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…