Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Finally Got My Legs Back

Running experts and research types say it takes roughly a month to recover from a marathon. On Hal Higdon’s site, for example, he says “it takes a minimum of two to three weeks for the body to recover from the strain of running 26 miles 385 yards. Return too quickly and you increase your risk of injury. Some experts suggest resting one day for every mile you ran in the marathon, thus 26 days of no hard running or racing!”

I read that statement about four days after my May 3rd marathon. Even though my gait was still hobbled, and my legs felt completely wrung out, I thought there was no way I’d feel tapped out for a month!
The only time I was more wrong was when I thought my then-two-year-old twins didn’t need to wear diapers during naptime anymore.

Don’t misunderstand me: I have certainly been running in the 30 days since my race. When I was out in Connecticut for my high school reunion in mid-May, for example, I ran every day of my 5-day visit, racking up about 26 or 27 miles. But I didn’t feel like my pre-marathon self, and my legs felt heavy. Other than the leaden legs, I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. I just felt “off.” I was starting to get a bit concerned, as I have a 5K on July 11 and a half-marathon on July 26. I told myself I just needed to continue taking it somewhat easy (no track or speed workouts) and to fuel well.

And, sure enough, almost a month to the day, my giddy-up returned. On Saturday, I felt moved to kick out two 8-minute miles on a 5-miler. The next morning, on my 10-mile run, I really felt like myself again. My legs felt fresh, but more importantly, there was an intangible “vibe” I felt that told me all was right again. At the risk of coming across as patchouli-and-chimes, I felt like my aura had been slightly off, but on that run, it was back to its bright, vibrant color.

Now I’m excited to rev up my speed—and shine my aura--at the track tomorrow.

Drawing is a portrait of me by 3-year-old Daphne.

1 comment: said...

Hey, man, I love patchouli & chimes!!! Glad you got your mojo back. I hate that feeling of being "off"...