Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Recovery Week

Posted: February 21, 2016 in My Story
Tags: , , , ,

Recovery Week

Hot on the heels of the extremely wet but surprisingly successful First Half Half Marathon on Valentine’s Day, I spent much of last week being pretty inactive. Here are my excuses well thought-out reasons justifying ‘Recovery Week’:

  • The rain – honestly, I just couldn’t take being drenched anymore
  • Work – a very busy week, resulting in quite a bit of working from home after hours
  • Recovery – I pushed pretty hard in this year’s first half marathon, I felt I ‘deserved’ some self-care
  • Sheer laziness

Despite all of the excuses (because, face it, that’s what they are), I still accomplished a wee bit. This is what the week looked like…

Monday

OK – generally, I’ve been attending Coach Carey’s running clinic. But it was the day after the half, and it was pouring…and I mean pouring. Emotionally, I just couldn’t handle being soaked to the bone. I stayed home and watched The Biggest Loser.

biggest loser

Tuesday

Although I didn’t think I’d be able to fit it in, Jill and I still went for a quick gym workout. It wasn’t anything significant – some cardio on the bikes, a few kettlebells and body weight exercises. Our mantra is: “Something is better than nothing!”

Our community choir started up again for a new season after 2 weeks off following our concert in January. I think to think of singing as a form of wellness – or spiritual/emotional fitness – even if it’s not physical.

Wednesday

Wednesday was one of those days – where you can’t believe where the day has gone, but feel like nothing got done. Work came home with me, after a visit to my chiropractor (Brenda – who is awesome, by the way – an Ironman competitor and all-round inspiration!)

Thursday

I was working late on Wednesday and it was raining, and again the thought of running in the rain dissuaded me from getting up early to run with the #RunVan gang.

As part of my BibRave Pro ambassadorship, I got a sample of Luvo frozen foods. They arrived in this gigantic cooler:

Luvo

…which I had to manhandle with me to physio. NOTE: a review of the food will be forthcoming!

The good news about physio – after some dry needling and electric shocks – is that things are improving. The strengthening exercises I’ve been doing seem to be helping. Staying positive and hopeful!

If you haven’t had dry needling – it basically uses acupuncture needles, but they go deeper into ‘trigger points’ and cause some remarkably painful muscle contractions. This serves to ‘tire out’ the muscle and help it relax. A few minutes of that and I was sweating. So, in reality, I didn’t need a workout at all!

Friday

Another busy day, with the added bonus of Pilates after work! The instructor, Christie (you can visit her website here), asked me about my race and I told her it had gone well. She asked what I attributed it to and I answered, truthfully: “Pilates”. It has helped me build my core strength and, I believe, improve my running. That and, I’d like to think, a good attitude!

Saturday

Heavens be blessed, no rain! Joined the Forerunners gang and ran the shortest of the three distances available: 12 kilometres. Those training for the Vancouver Marathon ran 24 kilometres. And those training for Boston – coming up in April – ran 30 kilometres (Laurel – you’re my hero!). It was also a great chance to catch up with running buddy Emily. We always have a great chat!

Sunday

Another rain-free day! Slept in a bit, but decided I couldn’t close out the week without at least one more run. Enjoyed the sights of Stanley Park, and did about 8 kilometres.

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And that’s the week that was! In retrospect, not too shabby for a recovery week!

What do you do the week after a tough race? Do you relax or keep going?

Weekly Wrap

Rare for me, this is an actual weekly wrap for the Weekly Wrap LinkUp hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin! Drop by and read stories from other inspiring bloggers!

This giveaway has ended. Want to know who won? Click here! Read on for my product review!

Tiux Giveaway

I was running with Brie a couple of weeks ago, and saying how I’d love to get some products or gear to try and review. Well, she came through for me! I was contacted by Tiux asking if I’d like to try out their compression socks. Since I’d never used compression socks before, I jumped at the chance!

The Tiux website recommends ordering your size based on ankle and calf measurements – and to err on the smaller size if you’re in between. I went ahead and ordered small, hoping I had made the right decision.

Within a week of Tiux reaching out, a package arrived in my mailbox. I opened the stylish black package, and lo and behold these remarkably bright socks were in my hands! Just in time for the weekend!

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Disclaimer: If it’s not already obvious, Tiux sent me a pair of their compression socks in exchange for an unbiased review.

As the proud new owner of compression socks, the next question loomed: what to do with them? I turned to Google but got very mixed messages. Some people swear by compression socks for recovery after long runs. Others wear them during runs. There may be a placebo effect in play, as scientific tests have not ‘proven’ that they work. So what’s a boy to do?

I wore them for my Saturday morning run!

First Test
Just looking at these things, I thought there was no way they would fit. Certainly I couldn’t just yank them on while standing on one leg – it took a bit of concentration. But the material is stretchy and snug, and they went on quite comfortably. Stage one accomplished!

Given the colour scheme of these newest items of clothing, there was some debate in the household about what I should be wearing with them. Did I have any brighter shorts? A shirt in a lighter shade of blue? I decided to stick with neon, and whipped out my Scotiabank Half Marathon shirt (the one of #ScotiaShirtGate fame) – go bright or go home, right? This was the result:

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I initially felt self-conscious because hey, you know me – don’t want to draw attention to myself. But with the wisdom of Twitter:

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I headed out the door.

Was it my imagination, or did I feel lighter on my feet? Did the socks give me a bit of a bounce in my step? It was a short walk to the car, and then I drove over the Lion’s Gate Bridge to join the #WestVanRun team for our second Saturday morning run.

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I got lots of compliments on my socks, and we snapped a few more photos, then headed out for a 6.75km run along the Seawall.

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I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel. Speedier? Was my blood supposed to be circulating better? Uncertain. Near the end of the run, Ben asked, “How do the socks feel?” I realized at that moment that I hadn’t even been thinking about them for the past couple of kilometres. To me, this is a good thing. Usually, I’m hyper-aware of new gear, especially shoes or anything foot-related. I consider it to be a positive sign when I soon forget that I’ve got something new on.

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As we finished the run, I felt…fine. We enjoyed coffee together.

I ended up going shopping for a bit afterward, and then I felt a bit like I stuck out like sore thumb. But no one teased me, and I made it home without incident.

When I pulled the socks off, my leg was marked with striations (sorry – I just really wanted to use that word):

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However, this might say more about the elasticity of my skin (or lack thereof) than the socks themselves – because they’re supposed to be tight, right?

Evaluation: For a relatively short run, these socks were mostly a talking point. I can’t say for sure if they had any significant impact on my run, or how my body felt during and after. I felt good wearing them, and that’s enough for me!

Second Test
I read that compression socks are good for recovery.

On Sunday, I ran the Fort Langley Half Marathon. It was a small, local race – only about 100 participants – and I had an absolutely great time! I wore my standard gear, ensuring that I didn’t do anything ‘new’ during a race, and kept to my usual short socks.

However, a few minutes after finishing the race, I dashed back to the car and pulled my out my Tiux socks. Sitting in the car at the side of the road, it was a bit of a feat to get those suckers on. My feet were hot and sweaty, perhaps a bit swollen. There was some struggling. But eventually, with patience and some help from the little L/R foot guides:

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I got them on.

I reappeared at the finish line with a bit of extra neon. I was accosted by a wandering toddler who was absolutely entranced with the colours.

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Following the race, we enjoyed some coffee in a local cafe, and then hopped in the car for the one-hour drive home. I figured this was the best test of the socks. Many of the races I attend are in Vancouver, so I walk home afterward. Fort Langley was a bit further afield, so I knew I’d be sitting for some time.

Once I got home, I peeled off the socks, took a quick shower, and immediately went to bed.

I felt great for the rest of the day.

Monday morning – my legs didn’t even feel like I’d run the day before. I often have a bit of pain in my shins after a half marathon. This time, nothing. Maybe there’s something to these things!

Evaluation: For a post-race option, I think Tiux may become my new best friend(s). Especially given the travel time involved after this race, what a great recovery tool! I’m now a fan and proponent of these fabulous compression socks! Plus, I love the little details:

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Giveaway

Tiux has generously provided one (1) pair of compression socks to send to one lucky reader! Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. The contest runs through July 22nd. A winner will be announced and notified on July 23rd. Winner must be a resident of Canada or the US, with a valid postal address, and be 18 years of age or older. This offer is void where prohibited.

Tiux Compression Socks Giveaway

Can’t wait to see if you’ve won? Get 10% off your Tiux purchase using this link: http://tiux.refr.cc/VQTNZH3. Discount expires July 31, 2015.

I’m pleased to link up with Erica at Erica Finds for her Wednesday Giveaway Link Up! Please drop by and enter to win great stuff from other bloggers! Note to my Canadian readers: a lot of these giveaways are only available in the US – be sure to read the fine print!

Notes on Tiux
Tiux is pronounced tee-oo.

Reasonably priced – Tiux socks are just $35 US!

They have free shipping within Canada and the US.

They are completely online; they sell directly, without wholesalers or retailers

Tiux donate 1% of every sale to MAG (Mines Advisory Group), a non-profit that helps save lives and protect communities from landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other weapons remaining after conflict.

What’s your most essential item of running gear?

 

eastside 10k

I usually don’t sleep well the night before a race, and Friday night was no exception. I tossed and turned, and woke up on Saturday feeling anything but refreshed. I downed some coffee, forced myself to eat some oatmeal (I don’t love eating in the morning), and found a car2go nearby to get me to the start line of the Eastside 10K.

This was my second Eastside 10K – I participated in last year’s inaugural race. But while 2013 was chilly and foggy, 2014 was bright and sunny – ideal weather, really. I’ve participated in two other Canada Running Series events this year: the Modo 8K in March and (my most recent race) the Scotiabank Half Marathon. And while the package pickup for the Eastside 10K was mildly chaotic, I find these races to be some of the best organized and most fun!

I decided to try something new for this race – I intentionally ran ‘naked’. No, nothing like the Underwear Affair; I simply chose to forego any technology – no iPhone to play music or tell me my pace, no Facebook cheers, no watch with a timer. To be fair, I had my iPhone in my pocket to track my overall race, but I had no earphones and resisted glancing at it during the race.

You may recall the slight trauma I experienced during the BMO Marathon when my iPhone quit at kilometre 30, and I was forced to run ‘naked’ the rest of the race. That was unintentional and unexpected. This race was deliberate and an experiment in self-discipline and self-awareness.
eastside 10k eastside 10k

The energy at the start line was great. Although Forerunners was one of the sponsors of this event, I, unfortunately, didn’t see anyone from my running clinic – so I was on my own. I also wore my race t-shirt – I know there are different schools of thought on wearing event shirts the day of, but something about being one of the 100s (or 1000s or tens of 1000s) dressed in {insert theme colour here} just makes me happy. This year, as you see, it was black. I washed the shirt Friday night, and it was dry and ready to race when I woke up.

At 8:30 sharp, we were off. Running without music is new for me, and it’s amazing what you notice when you don’t have familiar songs and beats to distract you. This is what I experienced:

The amazing sound of hundreds of shoes on concrete. As we ran across the Dunsmuir Viaduct the first kilometre, that really was the only thing I heard. Sure, one or two people cheering, others chatting – but that surge of energy from the feet of athletes propelling themselves forward – kind of amazing.

The guy making duck sounds. Because the Eastside 10K takes us through the poorest neighbourhood in Vancouver (the Downtown Eastside/DTES), and maybe because the race is smaller (about 1700 participants), there weren’t as many spectators or people cheering us on. So those that were out there stick in my memory. And just after kilometre one (and, on the return, just before kilometre 9), there was a guy with a duck sound thing – it made me smile. And if I’d had my music on, I would have missed it.

Phlegm guy. My experience in almost any run of a distance greater than 5 km is that you can easily get fixated on one particular thing – the weird gait of the person in front of you, a tweaky muscle, or a badly tied shoe. In my case, it was phlegm guy. Around the 3km mark, two guys ended up in pace with me, just behind and to my left. They were chatting away, but one of them kept coughing up phlegm and spitting with unusual energy and force. And he did it over, and over, and over. At one point they overtook me, and I got a look at him – just an average guy with excess mucous. But then I was anxious that I might end up in the firing line, and I pushed ahead. And for at least 2 kilometres, every 10-15 seconds, dude was hawking and spitting like a maniac. Dozens and dozens of times. I thought, Should he really be running? Is he sick? And then, after one particularly forceful iteration, a girl behind me said, “OMG, I’m gonna take that guy out!” And I knew I wasn’t alone. It was almost like water torture – or a dripping faucet – when was the next one going to come?

See how much I wrote about him? Seriously, for like a third of the race, phlegm guy was my obsession! But somewhere around the halfway mark, I blessedly lost him.

Lots of ‘Ohayo!’ and ‘Ganbatte!’ as we ran past the Japanese Language School on Alexander Street.

Not a sound, but a sight. Because this was my first post-recovery race, I hadn’t set a specific time goal – nor was I pacing myself. But as we approached the turnaround point in Gastown, I found myself behind the 50 minute Pacer – wearing bright yellow, easy to spot in the sea of black shirts. Was 50 minutes (my 2013 result) a realistic goal? I lost sight of her shortly thereafter, and stopped thinking about time.

The cheers (or maybe jeers?) of some residents of the tent city in Oppenheimer Park. One lady yelled out, ‘Nice fancy clothes!’ – not sure if she was complimenting or mocking, but I shouted out a thank you anyway!

The strangely annoying noise of my bib bouncing against the pins holding it too my shirt. Hard to explain, but when my surroundings were quiet it kinda bugged me – like change jingling in a pocket. But I got over it.

Lovely music from a singer/guitar duo at Heatley and Alexander.

Interlude:  It wasn’t until somewhere between 6km and 7km that I thought about it – my injury. The pain that kept me from running for the entire month of July. The thing that nearly made me decide to give up for #42for42 plan and skip Honolulu entirely. I thought about it – and realized there was no pain! Things are truly looking up… 

Two adorable little boys cheering for us around the 7km mark.

My own breathing. The last kilometre is an uphill onto the Viaduct, followed by a long stretch of ‘I’m never going to make it’. My breath was getting raspy, and I was making little groaning noises. Do I usually do that? Normally I can’t hear myself – a bit embarrassing! But I’m pretty sure everyone else is focused on themselves – no one is listening to me!

Then the finish line was in sight – and the number on the clock was still 49! I had a chance to better last year’s time! I heard the announcer say, “If you can see the clock, you can still get in under 50 minutes.” So I sprinted (at least in my mind) over the finish line.

eastside 10k

The Eastside 10k has: a fantastic dog tag style medal. Good quality warming jacket. Excellent spread of food. Beautiful weather. And a time just 5 seconds short of my 10k personal best (achieved earlier this year at the West Van Run). And I experienced it all without the aid of any technology, and I think I’m better for it. What more could I ask for? See you next year, Eastside 10k!

eastside 10k

Final Results

Chip time: 49:36
Average pace: 4:58 min/km
Place overall: 380/1461
Age category place: 35/87

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Early Days – April 2009

When I started running back in 2009, things got off to a pretty slow start. I didn’t have my Nike+ gear back then, so I can’t say for sure what the numbers were like. However, I’m pretty confident in saying that it took me at least a few months to reach my first 100km. Perhaps it took the whole year. Looking back over my Facebook posts, I can track the gradual progression of my races between April and August: the Sun Run (10k), the BMO 8k, the Scotiabank 5k, the Underwear Affair (10k) – but I suspect my training was scant at best. Those were the early days, the start from zero. It was the time when people commenting on my race updates still said things like: “I didn’t know you were a runner!”

February 2010:  I bought my Nike+ timing chip to connect to iPod (this was before my iPhone, before GPS). My runs averaged about 3.6km in length, and I would sometimes go for 2-3 weeks without running at all. Based on my historical stats, it took me nearly 4 months to hit 100km. But something about having that little timing chip really made all the difference in inspiring me to continue.

Fast-forward to 2014: My marathon-induced injury in May forced me to cut back on my running significantly. I managed to train enough to endure the Scotiabank Half on June 22, but that was followed by a full month without a single kilometre run. As a result, starting up again in July honestly felt like I was doing my first 100km all over again from scratch. What has added to the challenge this time is that I’ve been through it before, so although I know what I’m capable of (which is motivating), I’m also highly aware of the fact that I’m slower, and that it’s harder to achieve shorter distances (which is frustrating).

Today I clocked my ‘first’ 98km. It has taken just over a month to get to this point. With my target Honolulu Marathon fast approaching, I know I’ve got to step things up. However, I also don’t want to aggravate my injury or cause some other problem – so there has to be a balance. Push myself hard enough, but not too hard. And how easy is that to achieve?

I’ve been focusing my runs on Stanley Park, for a couple of reasons:
1) It gets me off the pavement, cushioning things a bit and arguably making recovery easier.
2) It gets me away from the maddening crowd. On days like today – a sunny Sunday – the Seawall is a zoo. Tourists and locals alike converge with kids, dogs, strollers, wheelchairs – and the odd wayward bike ridden by someone who either doesn’t care or doesn’t know where they’re going. Today, for example, I ran nearly 10km in the trails. Several times, I went for 1-2km without seeing another soul. A few scenes from Stanley Park:

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Within the next couple of days, I’ll have completed my first 100km. This excites me! It’s a fresh start, a new beginning, and a different perspective on being a ‘novice’ runner. Between now and December I have two scheduled races – the Eastside 10k and the inaugural Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. All part of my #42for42 master plan! Bring it on!

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Look how excited I am!

No-Running

You haven’t heard from me in a while because, quite honestly, I’ve been in somewhat of a blue funk. At the behest of my physio, I took time off after the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June to recovery from a lingering injury. I was meant to start running again after ’10 days pain free’, but 10 days stretched to a month and the pain hadn’t quite gone away.

Last week, I decided to give it another go. I managed two short (3 and 4km) runs. Finally, today, I did a 7km and – fingers crossed – I still feel pretty good.

During my ‘run-free July’ (and I don’t mean that in the good way like ‘pain-free’ or ‘carefree’ – more like ‘love-free’ or ‘happiness-free’, as in lacking the things you want/need), I had a lot of time to mull, and to be a bit angry. However, I also  learned a few things:

1) I’m addicted to running
When I was able to run without pain, there were certainly days I didn’t want to run. But once I was told not to, that’s all I wanted to do. I felt frustrated and anxious. I wanted to be out pounding the pavement. When I saw other people running, I was envious (and in a city like Vancouver, that happens a lot).

Last weekend, we took the train down to Seattle, and then drove out to Central Washington. As the train headed south, I saw folks running in the fields near Delta. In Wenatchee, the path along the Columbia River beckoned me, despite the 35+ degree weather. Even in Seattle itself, I wanted to run those hilly streets. But I couldn’t.

2) Core shorts are emasculating
My physio recommended Under Armour ‘core’ (compression) shorts to help with my groin injury, and provide support while running. They hold everything in – tightly. I guess they work. But they’re certainly not the most comfortable item of clothing I own.

This is not what I look like in core shorts

This is not what I look like in core shorts

3) Wine does not promote a flat belly
Without the promise of early morning runs every Saturday, and with Vancouver temperatures soaring, a cold glass of wine on a Friday night – followed by another – becomes very easy. That, combined with the lack of regular cardio workouts, has taken a toll. Plus, I have a weakness for potato chips and assorted crunchy, salty snacks.

4) I miss my running friends
There’s a degree of envy, too, when I see posts on Facebook highlighting the athletic achievements of my Forerunners cohorts. And I feel a pang of something…regret?…when I get the weekly Forerunners newsletter. The weekly training sessions have been such a part of my life over the last couple of years, and those people so integral to the small successes I’ve had during that time, I miss them all immensely. I hope they’ll take me back when the time comes!

5) Pilates is a life saver
My injury (which I won’t get into here) is definitely core related. I had never tried Pilates until a couple of weeks ago, when my friend finally convinced me to go with her to the YMCA. I’m a convert. I believe that the work I’ve done in that class has given me the physical strength and healing needed to get me to today – my longest run since the end of June. Coupled with weekly yoga classes, I feel like I’m making progress.

Where do I go from here?
I’ve made up my mind about a couple of things.

1) I will run the Honolulu Marathon, come hell or high water
I refuse to give up on my #42for42 plan. Honolulu is booked, and I will run it. I don’t expect to better my Vancouver Marathon time, but I intend to finish it regardless. I believe with steady, careful training, I can still make it happen.

2) It’s time to cut back and pay more attention to my diet
I’ve been lazy. I’ve allowed the dog days of summer (not that I’m complaining!) to lull me into a sense of recreation where another beer doesn’t hurt. But I know it can. So while I won’t be teetotaling through August, I’ll be a lot more aware of what I’m consuming – both food and drink.

3) I will continue cross-training
Pilates – check. Yoga – check. Some strength training at the gym – not my favourite activity, but an area to concentrate on. Swimming – I’m a clumsy swimmer, something I’m not confident about – but another activity I want to explore. Cycling – I don’t own a bicycle, and the aggressiveness of Vancouver biking terrifies me, but I’m thinking of trying out some spin classes…

Most runners face setbacks at some point during their training – injuries, illness, and serious life events, to name a few. I know my experience has been mild compared to what others have been through. But I would certainly welcome comments, encouragement, suggestions and the like on getting back into the game. Because that’s what I’m ready and eager to do!

As I’ve alluded to (or stated outright) in previous posts, I’m not a particularly sporty guy. At all. Running is that rare activity that has somehow captured my soul and given me the motivation to be – though I still feel the need to use quotation marks – an “athlete”.

But I can’t run right now. What’s a boy to do?

Indeed, I took the week after the marathon to relax. The first couple of days were enforced relaxation, to be sure, since I could barely walk. But by the following Saturday I was raring to go, and did a 15k Forerunners run.

It aggravated what I assumed had been caused by too-tight shoes:  a sharp pain on the top of my right foot. A visit to the physio assured me that it was not a stress fracture (how would I have dealt with that??), but very definitely tendonitis. The cure? Lots of icing, and “no running until you’re 10 days pain free”.

It’s been a week now, but I still had pain for a couple of days after my diagnosis, so I’m not there yet. I’m anxious and a bit cranky, and I’m not sleeping like I usually do. And although I’m avoiding any high impact movement, I did manage a few things:

3 days at the gym – 2 days of cycling, and a third day of cycling + strength work and stretching. I’ll admit, I find the stationary bike inordinately boring. Maybe I need a class. I similarly loathe the treadmill – something about all that forward movement, but no change of scenery and ultimately going nowhere – it’s truly a psychological struggle for me.

Flow yoga class at the YMCA – an absolutely delightful hour of movement and stretching. Lots of breathing. Very healing.

I’m an impatient patient. In general, I have no issues sitting still – but I hate that I have no choice but to do so this time. I can’t wait to get out there and run again. I recognize that I’m actually very fortunate – many runners have faced far more serious injuries, while all I’m dealing with is a minor setback. However, I’m forcing myself to consider the longer term impact of my behaviours. Because I want to run again soon.

So today I sit, I ice, and I blog.

It’s hard to believe a week has gone by already. 7 days ago, my legs could barely move, I was exhausted, and I was elated.

Is there such a thing as post-marathon blues?

Monday
I took the day off work and spent the day alternating from bed to epsom salt bath to sofa to bed – and repeat. I ate a lot, drank a lot of tea, and took small shuffling steps wherever I went (which wasn’t far). I wrote my marathon race report. I avoided stairs. I thought I’d never be able to run again. Thought about doing a yoga class, and dismissed the idea.

Tuesday
Back to work. So much support from my coworkers, sharing my marathon story. A long painful pedestrian commute both ways. Extreme pain in (on?) the top of my right foot, especially when stepping down. Headed to choir in the evening, and even got a round of applause. It’s weird, because I know so many people have done marathons – run faster, run multiple times – but I’m so appreciative that people think it’s a big deal. It makes me happy.

Wednesday
Took my gym bag to work, thinking I might either go for a short run at lunch, or perhaps go for a brief workout. Neither happened. Still feeling quite a bit of pain, plus I realize that it’s OK to let myself take a break. I’m itching to get back out for another run, but I know I’m not there yet. I just noticed that one of my toenails has turned purple (not black – it probably won’t fall off) and is a bit sore.

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Man, toes are funny looking things

Thursday
What a day! I ran back and forth between meetings for the entire day. OK, I didn’t actually run – but moved at a brisk pace. I’m starting to get my ‘legs’ back. Foot pain has subsided a bit. The walk home was miserable – the rain came back and I was absolutely drenched – memories of the marathon!

Friday
Until a few weeks before the marathon, I always did a bit of a workout on Fridays. I think this will be the last ‘holiday’ before I get back to the gym. My body is feeling stronger, but it needs to be doing something. With a mostly sedentary job, I have to be very conscious of getting that physical activity in. I didn’t sleep well last night – I think the lack of exercise is throwing things off a bit.

Saturday
Back to Forerunners! So great to see a bunch of my running buddies again! A few folks are away, but a bunch of us are here to get into the swing of things. Also awesome to share in everyone’s successes! Next big race – Scotiabank Half Marathon on June 22, so this is what a lot of people are now in training for. Today’s route is a 15k along the water – Jericho and Locarno Beach – and then up the UBC hill. It’s strenuous, of course, but since the full distance is so manageable, I don’t mind at all. Coach Carey has a water stop at 8.5k, and we only have 6.5k more to go!

In my group, there’s a lot of talk about how ‘relative’ running is. The BMO was my first marathon. One of the other girls has ‘only’ done 4 marathons. Another one of the girls is training for her first half marathon – and I’m so excited for her! Just a couple of years ago, that was me! One of the guys has ‘only’ done one marathon, and is training for his second. We discuss speed – the elite 2-hour marathoners vs. friends who take their time and do the marathon in 5 0r 6 hours. Sometimes it’s about beating your own personal best, other times it’s just about finishing the race.

It’s so good to be running again!

But the pain in my foot is back, and I’ve got a few other sore spots. I have a massage scheduled, and I get him to work mostly on my legs. I reflect that a marathon really does take a toll, and I’m glad my next few races are shorter.

Incidentally, I also learn that I’m in the promo photo for the Shaughnessy 8k – so I guess I’d better sign up!

shaughnessy

That’s me on the left in the sunglasses

Sunday
A week ago, I completed my first marathon. It was tough, but now I know that I can do it! I’ve got a physio appointment today, so hopefully I can deal with some of those issues I’ve been complaining about. And I’m ready for a new week – more or less recovered, and back into my routine.

And in case you’re interested, my upcoming races (with more to come?):