You (the generic you, who might be interested in anything I have to say) will be happy to know I am still running. Sometimes I run faster than I ever thought possible. And then I die a little during my one minute walk break. But no matter, it's interval training at its finest and soon I will be super, extra speedy. In the two weeks following my half marathon I followed the recovery program from Marathoning for Mortals. They also have a walk/run program for the half so I'm following it for PF Chang's in January. The two weeks of recovery included walking at first and then shorter runs. I did progress to a 7 mile run last week and let's just say it was hovering above horrible. I like running in the cold but it feels like my legs are frozen chopsticks sometimes and they won't be lifted above shuffling. But the recovery period was super. Looking forward to doing it again.
Other Things Responsible for My Super Recovery:
Ice bath and massage day of the race
Continuing to exercise after the race and not allowing myself to take a six month time off
Volunteering for an Ironman.
Volunteering for the Ironman was perhaps key in my psychological recovery. I figure I cannot whine about 13.1 miles around people doing a marathon AFTER a 2.4 mile swim AND 112 mile bike ride. It was so inspiring to see all kinds of people (not just skinny little stick people) completing the distance. But I don't know if it made me want to do one or vow to never do one. Not in the near future anyway. An actual conversation with one of the participants:
Him: Do you know if soda settles your stomach?
Me: I've heard on good authority, from the only person I actually know who's completed an Ironman, that it helps.
Him: I feel like I need to throw up.
Me: Well, um, just throw up then. It's probably better, right?
Him: I've been trying to throw up for the last hour.
Me: (in my head) OK, good luck with that.
So you see, volunteering at an Ironman offers both highs and lows. Next year I'm going to volunteer early so I can actually see the Elites finish. I was an hour or so too late this time. Plus next year I'll try not to poke a snippy high school girl in the eye. Note to self: volunteer at an aid station with less teenage help. Because if you have to hear a 16 year old constantly yelling for volunteers to "back up" you tend to get a little jaded with the youth of today. Sorry for the tangent. Moral of story: volunteer at a race you think you would never do and it really puts your life in perspective. Especially when you see a woman with a prosthetic leg come by three times and know she will complete the race with one good leg while you moan and whinge about how much your arm hurts from pouring water into cups.