Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My Milton Keynes marathon [3] - the aftermath

The final part of my re-living my marathon experiences - part 3 - the aftermath....

So, I finished, I was wildly pleased and so happy to have fulfilled the goal injury free. As soon as I'd finished I headed up into the stands to meet up with my wife and kids, and take advantage of the sports massage being offered by the Cancer Research UK stand (as I had run for them it was a very, very welcome 'thank you')**.  During the massage the taping on my calf was discussed at some length and I was told that actually my calf were surprisingly supple (!). That I had essentially marched miles 24 and 25 with as long and efficient pain free stride as I could had seemingly done a job of keeping my legs happy for that last phase where I ran well again.

After the race all the worries and niggles seemed worth it they had seen me prepare well and run sensibly in the face of the injury issues. I remember hearing somewhere that marathons are as mentally tough as they are physically, and I suppose that was true. Certainly all the mental effort put in adds to the immense high after the finish line.

Marathon running thoughts cartoon - bloggers own artwork (ahem, yeah I'll own up - I drew this nonsense)
and bloggers own thoughts from various parts of the route

Immediately afterwards we headed off to my sister's place for a very welcome hot shower (which reminds me, I think I owe her a fortune in fuel costs for how long I was in there!), a chance to get my now dirty taping off, and a warm bowl of soup (wow, that tasted amazin'). All the way home the feeling I got from completing kept flooding my brain, if there is only one thing I could bottle from the whole experience that feeling would be it. I run because I enjoy it, I row because I enjoy it and I keep on the move for moments like that one. I experienced a similar feeling in rowing a few years ago, it is simply the huge release of utter joy and inner exultation of a huge task successfully brought to completion.

Emotion aside (getting carried away there), I had had the foresight to book the Monday after the race as a days leave which gave me the opportunity to go get a fix up appointment with my physio and thank him hugely for everything that he had done in the month or so coming into the race. We sat and re-lived the race for quite some time before I got another restorative rub down. At this point I was walking okay, a little slow to get going, but nice and free moving. Stairs were a nuisance but nothing too troublesome. The aches were simply aches and not pains, and the memory of what I had done seemed to totally negate the effects for several days.

I got back on the cross-trainer last week to 'spin' my legs and help recover. Since that first one I have done two more determined to make this fitness / endurance stick. I did though eat a little too much over the last week as a pat on the back, over the weekend I reached the point where the extra food was making me feel awful. I remembered again why it is that I set out to lose weight.... too much food can begin to feel like poison - I could feel my system saying "thanks for the lovely food but for goodness sake that's enough already!!!".

So now back to healthy balanced eating and training. My new goal is a big PR from this autumns Cardiff Half marathon, and to get back into some serious rowing. The marathon distance? Ah, well... we'll just have to see ;-)

** the massage was provided by Carmel of The Sports Therapy Room and a mighty fine job she did too. Her advice was only surpassed by the quality of her work, my legs felt so much better for treatment - I am not sure how the recovery would have gone with out it.


2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Great job on your first (and not last) marathon. I told myself I would never run another marathon again after the first one, and that was 18 marathons ago.

Taffi said...

It's true that I have already softened on my initial "I've done that, and it's my only one stance". It'll be next spring before I can with work issues, but I am looking at what's out there.

I can't see me reaching 18 (a mightily impressive haul), but with a fair wind behind me I could imagine a handful perhaps.... we'll see ;-)