yaninasmarathon

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Archive for the tag “post race blues”

Post Marathon Thoughts

My week on the Gold Coast has come to an end and I am sitting at the airport waiting to fly home. I don’t think I am suffering from post marathon blues as such, but I am feeling as if nothing really happened of a phenomenal nature. Or perhaps that IS the blues?

I haven’t been analysing the race and my slower time, I haven’t really thought about it much. Am I putting it on the scrap heap because I feel I didn’t do as well as I wanted, or am I honestly not worried about my performance on the day? It’s a strange feeling.

I went for a walk/jog yesterday and discovered my legs were tired, they felt heavy and blobby. I only ran a short distance while I was out, I walked most of it, maybe I ran 1km out of the 4km I did. I don’t remember feeling like this after the Auckland Marathon, but then again maybe I did.

When I get back home, I need to set a goal, I don’t have one yet. Perhaps that is the problem.

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Back after a long silence….

So I have been rather remiss about writing my blog entries. I can honestly say I have been feeling that lethargic that I have not wanted to put thought to keyboard and type out anything for a while. Whether this has been because of the dreadful hay fever I had been having or simply a silly season overload, or even a delayed after marathon “depression” I am not sure, but never mind, I am back and feeling really good all of a sudden!

I had been trying so hard to stick to my training routine over Christmas and New Year, but we went away, and sleeping in a totally poked bed hurt my back, in fact it turns out I strained the QL muscle which was further aggravated by going ice skating after not being on the ice for about 15 years! One should not try and do things you were once flicking out easily, and trying to jump like the spring chicken you once were is seriously not a good idea!

DSCN0072

So with all the other “stuff” going on with me, this injury further put paid to a happy running effort, as well as putting me in the mood to write. Needless to say, everything felt like pulling teeth. That was, until yesterday!

I still had a sore back, I had been to my Chiropractor and finally booked a massage (why I had been holding off I have no idea) but things were not progressing quickly enough for me. The week prior I had had to leave my long run in the shoe box as there was no way I could do it. I was feeling pretty similar again on Saturday past, as I had tweaked my muscle drying myself getting out of the shower! So I was facing another cancelled long run. The discomfort in my back had been so sore that I could not sit properly. Anyway, I think my obstinacy took over as when Sunday dawned and the alarm went off, I hobbled out of bed and decided “sod that, I am running anyway, and I couldn’t care if I fall to pieces”. So I ate breakfast, applied a heat pack to the offending area and rubbed in some hot rub.  And set off for a hour and fifteen run…..

…….which hurt…..initially, and then started to ease, and then when I got back I felt quite good, and continued to feel better and better all day, which continued into today. I did my scheduled 30 minute jog this morning and all felt fine. I am now sitting almost comfortably in my chair, typing this and thinking to myself “Go figure!”

Thoughts on a marathon journey

I think I have a slight cold…

This is not unusual following a race like a marathon. Apparently your immunity is lowered from excess physical exercise. While moderate exercise has been proven to help your immunity, more prolonged vigorous bouts actually lower it. This is because any exercise places your body under stress, and stress increases your levels of cortisol – not a good thing.

This last week has been interesting, I have felt quite tired and when I finally did go for a (very short) run, it felt like I was lugging around a sack of potatoes. Interestingly, over the weekend which we spent relaxing in Colville, I went for a short bike ride and that felt okay. My running muscles are obviously tired.

Anyway, I thought today I would make a list of the top 10 things that helped me on this marathon journey.

1)      Good support from family and friends – without this I would not have been able to complete the hours of training, and calmed my panicked mind, nor able to physically do the long runs.

2)      A well planned training schedule – I can’t stress the importance of getting those hours on your legs. Also you need a good running base before attempting such a long run. Your tendons and ligaments take about a year to become strong enough to handle the stresses of such a race. Sure, you can do the distance with less training, but your chances of getting injured are far greater. This becomes even more of an issue as you get older.

3)      Good nutrition and hydration throughout the whole process. During your training, during the race. Practice how you will do this during your training runs so on race day you have it all sorted.

4)      Get enough sleep.

5)      Self motivation and mind control. You need to be able to talk yourself through those last 10K of the race, and you need to be able to get yourself through your training runs. This means getting up early if needed, running in the rain and wind, even when you don’t feel like it.

6)      Good running shoes – a vitally important factor. Get your gait checked by a specialist running shop. And buy two pairs and rotate them.

7)      Get regular massages, they help to iron out any niggly bits before they grow into full blown problems. I also got regular chiropractic adjustments so do something like that as well.

8)      Don’t just run, especially if you are older. I do strength training as well to help with all the running muscles and build balance. Luckily for me, I am a personal trainer so I can set my own program, but I would highly recommend getting someone to draw up a proper program so you target the correct areas.

9)      Towards the end of your training journey, in the final four weeks, supplement your diet with anitoxidants like Vit C. I took 1000mg a day, and still got sick, but the severity was far less and I recovered a lot quicker. While I was ill, I took it three times a day!

10)   When race day comes, remember this is your race and enjoy it. Just do it the way you want, don’t get hung up on time if it is your first race. There are so many interesting things to see while running for such a long time, take time to look around and have fun. The spectators can really give you a boost along the way, and interacting with them helps to take your mind off the task at hand.

I have one final thing to add that I believe is very important. Have your post race plan in place a few weeks before, and plan your next challenge. It doesn’t have to be another marathon. So saying, I have mine and here it is:

http://www.colvilleconnection.co.nz/

And then it was all over….

A marathon is a long distance to run. Similarly writing about it takes a long time and this is why I have broken down the posts into more manageable bites. Here’s what happened after the race.

As I had mentioned, I got really sore feet at the 34K mark. In particular, my left foot was hurting the most. It was easy to ignore it while I was running as I had something I was aiming for….the finish line, but once I crossed that line I started limping. I really could not walk on it properly. After getting my medal , clearing the finish shute and meeting up with Kerry and Geoff, I hobbled off with them to find a much needed mocha  Geoff had parked the car way up the hill, and even though I had changed shoes, there was still no way I was going to make it, so he had to fetch it.

The advice is to do a short walk later in the day just to flush out lactic build up, but there was no way I would be doing that. Interestingly, I wanted to have a walk, whether that was because I couldn’t or because my body/mind wanted to, I don’t know. But there it was, I was feeling somewhat frustrated. Granted, I don’t do sick and injured very well.

That afternoon I experienced a roller coaster of soreness, tiredness, emotions, and hunger. One minute I was hungry, the next minute I wasn’t  One minute I wanted savoury food, the next minute protein, then carbs! One minute I was exhausted and had to lie down, perhaps sleep, next minute I was wide awake again and ready to go! One minute I was all sore, the next it was all better! One minute I felt like crying, and did, the next all happy again!

Every time I stood up it took me a few seconds to get my legs to work properly and to loosen up, and about half way into the afternoon, my knees started to ache a bit. There was nothing too serious though, apart from my sore foot which hurt less if I wore no shoes. It appeared to be strained. That night when I finally got to bed, I really didn’t sleep well as things were a bit achy, and I could not get comfortable.

On waking the next morning I was pleasantly surprised to find I could still walk and had no muscle stiffness. A few sore areas were confined to below knee height, and apart from my foot which was still quite sore, I was doing okay  The funniest thing was Geoff, who did not do the race, had sore knees, hamstrings and calves! How’s that for a support person!

So overall, my body did well, and I can only attribute that to following my training plan, getting in those miles and having a really solid base under it all. It honestly is so important to your overall physical, mental and emotional experience. I do believe that if you don’t prepare well, you will end up with problems during your race. Maybe I am still riding on the post race euphoria wave, but I had such a great day, and came away with a feeling I cannot describe in words. That feeling is still sitting there…accomplishment maybe, but more than that. It’s been 4 days now and it hasn’t gone away.

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