13 miles and ways to recover

But first a pic of my pudding last night- a brownie cupcake- still gooey in the centre- perfect!

So 13 miles was the plan. Well, actually the plan was for 13 miles last week, and 10 miles this week, but I decided that I would push the 13 miles back to this week (the 10 mile weeks are “recovery” weeks I suppose, so not as important).

I was so so nervous about this run. I planned a route last night (www.mapometer.co.uk) which was similar to a route I did when training for my half marathon last year. I have only run this distance twice before, on each half, as I never got up to that distance in training. I was also nervous, as although I have been feeling loads better, I still have a little bit of a dull ache in my side (only when I need the toilet now) but I was worried about making things worse. Plus the weather was horrible- normal rain alternating with heavy rain- not the most motivating of runs.

So- it went like this- 8.30 up, wake up, get dressed, do some jobs and eat my porridge. Drink water. Wait for Andy to get back from his 10 miles. 11am- head out. For the first 6 miles, I convinced myself that I was dying for the loo. My route heads close to home about half way through, so I got through by convincing myself that I would stop at home, but then I realised that actually I was dripping wet and once I got inside I most probably would not carry on. So, the next 4 miles were ok, but my stomach was growling! I think I left it too long! I had 2 clif shot bloks with me, so had those, and that seemed to give me a bit more energy. But coming up to the 10 mile mark there is a horrible hill. To give myself more energy I had a packet of nakd lemon raisins (found at the back of the cupboard, best before October 2010 but they tasted fine)- sugary carbs mmmm. The last 3 miles were hard work- I had to focus a lot on lifting my feet off the ground so as to not trip over. My poor trainers were muddy (I risked the lake as part of my route which on the plus side is out of the way of cars splashing, but abundant with muddy puddles), I was soggy and tired. But by that point there is no way of cutting the run short, and I focused on the feeling of acomplishment I would get when I finished, as oppose to my ever stiffening hips.

Well, I made it. I got home at half 1, my run totalling 2 hours 33 minutes. This is slower than my previous long slow runs, but it is at the pace I should be aiming for. Mainly I was totally extactic to be home and to have completed the miles.

Now, how to recover? Normally I have a snack and wander around a bit, then shower, dry my hair and have lunch, but as it was already lunch time, I quickly had a little apple pie nakd bar and water, and then headed to the shower. I braved a long blast of cold water on my poor legs, and then stretched (lots of hip stretches) while Andy heated up some soup. I have also been trying out a new purchase of some compression socks.

I feel with the orange they look a lot like football socks! They even have a handy L and R to show which foot they go on (although Andy pointed out that this would not help me much haha!). In fact I was listening to marathon talk today (come on, I have not mentioned this in a few posts) and they were talking about recovery and a few people recommended compression gear.

The tips were; Refuel, rehydrate, stretch, keep moving, and possibly use compression gear.

I feel I refuelled ok- sometimes I lose my appetite, or I leave it too long and then have a bit of a blood sugar rollercoaster by compensating with sugary foods. Today I had a pitta and pb with the soup, plus a pear, clementine and some nuts. Later in the afternoon I had some cherries and a rice pudding with warmed up peach, a few chocolate chips and a bit of homemade choc pb.

This is so delicious. I love peaches with anything creamy (eg custard, yoghurt, soya yoghurt) and then adding in the choc chips and pb so they melted was amazing.

I have been trying to keep moving too- I made a pumpkin pie for tomorrow, and although I sat down to watch some TV after that, I kept wandering about (plus if you drink a lot of water you have to keep walking to the bathroom anyway- good tip). I also laid on the sofa with my feet up on the arm rest (shhh don’t tell)- trying to help the recovery.

At the moment I feel loads better than when I walked through the front door, and I have a nice day of rest planned for tomorrow (perhaps a walk in the mix) I am hoping I will be alright for my run on Monday.

I was also feeling quite emotional when I got home- 13 miles is such a long way and it marks the movement over to unknown territory. Until now, I knew I could complete my training runs as I have run those distances before, but from now on the miles are going up, and without the adrenaline and support from races. Plus the times that I ran those half marathons it took a while to recover from, as that was the end of the path, whereas now I am only half way to my end goal.

But anyway, I am focusing on one week (and one run) at a time. Now I am off for some dinner- a lovely mexican bean wrap and salad- mmmm.

So, how do you recover from your runs? How do you priotitise what to do first? Seriously as soon as I get through the door I need to collapse, stretch, shower, go to the bathroom, eat and drink! Too much to do!!

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12 thoughts on “13 miles and ways to recover”

  1. Congratulations! If it wasn’t so trite, I would have put the ‘congrats’ in capital letters too. After such a hellish few weeks in terms of illness that’s such a strong performance to put in, and the commitment and dedication you displayed in pushing through those last few miles illustrates that you have exactly the right attitude to power through your marathon as well.

    I really need to try some compression socks ~ they intrigue me a lot and now you’ve pointed them out as beneficial I’m even more eager to get some for myself. I would definitely need the helpful L and R though 😉

    Recovery-wise, in my head the first priority is (typically) food. How predictable of me. But I know how vital and important stretching is so I make sure to do that first for at least ten to fifteen minutes, paying particular attention to the IT bands and hamstrings. Bathroom comes next, then food. Shower last. Nasty of me, I know…

    Well done once again 🙂


  2. Well done on your run. I don’t think I would ever be able to do long runs like this, I don’t think I’ve got the mental stamina for it! I have so much respect for marathoners.

  3. Well done that sounds like an awesome run! After my runs I usually stretch and shower before anything else then I’m at the food like a mad woman, I usually go for a huge smoothie with a good mix of protein carbs and fats although I know your suppost to go for carbs within 30 minutes the have the protein reconstruction meal at about 2 hours but usually I just follow my stomach!

  4. Well done! I know what you mean about craving sugary foods if you leave it too long to refuel. I usually time my workouts so that it’s a mealtime when I finish. I either prepare something beforehand or have something that I can whip up in 5-10mins.

  5. Nice one Maria!!!!

    As for the order of things…. as mine tend to end at the coffee shop it’s normally teacake and coffee first….drive home….. straight into the bath!
    I haven’t done the cold bath thing but really think I need to try it when I get back to running again. A friend of mine says that she keeps her clothes on for that phase and it strangely makes getting in a lot easier!!!!

    Hope you feel okay tomorrow and enjoy your day ‘off’!


  6. Amazing Maria! I loved reading the paragraph about he actual run. I really felt how much of a slog it was for you. And it was really impressive that you battled through that. Not only were you feeling physically under par, but were doing an Alison special and playing mind games with yourself too! I think it’s really good training to make it through runs like that 🙂

    I know what you mean about feeling emotional too. I got quite nervous, but also excited, for all my runs over 14 miles. I think yesterday’s run was a really good base from which to launch into the unknown!

    ps — that brownie, OMG!

  7. no advice from me either as I’ve never been able to and never will be able to run that kinda distance.

    Capital R for Respect that woman! 🙂

  8. Aw thanks everyone for your lovely encouraging comments 🙂
    This morning I am still having the post run happiness- hooray!

  9. Hey Maria! I’m almost certain I drove past you on your awesome run yesterday! I was driving through the business park after the gym at 12ish and I’m sure it was you 🙂 I’m really impressed that you completed your long run despite not feeling great and the rubbish weather – it’s easy to let stuff like that effect you mentally so you end up giving up or cutting the distance short, but you stuck with the distance which is awesome. I look forward to reading about your marathon training progress as 13miles is definitely my limit and I’m in awe of anyone who can go past that!

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