Monday, 9 June 2014

Marathon afterglow; bye bye toenail

"Ow" sung to the melody of the 1812 Overture while walking downstairs? Sharp intake of breath when sitting down? Missed that bus or train because "leisurely stroll" is your current top speed? You must have recently run a marathon. 
The aftermath is always about dealing with the resultant soreness, and assessing your recovery and consequent physical state. 
Along the way, you might tell willing and unwilling listeners alike about your race. They tend to be compliant when you make sure they see how slow you move, along with your ultra-grimace. 

The price paid for a marathon is the worst part for me. So how have I been paying off this special GST (Grunting Sinews and Tendons)?

Monday: Who the hell invented stairs is a common question the day after. Instead of lying around as I've done before, I went to work the next day. I gave myself an extra 2 minutes to get the bus stop, and treated the commute and getting around the office as a recovery workout. Less stiff by the end of the day, though only a bit. 
Tuesday lunchtime, and a leisurely walk to the gym. 20 minutes turning the legs over on the bike followed by 10 minutes walking around the track. Anyone who's been distance running for a few years will have strong powers of recovery, and this workout was enough to stimulate that. I felt a big difference afterward by the time I went home. Could you say that too much total rest is bad for you? 
I did similar things the next few days, along with some weights and balancing. 

During the week I have noticed the big toenail on my right foot looking bruised. It is a little loose too, so it looks like I'm on my way to losing my first one. My right foot is slightly smaller than my left, so more shifting in its shoe along with high temps and swollen feet by race end probably caused it. I will document what happens (maybe take a few photos too). Cue excruciating puns, such as Hell Toe Pay, The Phantom Pumice, "I nailed that run", etc. 

7 days since the race, and first run back. A slightly sticky Sunday afternoon, I did 9.5k. Down on power, though not on speed. Perhaps due to muscle memory, I found myself doing marathon pace on the flatter parts. Up Sikome hill in Fish Creek Park, I overtook a bicycle. Surprisingly good to do a hilly 9.5k in under 47:30, though I was definitely ready to stop at the end. It was great to put an end to a week without running. 
On monday, I did the old downtown Calgary boilerplate Crowchild loop, around 9k. Once again, I found myself going at a higher speed. I even gave myself 20 seconds at 5k pace. Very pleasing to see my garmin saying 3:50/km pace. Perhaps I've found the right marathon recovery formula? 

One of the runners originally from Kenya whom I met at the marathon cocktail party, Nelson, texted me about his race. He finished 5th in just under 2:35. His aim had been 10 minutes quicker. but thinks he over-hydrated 48 hours prior. He felt "like an elephant" for much of the race. Telling him about my 2 walk breaks he said "keep the spirit". That will be my mantra from now on, along with "I run for the old me and the new me."

Has it really been 10 days since the marathon? Next up is "Run the Runway" at Calgary Airport. Runners get to do an out-and-back on the soon to open 2nd runway. A one-off, and one for the gopro. 

A week later I'm off for a holiday to China and Korea. I will also run with the gopro, which worked out really well last year in Japan and Taiwan. I am especially proud of the Kyoto video:

1 comment:

  1. I am disappointed that you did not post a picture of said toenail :)