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Thursday, June 14, 2012

I had no idea when I began training for a marathon that the recovery from it would take so long. My trainer would tell me about trying to do normal exercises after her marathons and not being able to, but I thought she meant the week after. Nope. Turns out it takes a month for full recovery, and I have been discovering just how fatigued my muscles are.

I tried lifting with my trainer. We did our old program. The one I’ve done so many times I could do it in my sleep. I expected certain things to happen. I expected to be able to do a certain number of reps with a certain weight, and it just did not happen. I felt incredibly weak and could barely do half the reps I used to. Frustrating.

Next, I tried Yoga/Pilates. Yoga went okay. I was a little shaky on certain poses, but overall, it felt great to stretch. Then came Pilates. I could not believe how weak my core was. Everything hurt, and I found that I could only do half of the exercises. The pain went deep, and I could feel how exhausted all of my deep core muscles were.

Again, frustrating. I was so excited to jump back into working out and do all kinds of things other than running, but I have been thwarted by weak muscles that still need rest and some TLC.

I started my Zumba classes on Monday, and I was so excited to get back to it. I have loved dancing my entire life, and teaching Zumba gives me the perfect reason to keep doing it. I had a great group of ladies show up Monday night, and I was psyched! It went well. I could feel a little fatigue, but overall it felt great to move again.

Then we got to the core work at the end of class. I did a simple core workout because I knew I would have some new people in class. I’m glad I did. My abs were screaming, and I was as happy as everyone else when it was over.

I’ve had a lot of exercise frustration lately, and more than ever I wanted to get back into running. I want to start a more regular running schedule, and I knew I had to get started before I lost momentum. So, Tuesday morning I woke up at my usual time (even though it’s officially summer vacation), and I went for a run. I set no goals. I didn’t bring music. I decided to listen to my body and do what felt right.

My legs were heavy to start, but I warmed up quickly and really started to enjoy myself. The sun was shining, and it was early enough that everything looked golden. There was a nice, cool breeze, and I chose a route with rolling hills and beautiful scenery. It felt great to run without the weight of a fuel belt and iPod. They’re small things, but some days they can feel incredibly heavy.

It was a great run. My legs felt a little tired, so I took it easy. I decided to build a routine before worrying about increasing my speed. I listened to the birds and frogs and the rhythm of my footsteps. When I reached the 1.5-mile mark, I wanted to keep going, but decided to go easy on myself for my first run post-marathon. I turned back and finished the 3 miles I had planned to do.

I felt great the rest of the day, and I am looking forward to another short run tomorrow morning. I may try a slightly longer one this weekend. My legs are definitely feeling stronger. Now, if my abs would like to join the party…
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I had no idea the recovery process took so long after a marathon, but you know - it makes sense. That's a grueling, incredibly intense physical effort. I'd be more surprised if it did only take a week or two to recover! I'm glad you're easing back into the swing of things though.

    Thank you so much for sharing the whole marathon process with all of us. It's been absolutely fascinating and I've learned a ton. I don't plan on doing a marathon myself, but I have a whole new appreciation for those who choose to take on this kind of challenge!
    2109 days ago
    Wow! A full month of recovery, I had heard it takes a while to recover, but that really emphasizes just how amazing you are to have done a marathon.

    Keep on truckin', it sounds like your recovery is off to a great start and I am sure your abs will join the party soon enough. emoticon
    2109 days ago
    I was able to get back into it right away, but I actually BLAME the Disney Vacation for that - I had to walk around 5 parks within 6 days after the Marathon. Didn't have a choice, unless I wanted to miss my vacation. So I was back to running about a week after the race. But it was rough.

    Take it easy, and enjoy the running now - not for the mileage, but for the sheer pleasure of running.
    2109 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Recovery is tough, way to keep pressing on.
    2109 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 12:48:25 PM
    Wow! I am so sorry that it is taking this long to recover! Ouch!

    I love reading about your runs. You are so descriptive, and you make running sound enjoyable! Ha. (Now, if I could only get your mind set... Hahaha.) Hang in there. The recovery is almost over I am sure. Just keep doing your best!

    2109 days ago
    OH man. That sounds so rough! I've heard that marathons are incredibly hard on your body but I had no idea it took a month to recover! That makes it even more amazing that you did it!!
    2109 days ago
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