Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Post Race Running

I wanted to thank everyone again for the congratulations on my CASA Half Marathon. If you ever want to sleep very very soundly, run your fastest half. I slept 12 hours Saturday night. That was even after having had a catnap around 3:45. I imagine the other way to sleep that soundly is by running a full.

Sunday was a very lazy day for me other than running a few errands. Basically, the rest of the weekend was a no hair and no make up weekend for me. The only reason I got out of PJs was to leave the house.

By Monday, my hamstrings and inner thighs (odd right?), and piriformis were hating me from the race. I knew I needed to get my legs moving to work out some of the stiffness. I also desperately needed a massage.

And I do mean desperate. I actually do not like massages at all. I know, I know ... crazy. I don't know what most people's post-race recovery is like, but I'm usually pretty wiped out and the muscle soreness starts to set in big time by day 2. I also know that I need to get my body moving.

So, I decided to take half a day off so that I could try to get in an easy run and a massage. The massage part is a new aspect of my recovery that I think I might keep.

The day was the total opposite of Saturday's race weather. It was sunny and in the low 60s. Saturday I had on long sleeves, tights, gloves. Yesterday it was a tank and shorts.


My goal for the recovery run was to do 5-6 easy miles. While I can't avoid hills entirely, I can take routes that are slightly flatter. So, that's what I did. I didn't pay attention to my pace. I just wanted to get out there and see if my legs worked and to enjoy the weather.

Surprisingly enough, my legs felt really good after about half a mile in. They loosened up nicely. Other than the gusting wind, it was a pleasant run. I meandered through my neighborhood then decided to go around a park. I ended up with 7 miles. Probably more than I needed, but they felt good.

Then it was time for that much-needed massage. I got lucky to find a place that had some good recommendations AND she had an afternoon opening for me. Even better, she was used to working on runners and knew exactly what I needed. Now, it hurt, but in a good way. I could feel the muscles releasing.

Today I did get up and run with Amy. Our temps might be in the 60s during the day, but they're still dipping into the 30s at night, so it was back into tights, long sleeves and gloves. We decided on a route that takes us down towards the river first - meaning it's easier at the start. I needed that to get my legs working.

It's a 6-mile route from door back to door. The only major snafu was that darn angry goose hissing and honking at us. He was not a happy camper this morning. I don't care how sore you are or how slow you're wanting to go, when you have an angry goose ready to chase you down, you sprint.

I'll readily admit that I could have stopped at 5 miles today. My hamstrings were yelling at me that last 2 miles up hill. It goes up from mile 3 to 4 then sort of flattens out then back up 5 to 6. Tonight might be another Epsom salt bath followed up with a date on my Triggerpoint Therapy Kit.

How long do you wait to run after a race? Do you just listen to your body or do you have a "system" in place?