Post Marathon Ick

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon.

There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”

Unknown

Life post marathon has been slightly less than riveting.  I have been experiencing what some (including Adam) have dubbed post marathon ick.  My body has developed a cross between mono and the flu with the result being pure general discomfort, associated nausea, and exhaustion despite sleeping most hours of the day.  Yesterday, I didn’t even feel well enough to check my email (gasp!) let alone blog.  Luckily, I think I am on the mend.

I have still not had my post marathon epiphany.  I think it’s because I didn’t feel like I conquered the distance the way I did with the half.  I knew I could have  run it better- especially if I had stretched my IT bands better the week before.  The back- to-back boot camp sessions the Monday before definitely left my legs fatigued, but I can still say I don’t regret having done it.  It was great mental prep, and I was still able to finish.

That being said, I am already trying to sort out what marathon to run next.  Initially, I didn’t want to ever think about pursuing that type of torture again.  Through more than half of the run, I was telling Adam it was my first and last.  However, just a couple days out from finishing, I have noticed that I’m not sore.  The only thing that bothered me afterward was my IT bands- which are already much better thanks to my trusty foam roller.  This absolutely tells me I could have run harder.

Despite not having a major life changing moment, actually completing a marathon has dramatically changed my perspective on a few things. First and foremost, it has lit a fire under my you-know-what.  Initially, I viewed the marathon as an end point.  It was my last big goal before some much need rest.  However, now that I did it (and know I can do better) I am already scheming for my next big race.  I knew I would want another challenge, but never imagined it would be another marathon- not in a million years.  Instead of being an endpoint, my first marathon has become a spring-board to a world of endless possibilities. After all, even though it may have been torture for 5 hrs, it didn’t kill me.  Truthfully, it didn’t even make me that sore.  I was in far worse shape post 1000 rep boot camp than I was after the marathon, so why not keep at it?

It took 26.2 miles to make me realize and appreciate just how driven I am.  I made it through 5+ hours of absolute suck- in spite of the pain, tears, and exhaustion.  I set a goal that took months of dedication and training to achieve, and I accomplished it.  Sure, it wasn’t my best running day- but I have my whole life ahead of me.  Even Adam took over 5 hrs to finish his first marathon.  I wanted to make a difference, and I did.  I raised money and awareness for a cause I believe in, and that makes finishing so much more meaningful.  I don’t know that I could have pushed myself as hard as I did if I wasn’t constantly reminding myself of the physical and emotional anguish that the victims of domestic violence endure on a daily basis.  My discomfort during the race was nothing in comparison to what these women go through; and it was a small price to pay to show them I care.  That is why I plan on continuing to run in honor of victims of abuse and continuing the Running for the Color Purple Campaign. 🙂

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15 comments

  1. Where did you get your foam roller? 😀 I did manage to find some compression stuff, but it doesn’t look as tough as your tights.

    I think by in large, people who run repeatedly are driven. For me, it’s a great outlet for my OCD. 😆

    Glad you weren’t terribly sore after, and glad you are on the mend!

  2. ❤ feel better soon! i hear that doing 'extreme' endurance activity can really do a number on your immune system.
    thanks for the tips on my post…and i hope hartford 2012 is on your list for upcoming marathons! i'm hoping i'll be running next year instead of helping 🙂

  3. I know exactly how you feel! If someone had just told me that the natural high you get after running a marathon only lasts about a week and then, after that, depression, illness and anger at the world! Argh. 😦

    RE: IT band, I had a really bad left one and after dedicated rolling, stretching, icing, and post-long-run ice baths, it really feels almost completely improved! (Although anytime I talk about it, it seems to know and starts to ache. So weird.)

    1. I think I skipped the natural high all together. I was so stressed about running the marathon beforehand that I was completely run down and sleep deprived when I ran it- then crashed and burned afterward. I sort of expected to feel off this month anyway- just happy to finally be on the up swing!!! Cant wait to do it all over again! lol

      PS. I LOVE my foam roller. I just wish there was a faster way to fix it than stretching and ice. 😉

      1. I am also trying to make friends with my foam roller…. and yes, it would be nice to have a “fix it” button to push and just be done with it!

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