I am beginning to love this question. I am also beginning to get comfortable with this question. For those of us who are running a lot of miles a week. . . for those of us who are racing a lot of races each year. . . for those of us who are driven to run, love to run, can’t wait to test our training. . . do you loathe this question, sometimes or are you growing to love it?
I think sometimes we fear this question because of the persons asking it. I think as a competitive, driven runner, I have persons. . . friends and family. . . who ask me this question and more.
I have heard the ‘gamut’ of lectures from a non-runner to a runner. I learn who these lectures come from so I stop sharing the intricate details with certain people, mostly non runners who do not want to take the time to learn about what I do, how I do it or how I plan to continue to do it.
Dear friends who love running, as I do, get comfortable in your story!! You are filling the pages of your running story with your experience of success, your experience of DNF (did not finish), DNS (did not start), sidelined by injury, etc. Your HIGHS. Your LOWS.
Here is my current post race routine. . .
The initial hours after a race are tough. My routine is to soak, (preferably in my fav muscle soak from Thistle Farms via Whole Foods, “Moringa“), put on calf sleeves and wear my wedge flip flops around. I try to avoid ibuprofen, until bed, letting my body do what it knows to do to start healing the micro damage.
It’s funny because I consider the day after like a “daylight view of the destruction.” As if a tornado blew through and I am not able to witness the extent of the damage until sunlight. I do not stretch. I do not massage. I rest. Resting for me is feet up, drinking plenty of water, eating what I crave in moderation and trying to take it easy, despite any “urgency” as a mother, house keeper, wife or friend. I am still present, but I take it real slow. I have to allow things to be a bit messier than usual. I have to allow others to help cook or be in charge. VERY hard for this Type A life live-r!!
The moments after Dry Creek were painful and exhilarating. My body ached. My legs cramped a bit. I was cold to the core. I ran fast. Racing long and fast is gonna hurt for me. Over the course of the last 6 miles, here’s how some conversation with myself went.
It will hurt to a point, then it won’t get any worse.
Does it hurt to walk? Does it hurt to run? RUN!
I CAN relax in the discomfort.
I do not have to walk.
Back in the car with warm clothes on. It was uncomfortable sitting for an hour. I was glad to be home. I headed straight for a hot, soaking bath. After that, my toasty Oiselle time out sweatpants, calf sleeves and wedge flip flops. REST.
Most all discomfort was gone the next day. I believe in getting the blood circulating again, as soon as possible. My initial mode of circulation is the stationary bike and LIGHT weights. After this good warm up, I spend at least 10 minutes stretching.
Back at it two days after the race. . . 4.5 miles on the track and 6 miles on the trail (Day 2 after race). 13.1 miles on the trails (Day 3 after race).
5 Fridays until the Big Dance. . .