There are many things that need to be done immediately after a run, and they all have to be done in a tight window.
1. Change out of my wet clothes, asap for comfort.
2. Refuel within 30 minutes w/ a mix of protein (usually milk with cocoa [which has aspirin-like effects... good for swelling] or a whey protein shake) and carbs (usually fruit or veg, to get antioxidants to help with recovery and the reduction of... whatever they help reduce). Usually, it's kind of low on the carb side... like my "carb" may be a carrot, which has negligible calories and doesn't do much for my depleted glycogen sotres. I usually get hungry again pretty quickly, though, and eat a more substantial carb maybe an hour later. Milk and fruit doubles as hydration. This helps, since I'm usually not hungry for heavy food after a run, but I do crave water.
3. Ice my knees and TA's. They need it.
4. Stretch. Usually, I feel so loose afterwards that I don't want to stretch. I'm kind of tired, too, and holding stretches takes energy that I'd rather not expend. So this doesn't always get done until a few hours later. It's kind of deceptive, though, b/c at first, you're loose, but maybe 45 min later, everything starts to tighten up, so I usually need to stretch once that starts happening.
5. Blog! I often do 2, 3, and 5 at the same time. I'm excited about the great run, and I want to keep basking in the high by recounting in what probably to you is painful detail, but I like to be thorough.
Fortunately for me, the treadmill is just a minute away from my apt, so I can start the sequence right after the run. If I had to drive home from a running spot, I may not hit the refueling window, unless I brought something.
Not so much about life but about running in general, but that's a big part of my life.
So today's run was great. Oh man, this week at work was killer. It reminded me of I Love Lucy when the chocolates kept coming, except I have to tend to seven chocolate lines, and my mind just keeps jumping between the lines, and suddenly I remember that there's another one going that I have to tend to, and while I'm trying to get that under control, I remember that there's another one I've forgotten about. I think it's affected my immune system, the looong hours and stress. I got a sore in my mouth, and my head has been feeling hot. I had a more intense than ave strength session on Thursday, the day after I did intervals, where I used ankle weights for some of my exercises. It left my right butt strained. It finally felt better today, so I felt okay going for a run today.
I had a nap per day yesterday and today, to make up for the week. I ate popcorn, canadian bacon, and cauliflower for dinner. Then, I made choc chip cookies which ended up being more like bread beause of the very low agave nectar and oil content. So it was more calories of whole grain carbs than I usually have in one sitting... maybe 500 or so. After giving all of that time to settle (which I've realized that I need in recent uncomfortable runs), I went out.
I've realized that I need to ramp up milege if I want to finish the marathon without having to walk 2/3 of it, even if it means going slower. Who runs a marathon on a diet of 15 mi/wk? Let alone BQs with that. I had already done an LR on Monday anyways, so I didn't want to push too hard. I started off slow and had hopes of maybe managing a long-ish run. I also stumbled upon a pace chart and realized that my base pace is kind of on the fast end, so I could really slow down and maybe manage more volume.
Going slowly made running feel so much easier and 4mi clicked away like nothing. The tippy tops of my shins did start feeling a little bashed, maybe from imact forces. Not used to that feeling. Hoping against stress fractures. I did a lot to try to tweak my stride to see if I could give the shins a break. Shuffling (not lifting feet much off the ground, to where it was almost speedwalking at 6.8mph) helped a little. It may be a good strategy to use in the marathon, if I need to give certain muscles a break for a while. I also tried landing on the outer sides of my feet, or the heels. It changed up the impact area but didn't seem to help the shins much. I also tried speeding up and getting my heels up towards my butt more, which kind of helps, at least mentally. Theoretically, maybe the forces would be higher if you're going faster? But maybe when you land, your foot goes out flatter when it lands, and the shock gets spread over the entire foot. Just guesses. So two things to try in the future when muscles/shins need a break... shuffling and speeding up/butt kicks.
I drank about 3/4 a bottle of water and had 1 Gu Chomp during the run (mi 5), which seemed to help. I know it takes about 20 min for it to get absorbed, but somehow, it seems to help pretty quickly, like minutes... maybe for the same reason the swish and spit study of sports drinks got its result. I wore n3's, Nike sox, and an mp3 on my left arm. I had started slowly, but I cranked it up because I was feeling so strong after clicking away at a slow pace in the early miles, and because it seems to relieve the shin stress a bit. At the very end, I cranked it up way high, since the gym was closing. It was really fast, but it didn't feel that hard, maybe because of the interval session earlier this week. I think I'm close to my year and a half ago shape, right before I started the longer runs. Finally. I think working up to at least an 18er is doable now. I'm so thankful and happy.
8.6 in 1:13:46, 8:35 ave. Treadmill 1 degree. Splits> 8:56, 8:58, 8:56, (27:44 5k), 8:53, 8:44, 8:19, (54:27 10k), 8:14, 8:10, 4:32 for 0.6... perfect because 8.6 is my typical LR route's distance (although that's hilly), and because it was right before I had to leave the gym.