Recovering from my first half marathon aftermath

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One step at a time

After my first epic half marathon 2 days ago, I thought the rest and recovery period would be slow and painful. It sure felt like it yesterday and I was ready not to run again for some time. I had read about the danger of not allowing the body to recover properly after being stressed out (like say in a half marathon) so I had resigned myself to not doing anything until I am sure my body had recovered.

Yesterday I felt like a total wreck. My whole body was numb and it felt as if there was a slow fire burning in me. I made sure I hydrated myself by drinking more than my usual amount of water. I fed myself lots of protein and carbohydrate in order to give my body what it needs to heal.

Emotionally I was a real basket case. I honestly felt like breaking down all throughout the day (in fact I did a few times). My emotions was very fragile and it took effort for me to maintain my composure.

Today I felt very different than yesterday. Today I felt very strong both physically and emotionally. The burning sensation I felt yesterday was gone. Instead I felt really refreshed and full of energy. Sure I still needed to have an afternoon nap but I knew my body was on its way to recovery.

I didn’t feel as emotionally fragile as I did yesterday. In actual fact, I was really on form during some of the meetings I had today. Some of my team members had remarked that I am going to be different when I do my personal development training due to having run the half marathon and I think they are right. I am much more composed and self assured than I usually am.

Because I felt good I decided to go for a slow recovery run this evening. I started off very tentatively and walked for a few minutes trying to get a feel of how my legs felt. After a few minutes I decided to up the pace to a slow jog at about 65-70% MHR. Still going very slow. One of the things I read about being an athlete is the ability to really pay attention and listen to your body and what it’s trying to ell yo. Most people get injured by pushing themselves too hard and ignoring the signs. So tonight, I really paid attention.

I wanted to make sure I wasn’t pushing myself too much. So I made sure I was running within a certain zone. In the last few laps I found myself running faster and faster and was now running at about 77% MHR. It felt really good and I was having a great time running.

I eventually ran for 5km at an average of 72% MHR. Admittedly I let myself go in the last lap and ran it in 2 mins 27 secs (compare with the average of the rest of the laps at 4 mins 10 secs).

I know I still need to take it easy for the next few days but at least the worst is over.

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