I love to ask the more experience runners about their own little tips and advice and learn as much as possible through them and also through reading, blogs, books, etc. My long, detailed race reports are in hopes to help anyone out there with the same questions I've had prior to jumping into running my first 5K to my first Marathon.
I thought it'd be appropriate to follow up on the post race recovery as part of the journey to my first marathon, and believe me, recovering from a Marathon is way different than recovering from any other type of race I've ever done. I really wasn't expecting the aches and pains that come IMMEDIATELY after.
First of all. Have you seen the massage tables they have available at the end of the race? Do not stand in line to get one. I repeat, DO NOT stand in line to get a massage after running a marathon! Since your muscles are so wasted and thorn apart it is not good that they dig in and loosen anything up and they don't. A good description of what they do to you is...."tickle" your legs and after laying down for 20 mins it will be very difficul to get up and walk and you don't need that on top of all things. Just keep moving.
Another thing I learned. Have a family member bring you a sweater or light jacket. You will need it as you start feeling the chills from your body cooling down. Better yet, just get home as soon as possible and change into something dry and comfortable. I didn't do either and was shivering like crazy after also staying for too long.
Also, you might have an upset stomach after. I don't know if it was all the GU I had ( I had 5 pkg) or dehydration, or both. But having some Pepto Bismol in hand would have been helpful.
One more thing. I heard that for some people it took up to 2 hours until they were able to pick up thier gear bags. I didn't take anything with me besides my Ipod and was so glad I didn't have to wait for a bag. So if you are able to, don't carry anything extra so you can go home as soon as possible.
Be prepared to be shocked when you look at your feet after finally being able to kick off your shoes. Have a needle, a lighter and some alcohol swabs ready to pop those blisters! It can be very relaxing! Or maybe I'm just weird like that.
They next morning. Oh the next morning! Take your time getting out of bed. Be prepared to feel very silly as you walk around your house like a penguin. Laugh when your small children make a game out of it and they too want to walk like penguins. Be prepared to have a set of two stairs seem like the stairs going up the Mayan pyramids. Laugh when you can't get in or out of your car. And look at it from the bright side, you'll be exercising your arms and abs every time you pull yourself up to get up from sitting down. Laugh when your kids jump on your legs, because screaming in pain might really scared them. Laugh when you go on your day- after- recovery- walk and people stare at you. Wear your medal so they at least have an idea of why you are walking like you have poop in your pants.
Clean your house, do your laundry, iron your family's church clothes, do your groceries, even make the next days dinner or have something easy to put together prior to your race day. You will not be able to do any of these the next day or two after the race, specially if your laundry room is downstairs. Even make arrangements to have someone come help you if you have that type of support system.
I am definetly doing all these the next time. Yes, I'm already thinking about my next marathon and the things I will do different to improve my time and experience both before and after. It will be sweet!
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