The Santa Barbara Marathon was on Sunday, December 6th. For the next 3 days, I didn't run. I think this is a pretty good practice. With 25 past marathons in the bag, one thing I do know is that your body needs to recover after the marathon.
Muscle soreness is the most blatant sign that my body is trying to recover. My calves, quads and hamstrings were the most sore those first 3 recovery days. In fact, I had to walk downstairs very carefully, holding the handrail, one step at a time the first 2 days.
My neck, shoulders, traps and arms were sore too. Not as sore as my legs, but they were feeling the strain of running 26.2 miles (well, actually 29.2 for the entire day). What I should have done was schedule a massage. But work has been crazy busy and I simply didn't make the time.
Advil was my friend the first 2 days post-marathon. I didn't take too much...just 2 tablets in the morning and 2 at night.
Although I didn't run the first 3 days post-marathon, I did get off my butt and walk around as often as I could. The longer I sit in one place, the more painful it feels to get up. Don't know why that's the case, but it is.
The other sign that I'm in recovery mode is how I feel. Grumpy, tired, yucky are a few words to describe my mood and body the entire week after the marathon. Not to mention, I was constantly hungry.
My body deserved whatever it wanted the week after the marathon. I don't eat a lot of red meat but that thick juicy steak last Saturday sure tasted good!
But in the meantime, people left and right are getting sick. At the office, at school, friends...people are getting sore throats, the flu (I had lunch with a buddy last week who came down with the flu 2 days later that has lasted now a week), etc.
I think it was Sunday, the 13th that I started to feel a scratch in my throat...so I immediately downed 2,000 mg of chewable Vitamin C tabs and got to bed early. Your body is more susceptible to illness after a marathon...somehow I awoke on Monday feeling about 80%. I'm still feeling a bit "on the edge" of getting sick but with some luck and sleep I'll get past this.
As far as running, I've been running 2 to 4 miles at an easy pace for the past 7 days. I'm at the point now where I can start doing my "normal" base training of roughly 5 to 7 miles a day...when I get adequate sleep. So on that note, I shall end this post and attempt to hit the sheets!