stairs proved difficult- I was going down sideways one step at a time. Not so good. As we got to the platform the train came and Andy ran to the train, so I had to as well. It was only the length of a few carriages, but I actually felt like crying when I got on the train- so painful! We walked around for a few hours, but that was all I could manage. I was even getting the lift in the hotel (even though it was only 2 flights of stairs! I felt so lazy!).
We had decided that we wanted to do some proper sightseeing, so on the Monday we left the hotel at about half 10. We walked (slowly) to the park where there are a lot of museums. It was a beautiful sunny day, and it was so lovely to be outside and enjoying the city. We went to an open air museum (it had buildings from all over Sweden in it- to preserve them, and also animals like reindeer, elk, and also rabbits 🙂 )- this was great but the park was on a steep hill and going downhill was painful. We sat for a bit to eat our lunch (we are very well prepared and had packed some bagels in our suitcase!) and then walked to another museum. It was a shipwreck that sunk after sailing for 25 mins, from the 1600’s, and it was so well preserved. Worth a visit for sure. But my legs were getting more and more stiff. The museum shut at 5pm (so we had been walking for a long time- we watched a 25 min film in that museum, and sat for 10 mins for our lunch and that was it) and so then we walked back to the old town, looking for some dinner. In the end we found an Italian, and boy did I enjoy my pizza! By then my legs were actually hurting, so we got the underground back to the hotel instead of walking. Not sure if a day of walking and sightseeing is the best recovery, but we did not want to go all that way and not see anything.
Walking around was good, and we kept seeing parts of the marathon route, so we just chatted about how we felt during those parts of the race. I was still going down stairs sideways.
I think we got back to the hotel at about half 8, and then I did a lot of stretching.
Tuesday we came home- our flight was at lunch time so we took our time getting to the airport (no expensive taxi this time, which by the way cost £50!!!- we got the bus instead!), and walked up and down the terminal for a bit before getting onto the plane. Exciting news- I could walk down stairs properly again- hooray!!! My left hamstring was bothering me the most, but the front of my ankles was also hurting while I was walking.
Wednesday I had my sports massage- I walked up and it took me longer than usual. She found so much tightness in my back and hamstring, and I am still sore today from it, but actually my hamstring is no longer tight. She said I might have minor shin splints from the pressure (as I have a sort of tight feeling near the side/front of my right ankle when I walk), so I am not going to try a recovery run just yet. I was thinking that I might have a gentle jog today (Thursday) but because I still have soreness when walking I do not want to make that worse. I can see I am not recovered yet- I suppose it will take a while.
Hopefully I might manage a short one at the weekend, maybe Sunday. I am not going to body pump tonight either. I did think I might go and just use light weights for the squats and lunges, but I tried going a squat and lunge in the living room and it was not very easy! So I am going to be a good girl and recover some more. Hopefully!
Last night I went out for dinner with some friends- a few of us walked back to the car park together and mine was away from the other cars (it was dark and creepy)- I contemplated running to my car, took 2 steps and realised it was not so good. No pain or anything, but not quite right just yet.
Exciting news– I downloaded my Nike+ today and got a video from Paula- saying welcome to the 0.1% of the population who have run a marathon! Not sure if that is the UK population, or the world, or what, but it was exciting! I did calibrate it after the 20 mile run, but it still thinks that I did 27.93 miles (although I let it run on for a few mins after)- Andy had his Garmin on and it tracked a few km over (46 instead of 42), but there was no line to follow down the centre of the course, so I suppose you must run a little over the actual distance. I was most excited by the video anyway!
Anyway, I have been feeling a little more tired than usual, and so I am trying to take it a little easier this week. Being half term is good timing. Usually I would be taking advantage and going out running in the mornings, but I don’t feel like doing that, which is good, as I should not be doing that! So instead I will take advantage of the extra time to do some other stuff (gardening, shopping, cooking, seeing friends etc). Yay 🙂 I spent this morning doing work (boring), popped to the shops and then did some gardening this afternoon (nothing too strenuous- just planting out veggies into the vegetable patch).
So, I think the recovery is going well. For a few days after I felt really sore, and I was a bit worried, at times, that I might have actually done some damage. But now, later on, I think that my muscles and tendons and joints and everything were just so worn out, so hopefully with a few more days of rest I will be back out there again.
Question- next Sunday (12th) is the St Albans Half marathon. No I am not contemplating that, but there is a 5k, and the PTA from my school try to get people to enter- I did the half last year and it was nice to support the school. But the deadline for entries is 6th June. Does anyone think I would be able to do that?
Thanks for all the congratulations and wishes from you all- love you guys 🙂