Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life After A Marathon

On October 13th, I completed my first marathon.

I trampled on child sex trafficking by raising (to date) $3371.85 for Happy Horizons Children's Ranch in the Philippines. I trained for over 4 months for that marathon, with about a year of training before that.

I wanted to share some issues I've faced since the big race and before.

Maintaining Injury-free Fitness
In March, I started having severe pain in my right leg (mostly a burning in my hip). I went to the doc, to a physical therapist, to another doctor, to a different physical therapist with no relief.  I did find out there is nothing structurally wrong with me: no bursitis or anything like that.

I knew before I completed the marathon that something in my fitness routine needed to change.  I did start cross-training, doing some spin classes and using the elliptical.  I also lowered my mileage. Despite this, the pain increased, move down my leg to knee and a bit in my shin.

I can run through the pain.  I'm not really getting too much faster, but it's not really affected my speed.  But as I told someone last week, I want to still be able to run when I'm 60 (or 90 if I'm still kicking!). I don't want to just power through it and end up unable to run.

I have taken my sweet time getting back into running post-marathon. We left for Virginia 5 days post-marathon and have been staying in a hotel.  After a week of no running (except for that day when I almost missed the train), I've been slowly easing back into both the elliptical, treadmill running, and trail-running (W & OD, baby!). The feet platforms of the hotel elliptical seem a bit awkwardly placed.  I'm realizing they hurt my knee as well.

So until I can get to a sports medicine doctor, I plan on being very consistent in doing my stretches and strengthening exercises.

Weight Maintenance
Racing makes me gain weight, and I'm up almost 8 lbs from my weight a couple of months ago.  8 lbs is not a ton, but it's enough to make even my looser pants tights.

I am feeling out of shape. Living in a hotel with limited cooking facilities does not help! They also provide meals that aren't always healthy. But I can't use that as an excuse.

When I went back to Boston last week, I returned with my Blendtec (yay!) and bread machine.  I also brought back my bathroom scale and my Weight Watchers food scale.

You all know I am a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers.  I'm also an employee.  I know what to do to get back on track. It's simply a matter of putting what I know into practice during an emotionally challenging time.

What's Next?
The last thing I've been pondering is: what's next?  What does one do after completing a marathon? What's my next goal?

I don't race much.  Over the past year, I've only raced 1 10K (I'm not counting fun runs) and 3 half marathons.  I think I'm going to try and run some 5K and 10K's, starting (hopefully!) with a Thanksgiving 10K I ran last year.  I think living so close to the amazing W & OD trail will help me train in that regard.

Today's Green Smoothie

I'm getting down to business, people!  Who's with me?

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