Post Marathon Adventures
by Serena Burla on April 24, 2012
A post marathon recovery break from running is always a good idea for the mind, body, and soul. And by break I mean not a step of running or any other kind of exercise for at least a week. It is a bit out of the runner’s nature to do this, but as I have grown as a runner, I have learned that recovery is as or even more important than the hard days. Days off post marathon do not equal weakness, and there is not a hole at the bottom of your foot draining all your fitness from your body during this time. Rather, your body needs this time to heal and repair the muscles.
I took the time off to hang out all day with and be rejuvenated by Boyd, camera in tow, enjoying all that the D.C. spring has to offer. We enjoyed the Cherry Blossoms, numerous parks, some Easter festivities, and several Easter egg hunts. Kind of the norm for us to get out and enjoy nature daily, but it was fun to play without a schedule and not to have to rush out the door in the mornings. Naturally we spent hours creating play schemes with cars and trucks too. Does anyone know why children always assign you with certain ones? I am either Chick Hicks (the green race car from the movie Cars), Holley Shiftwell (the purple spy car from Cars 2), or the important but unrecognizable forestry fire truck, which I have been for months. We had a blast and I was thankful for this extra time to spend with Boyd. He is growing up so fast, so I know I have to enjoy the play time while it lasts since one day I might not be cool enough to hang out and play with.
I was also able to try my hand at coaching to help at a couple workouts. This gave me a whole new appreciation for coaching. Sure, I have a genetic voice for coaching, and learned that Boyd has the same as an echo came from the stands as I was cheering fence side for a teammate at a recent race, but let’s just say during workout timing I got my watches mixed up at least once. I realized that timing two track workouts at once is tough, especially when one workout is running repeats that finish at the 200 meter mark and the other at the 400 meter mark. They always seemed to finish or need a split at the same time at opposite points, and I think they were secretly entertained by this. Then there was the factor of getting the correct times for each person doing the interval. I must admit that I felt a little scatter brained and was ready to hand the watch back over to our coach Isaya. I may have bowed down to him seeing that Isayausually makes it look so easy. Despite my obvious need for more coaching practice, it was fun, and it was a nice way to support my teammates and get my running fix. All you coaches out there, give yourself a pat on the back; it is tough work and I didn’t even have to design the training plan nor provide those tough mental talks.
Of course, I always get antsy near the end of my break. Perhaps it’s my desire to have a reason to shower, my heart’s longing to beat faster for a while again while frequenting my favorite trails, or I just want to get that first run (when I feel like the tin man who needs to be oiled) over with. When I start to feel antsy I’ve learned it means my body still needs a few more days of complete rest. When I was allowed to go for a light shuffle run again I was reminded just how long recovery can take and didn’t fight the additional off days or days in the pool that week. Life as a runner requires an increase in patience, and a willingness to invest long term. As I start back I am taking it one day at a time, trying not to compare my current fitness to my pre marathon fitness. I know it is in there and week by week I will get stronger. A new buildup has begun and new journeys await. Oh, and just last night Boyd even offered me a new car to play with!