After the Marine Corps Marathon, I took nearly two weeks off from running. I did not run a step until November 8, which was 12 days away from running. For the first week, I completely rested. It was just as well, since I had long days at work that week.
I started to feel ready to run again, physically, about five days after my race. But I still needed the mental break from running. Eighteen weeks of training is a lot, and even when I wasn’t able to train I spent all my time thinking about running and fretting over missed training. I think it’s important to take a step back and do some other stuff for at least a short period of time. It keeps you from burning out on the sport you love. Too much of a good thing, and all that.
So during the second week after my marathon, I did some light cross training. It mostly involved some strength training circuits (corework, pushups, lunges, planks, etc.). Finally on Saturday, November 8, I was ready to run and convinced Barry to hit the local mountain bike trails with me. We only ran about 2.5 miles, but it felt so good to be back out there. Which is exactly how I wanted my first post-race run to feel.
Naturally, having not run trails in quite awhile (aside from that one day), my legs were burning and so were my lungs. But it was good. The only downside was rolling my right ankle on a rock towards the end of the run. My ankle didn’t really hurt afterwards but the area below it, along the side of my heel did. It wasn’t that bothersome, though, so I met up the next morning with Kim for an 11 mile run on the Dora and New River Trails.
I had a great time running with Kim, as we hadn’t run together in a few weeks. I spent nearly 7 miles describing every detail from the Marine Corps Marathon weekend to her. She probably regretted asking me to tell her about it 🙂 I noticed my foot was bothering me a bit from miles 6 – 8, but it went away and I attributed it to the unevenness of the trail during that section. Later that day, though, my foot was swollen and bruised along the outside of my heel and it was pretty painful to walk on. I spent the rest of the day icing it and trying to stay off of it as much as possible.
I had to take off Monday through Wednesday because my right foot continued to be painful. On Monday and Tuesday my foot was pretty painful to walk or stand on. But the bruising and swelling subsided, and it started to feel better by Wednesday. I took Thursday off as well and then cross trained on Friday. It was my first Jillian workout in months, and I could definitely feel that!
Saturday morning I met up with Kim in the chilly 20 degree weather for a 6 mile run. We actually met up at the Huckleberry, which was fun and a nice change. I insisted on running some of the new section of trail, so we got some hill work in, too!
My foot felt fine the whole run, and despite the chilly weather it felt great to be out running since the air was crisp and the sun was shining. It was also exciting to see they have almost finished the bridge that will connect the old section of trail to the new part!
Once we finished running I changed into a dry set of clothes and made use of my trip to the area by doing some Christmas shopping. I know it’s kind of early, but I can’t stand the crowds after Thanksgiving! During my shopping, I noticed my right foot was bothering me again in the same spot. This was kind of disheartening, since it had felt fine since Wednesday, and during our run. It continued to be mildly painful the rest of the day, which did not bode well for the trail adventures I had planned for Sunday.
My foot was still bothering me yesterday, so I spent the day dusting and cleaning the house instead of playing on the trails like I had wanted to. I also gave the dogs baths, which can often be it’s own strength training workout when they’re in the mood to escape from the tub (both were in such a mood).
I did another Jillian 30 Day Shred workout in the afternoon and then hung out on the couch and watched the 2014 Kona Ironman. Pretty good end to the weekend, at least!
At this point, I’m still planning to run the Star City Half in Roanoke with Kim this Saturday. It’s the first time we’ve actually planned to run an entire race together, so I’m excited about that! Whatever is going on with my foot seems minor, so hopefully my Saturday plans will work out. We’ll see how things go this week.
How long do you typically take off after a big race? Is it based on how you feel physically or mentally?