Personal best center stage! Marathon #11 is in the books. 

Well, week one of recovery means there’s not a whole lot to report! Coach and I discussed, and with no races planned for summer — nothing to really peak for, at least — I’ll be building back slowly. This will be different than following Monumental, when I thought I might run a trail marathon six weeks later and came back pretty hard. So I’m going to (try to, at least) enjoy the downtime and come back refreshed and ready for fall racing.

Since Carmel is just a couple hours away, we came home on Saturday after the race (after a stop at Upland Brewery for lunch). I had no major complaints —no injuries, no chafing, no sunburn!

On Sunday, I went for just over 2 mile walk, which also included a stop at Starbucks and at Kroger (for Epsom salts to soak in!). I also did about 14 minutes of recovery yoga. I’m really digging the Runner’s World series – I just wish they offered it on iTunes instead of just as a DVD. I was definitely stiff on Sunday, but I for sure have felt worse. In fact, my husband – who ran 16 miles point-to-point on the course during my race, even though he hasn’t really been running – was hurting more than I was. That made visiting five or six open houses that afternoon really funny. He was going down all the basement stairs sideways!

Monday was about the same – a 2.25 mile walk and 21 minutes of recovery yoga.

Shirt by Sarah Marie Design Studio, a treat for my new PR!

By Monday night, I was thinking I was ready to try running. I texted coach that, and added that I was only going to do it if it still sounded fun when I went to do it. He said, “Stop before it stops being fun.” That’s good advice. I didn’t want to go for a run until I was back in a mental and physical place where I wanted to run.

So I started off Tuesday morning with another 15-ish minutes of yoga to loosen up. Then I headed out for a 3 mile run. Not too bad! It was about the same as any other Wednesday after a hard Tuesday speed session, but I was happier about it than I usually am on Wednesdays. I kept my heart rate super low — under 70 percent max average.

Tuesday was a great day. I got to run AND I got a massage after work. We just did a pretty light 30 minutes mostly on the legs but also my back and neck. Honestly, after the race, my back and neck were the two things that were the most sore. The massage helped a lot. I think while I’m not training quite as hard, I’m going to keep up my schedule of getting a massage every three weeks, but I’m going to alternate between an hour (what I normally do) and 30 minute sessions. I’m lucky in that my gym has an amazing spa with massage therapists on staff – and that I get a discount there because I teach Pilates there!

Pause for a public service announcement: if massage isn’t a part of your regular marathon training routine, find a way to make it. I think it’s one of the best insurance policies you can take out on your body while you’re putting it through an off a lot of stress. And I don’t mean some gentle relaxation massage. No. This is probably going to hurt. Find someone who does a good sports massage, and if you can find someone who is also an endurance athlete of some sort themselves, even better. My lady is a former Boston qualified marathoner turned primarily cyclist/swimmer/yogi. I think you have to add this in as a “cost of doing business” — it can be a little pricey, I know. But, having to go to physical therapy or to get an x-ray or CT scan is also expensive!

The real nugget of advice here is that I recommend scheduling your massages as you put together your training schedule. Figure out how often you’re going to go, get the appointments booked and put them in your plan. This keeps you from waiting until you feel like you “need” one – at which point you probably waited too long.

My preference is in our every three weeks, with a light 30 minutes the week of the marathon. (Then 30 minutes to an hour at the week after.) But, I think an hour every six weeks or 30 minutes every four weeks will make a big difference. Think of it like changing the oil in your car. You can put it off for a while and your car will keep running, but wait too long and you’re going to run into problems.

OK, back to our regularly-scheduled programming.

Wednesday was pretty low-key. It’s warm enough that I’m able to roll my yoga mat out on our balcony in the mornings. So I got in about 15 minutes of recovery yoga with the birds chirping in the sun coming up. Great way to start the day! Then about an hour later, when I got to the office, I went for a mile walk to get coffee. That counts as exercise, right? It does during recovery week! That evening I taught Pilates, my first class since the marathon. Most of my clients knew that I was racing, so they were excited to hear how it went. And I had finally accepted reporting that it went well. For the first couple of days my emotions were pretty mixed, having been on track for so long and then falling short (even if just a little) of my goal.

I also picked up some new gear from New Balance Louisville this week that I had ordered in.

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Thursday I got to run again — and I was still excited about it. That’s actually what my notes to coach say in Training Peaks. “More fun than Tuesday. Had to go early but was still excited to run.” By early, I meant out the door at 6 a.m. — one of the nice things about my new job is that we don’t start until 9. I put in an easy 3 miles about 15 seconds a mile faster than Tuesday, higher heart rate but still within recovery range — right at 75 percent max average for that one.

I also taught Pilates Strength that evening, which was tough. We do a lot of squats and lunges in that class! And it’s my own fault! I didn’t do all the reps and didn’t go as deep as I might normally, but it was still a good workout.

It was back to morning porch yoga on Friday, along with a 2 mile walk after work. I thought about hitting the gym for more of a workout but hubs had a rest day and I didn’t really feel like going — we had a big planning day for the next fiscal year and my brain was tired. The walk was a nice reset.

Saturday I had my “long run,” 6.5 miles. I met my friend Amanda (who sandwiched a sub-1:30 half marathon in-between the 10k and 10 miler, meaning she raced four out of five weekends this spring) and her 1-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, Julep. Julep was largely unconcerned that I was a week post-marathon, so it was a little quicker day than I might’ve gone on my own. But, it felt good to open it up a bit — we averaged 7:42 pace but there was a 7:20-something thrown in, too. I still averaged around 75 percent max HR. I taught Pilates after that — Saturday is my biggest class, and the one I missed for the race. As soon as I walked in, they wanted news. I gave them the short version and they gave me a big round of applause, which was really sweet.


Sunday I hopped back on the spin bike for the first time in months. Ouch. I did an hour class and rode 24 miles. I sweated so much that I chafed my nose with the scratchy gym towels! Then I came home and did 20 minutes of porch yoga to stretch back out. We spent the afternoon at Keenland, which involved quite a bit of walking (in heels).

A nice first week back, although by the end of the week I was feeling like a slug. Looking forward to diversifying my workouts over the next few weeks!

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