Race Recovery And Plans

Now that it's been over a week since the race, I thought I would talk a little about my recovery. I was really hurting after I finished the marathon- more than I remember hurting after my other marathons, but probably because my hips were bothering me for so much of the run. I didn't eat immediately after I finished, which was my first mistake, but I did keep moving for quite a bit and drank a bottle of water. 

finish

When I got back to the hotel room I tried to eat a protein bar and drank more water. When I took off my compression socks, Rob gasped as several bloody toes were revealed. I've never had this happen during a race, and I wore the same shoes that I always wear, so I don't know why it happened. The blisters have healed by now but I have a few really gross black toenails that will be around for months, I'm sure. 

After I finally showered I put on my compression tights and foam rolled a bit. I always noticed a huge difference in my recovery when I wear compression so I kept the tights on until the next morning. I also did a bit of foam rolling when I got home later that evening. 

compression

We ventured out to find food after we were cleaned up, but knew that places near our hotel would be crowded since we were so close to the finish line. We ended up lucking out and getting a table at Fridays, but first we had walked around for about 20 minutes or so. Sitting at the table was extremely uncomfortable. I just wanted to stand up or lay on the floor. I got a burger, sweet potato fries, and a beer. And more water. 

beer

On Monday I was still really sore but not really in "pain". Luckily I was able to wear Toms to work which didn't hurt my messed up toes (but also hid them). I didn't eat well on Monday because we had no food in the house due to leaving for vacation the next day. At work I tried to not sit for long periods of time because the longer I sat, the harder it was to get up. 

coffee
half asleep, heading to work

Finally on Monday night we made it to Florida..after a very uncomfortable 2 1/2 hours of sitting on plane. My legs were not happy. I didn't get a great night's sleep the first few days we were there, but by Thursday I felt like I was able to take advantage of being on vacation. Also, by Wednesday I didn't feel sore anymore but I knew that I was far from recovered. 

Here is what my "workouts" looked like last week:

Sunday: Philadelphia Marathon (26.2 miles)

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 45 mins yoga

Thursday (Thanksgiving): 60 mins yoga, 20 minutes pool running

Friday: 60 mins yoga

Saturday: 45 mins yoga

Total: 26.2 miles

This was the first time in a while (about 2 years I think?) that I took a full week off from running. I'm sure my body appreciated it. It also felt weird to not do any cardio (besides the short pool run) but I think that was probably a good thing too. Usually after a race I find myself in the gym doing cross training. Without access to a gym this week I actually took a real break from working out. 

This week I will start adding some easy runs back in and see how things feel. I want to get my hips back to 100% before I start hard training again. I think that I will be able to continue running while working it out, as long as I keep my mileage low and my pace easy. 

Hopefully I will also keep up with doing more yoga, and also add back in some cross training. Its been over 7 months since I have been to a spin class, so I might do that. I also haven't been to Body Pump since August- I know I will be all sorts of sore after my first time back there!

body pump

How do you usually recovery from a hard race?

When was the last time you took a full week off from running?

I'll also be linking up today with Run The Great Wide Somewhere, My No-Guilt Life, and MCM Mama Runs for Tuesdays on the Run! Head over to the link-up to see how everyone else stayed healthy over Thanksgiving!

Tuesdays on the Run
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56 thoughts on “Race Recovery And Plans

  1. I still wonder what the heck with your toes. Were the shoes close to their limit? Could that have been it? Hmm. Glad you are feeling better. I must eat pretty close after a long run or race. I really do find the whole refueling as quickly as possible to be key in speeding up recovery/eliminating soreness. After a race, I eat as fast as possible and for the most part, even skip eating out because I can't wait so long for a table/food etc. I usually pack my favorite postrun meal and eat it asap. I haven't taken a full week off from running in who knows how long. Probably before I ever started, but when I was spinning a lot, at least three or four days could pass so maybe that counts?
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted...Confidence-Boosting Tips Plus $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!My Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I have no idea why my toes got so beat up! Ive worn those shoes for about 200 miles, and I wore them with compression socks like I did for all my long runs.
      I usually try to eat right away, but this time they didn't have anything I found appealing. I didn't check a bag so didn't have my own options either.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I always get nervous to go back to a class that I haven't been to in awhile! But it will be a nice change!

      Reply
  2. I have never recovered great from marathons either. I remember my last one not being able to walk down stair normally for a few days. Recovery is one of the main things I need to work on. After I finish a hard race I do not treat my body right (eat, massage, stretch) right away because I know the race is done and I will not be training for something within the week. This is definitely a major weakness that I need to get better at after racing and long training runs.
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted...Tried it Tuesday #3: Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet & Chorizo Fajita Fritata [Recipe]My Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I have a hard time recovering well after a full marathon because I am so exhausted and its hard to move. Im much more likely to search for food quickly or foam roll after a shorter race!

      Reply
  3. I think it's smart that you took the week off from Running!
    After a big race i have a hard time dealing too-it's like no matter which direction I move in, it's painful. Standing sitting laying---they all are uncomfortable!! Kudos to you for going into work the next day.
    I always do too, and it is HARD!! Glad you had the whole week for a nice recovery!
    Nicole@TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere recently posted...Things to love about Winter RunningMy Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I am so glad that the painful post race feeling doesn't last too long! Just thinking about how painful it was to do anything but lay down makes me grateful that I am recovered now!

      Reply
  4. I am taking some much needed rest, too! I did not expect to be as sore as I was. I work on the third floor of a very old school. There is no elevator. I just told the kids to go around me if they saw me on the stairs. Going down was way worse than going up!
    Amy recently posted...I Ran a MarathonMy Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Oh I could only imagine having to do stairs at work! Luckily there are no stairs at my job, but I am on the 3rd floor apartment with no elevator- so that was no fun! I hope you are feeling recovered!

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Sounds like a good plan! I think its a good idea to take a stretch of time off from running once a year or so.

      Reply
  5. My recovery after the marathon was kind of hilarious considering I ended up running that following weekend for Chicago etc. But I took 3 full days off, 2 days on the bike, before running again. And then another 4 days off from running after that, I think. By the first weekend, I think I was just dealing with more fatigue than anything. I took 3 days off from running the week before Thanksgiving when I was sick. And a week off from running this summer when I thought my hamstring was a bit strained. So other than for injury purposes, that's about it! I really need to get back on the yoga train--I'm like a lapsed Catholic with that one...
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...Ceding ControlMy Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I usually just wait until I don't feel sore anymore to run after a marathon, but I was happy I took some extra days this time around. I used to only take off from running when I was injured.
      I go through phases with yoga. Now that Im back to running I have much less of an urge to do make it to a yoga class.

      Reply
  6. Reading this post brought me right back to the days after my marathon, the soreness and hating the times I had to sit and couldn't lay down/stretch out. I didn't really want to revisit those days, so thanks.... just kidding! :) The soreness is earned which means I kind of liked it in a masochistic way!

    Enjoy spin, body pump and yoga!!!
    Kristina recently posted...Whooo! Negative Splits During the Long Run!My Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Haha yea I don't even like to think about the post-marathon pain either! Glad that its over!

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Exactly! I felt so much better after that first day when I did a little yoga.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Very true! Its all about just trying to piece together what works best and trying to make that happen when you can.

      Reply
  7. I think taking time off after a race is SO important. It's great you incorporated cross training, though, because your body can easy back into exercise. I think doing a little bit of something helps your muscles recover, too! Great job again!

    Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I definitely agree! It feels good to move even if its just some walking or yoga.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I'm definitely thinking about it! But I splurged on 2 during training so I need to see if I can fit it into my budget this month...or maybe I'll just ask for a gift card for Christmas:)

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      It went faster than I thought! It definitely helped that I was on vacation when I took the time off. I feel like I need to run on a typical work day. It just helps me to get through the week!

      Reply
  8. My typical recovery has been a few days off then light biking. I won't actually run until a couple weeks after the race. Not only does my body need a break, mentally I need it as well. My training is usually so structured I need a break from that.
    Lesley recently posted...Healthy Over ThanksgivingMy Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      That's really good! I enjoyed the time off last week but now I am in the mood to run again! Its felt good to get back out there for some easy miles.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Its definitely a painful experience those first few days! I remember barely being able to walk up or own stairs for a few days after my first full marathon. This time I think I was more sore the day of the race and the next day, but the soreness didn't last as long.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      After my second marathon (Houston) I flew to Hawaii the next day! Luckily we flew first class (we were going to our honeymoon) so I was able to stretch out a lot. I also wore compression tights which I think helped a lot.

      Reply
  9. Yeah, I was assuming the flight wouldn't be fun! I remember last summer doing the PA Grand Canyon Marathon (6000ft of elevation change) and having to get on a plane the next day to head to Kentucky for work ... getting up and down the stairs was a joy :) But I started running the next day (took 1 day off) ... because I am an idiot 😉

    I also applaud you taking off the week, just relaxing and enjoying vacation, letting yourself truly heal/. Generally most runners don't allow for proper healing, so that was really smart!
    Michael Anderon recently posted...30 Days of Gratitude – Day #30, The Better Part of MeMy Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      It seemed to make sense and there was no reason to rush back to running. Stairs are the worst after a marathon!

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I like doing yoga when I don't feel well if its low intensity- an at home DVD could be a good option! I think a lot of runners can't remember the last time they took a full week off! We love to run so we do it as much as we can!

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I've heard that 2 weeks is really ideal to take off after a hard race. I've found that as long as I keep things easy I can get back it sooner that that, although it felt good to take a week off this time! Now I'm ready to get back to a regular schedule.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      It was a good choice to take the week off! My toes feel better but don't look better:( Good thing its winter!

      Reply
  10. April @ RunTheGreatWideSomewhere

    I do really love red meat right after a long race. Steak, hamburger...it just hits the spot. I'm sure taking a whole week off really is a great idea after a tough race! I'm planning to get a short, easy run in tomorrow to help recover from my half on Sunday. I've found that a two mile run really helps shake out the soreness and stiffness a few days later. Thanks for linking up with us!

    Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Yes I love red meat after a race! I usually get a burger or if I'm going out to dinner I'll get a steak. I realized that my body craves that kind of food after a long run or race.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Reply
  11. This may have been suggested already (I didn't read all the comments) but maybe it was your socks that caused the bloody toe? I find my compression socks are not quite as supportive/cushioned as regular running socks, and if they're tight they could squeeze your toes together as well. But ouch! Good for you for resting an entire week. That's the best way to recover post marathon. I've learned the hardway about coming back too soon and got injured.
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted...Thanksgiving and the Turkey Trot RecapMy Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      It could have been the socks- I've never done a full marathon in them before, but I usually do my long runs in them. Thats a good point that they're less cushioned and tighter.

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      I always say Im gonna do a lot more cycling and swimming but i usually end up running all the time anyway!

      Reply
  12. I hate sitting after a race too. My hips hate me after most of my races despite a proper cool-down, stretching and rolling, but I think a big part of that, for me, is lingering around after a race and not being able to sit my butt on a roller right away. I should probably just bring one with me, but sometimes it's hard to find a place to do it at without being in someone's way haha. Your week off running is very well deserved! I usually take a break after a summer of training and then again before training in the spring. That's how I did it while in school, so it just kinda stuck.
    Hailey recently posted...11 days!My Profile

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    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      It can be tough to get to a foam roller quickly after a race. I think as long as I do it within a few hours it still helps.
      Your breaks sound like a way to recover from a tough season!

      Reply
    1. runningoutofwine@runningoutofwine.com

      Luckily my toes don't really hurt, and Ive had a great transition bak to running over the past week! I love a good pair of compression tights!

      Reply

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