Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Erie Marathon Recovery

Coming off of the high from Erie was hard, but admittedly not as hard as I thought it would be. Post race blues were definitely better this time than other big races, I'll chalk that up to life OUTSIDE of running being pretty fantastic right now. The first week I was a bit of an emotional mess, but in general did well(thank you, food & friends). This week feels more like business as usual, albeit a little fluffier.

First week of recovery was what I like to call the "recovery week food tour". I covered a lot of bases: Mexican food, Wegmans food bar, lobster rolls, cheesecake, ice cream, Chinese food, booze/bar food, and finished out with homemade garbage plates for Sunday football. This allows me to indulge, and also be lazy with the whole grocery shopping/cooking/meal prep thing. Basically I wanted to sit on my rear all week, and eat. Mission accomplished.

Race hard, celebrate harder...or something like that.

As for physical activity the first week, there wasn't a whole lot. We went for some walks with the dogs which helped flush some of the gunk out of my legs and get me off the couch. I originally planned to run Thursday, but ended up laying in my running clothes for an hour instead of actually running in them. I've learned not to push it physically but also mentally, sometimes you just need to chill. 

Friday and Saturday I got out for about 25-30 minutes of running each day which felt comfortable and manageable. Sunday my goal was an hour of easy running, instead I got a few hours of marathon cheering, and many hours of football/food/naps. I didn't want to run, so I didn't.

Recovery is a little different this time, as I will be running another marathon in a few weeks. Sure, this is not my goal race but I need to be ready to support Brittany as best I can for 26.2 miles. Last week was time based running, and this week will be as well (except long run with Britt). This allows me to focus on time on feet rather than set mileage. I may throw in a fartlek or some strides for informal speed work/turnover to put a little pep back into my legs but in general it'll be easy miles.

Erie was my 12th marathon, therefore I've learned a thing or two about what works for me after races for recovery. This is different for each and every person, that is one thing I know for sure. I have found though, that I recover quicker from marathons now than I did the first few. My body knows more about what it's going through, and my training has also gotten better which in my head does make recovery easier. If you go into a race properly trained, you're going to recover quicker. Might not be a hard rule, but it's pretty strong assumption.

One of the biggest things I try and do during recovery is stop worrying about the numbers. It's hard sometimes because I'm a data nerd, but not dwelling on it makes me feel less guilty about not getting out there as much. After Boston I ditched my fitbit all together, seeing the numbers drop so drastically was eating away at me a bit. I figured I would use it again once training started, but ended up leaving it sitting on my dresser collecting dust. I also stay away from food logging and apps of the sort. Not that I have ever been religious about those things anyways (I don't need My Fitness Pal to remind me that those craft beers and chicken wings MIGHT not be the healthiest). While I love running numbers, food/fitness tracking numbers are a little too much for me- so I stay away and feel less guilty during recovery which means I am less likely to push my limits too soon.

Do I have plenty of training/racing/recovery areas I can improve though? Absolutely. 

Seeing as I have some of this "free time" (which I've actually been filling pretty easily), I have had some time to work on other blog posts. I've done some more thinking about Erie training and the race itself which will be a good post for the nerds (or at least for me to look back at). Also will be some updates for future races, training, coaching updates and some other running related info.


  1. Your recovery week sounds amazing. After such a big accomplishment you deserve a little time to recoup. Food apps get a little stressful for me too, unless I have a specific goal in mind like cutting sugar or adding vegetables, I can't handle the "red zone" when I go over certain things. Too much pressure!

  2. It sounds like you had a great recovery week (all your food choices are making me hungry) and I've seen your runs on DailyMile to know you're doing a few but still resting- which is really important. After all, how can you support Britt if you're not fully recovered? It's really nice to see a speedy runner like you who eats real food and takes time off and recovers, too. Good luck with your long run and upcoming marathon too!

  3. It sounds like this week was exactly what you needed. I'm excited to read your reflection about Erie. I think you're are right that it's so important to just relax post big race. If we feel like we are always focused towards the next race, we never get the enjoyment of our accomplishments.

  4. Now I want Mexican food :) and a beer. wahhhh


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