that was the week that was

on friday, I started to discuss the marathon aftermath; in particular I talked about some of the less tangible, unexpected things to drop out of it all. to be honest, I’m still processing many of those things and their broader impacts.

on the flip side of all that mental stuff though are the physical aspects. things like how I actually pulled up, what I am doing to recover, and (strangely) how this has had an impact on my facebook page…

so how did I pull up?

very well actually, which took me by surprise at first.

now I know I’m not the world’s fastest runner, so I wouldn’t have been pushing ligaments and muscles in the same way as the front-runners, but the aches and pains have been a lot less than I anticipated.

upon reflection this actually makes sense; I spent 18 weeks following a training program, built up the distance progressively, then 2 weeks of tapering after the 32km peak.

in short, I had prepared properly – mostly because it was all new to me, I was bricking it, and so I did exactly what the schedule said!

the post-run pain was also eased because of a bunch of little things;

  • ice applied to the knee straight away (I’ve had no knee ache at all)
  • taking time to walk around & cool down
  • making sure I did some light stretching
  • keeping hydrated during the race and afterwards
  • taking a gel every hour to keep the energy levels up
  • a very gentle recovery run on tuesday morning
  • making the week mostly a rest week (I did go to the gym on thursday and kept things nice and easy)

being well-informed has proved invaluable

as with other aspects of my life, google has been an invaluable tool. whenever I have faced an issue, I’ve carefully googled for information on that issue, ensuring that I look at as wide a range of opinions and options as possible.

then, taking the information found, it’s been a case of figuring out what it all means in my individual circumstances. what made sense for me, what did not make sense for me. issues like

  • refueling during the run
  • the training program itself
  • training tips, race-day tips
  • carb loading
  • and many more

all have come from google, then carefully analysed, absorbe and applied.

at the same time, I’ve ensured that no one thing is taken as “gospel”, and in many ways my marathon virginity, my sweet, innocent naivity, has allowed me to be uber-pragmatic.

I haven’t been handicapped with things like actually-knowing-what-I’m-doing 🙂

now a member of what I assume to be a secret society

it was there all along, but I never had a clue, not an inkling. it might have been useful as an additional source of information. then again, it might have overwhelmed me, caused everything to be subjected to second-guessing. it might have undermined training for my first marathon.

the day after I took possession of a marathon finisher’s medal, someone must have made a comment or clicked “Like” on something, that then came to the attention of another runner somewhere….

less than 24 hours after completing the marathon, I was inducted into the Facebook running community – a community that until this week I never knew existed!

individuals, pages, shout-outs, advice-swapping, support and motivation for one another… it’s been there, all along, unseen, hidden, shrouded in secrecy.

I can’t believe how many Facebook people are working towards running a marathon, how many are using a FB page as a way of sharing their story, of creating strong accountability. I can’t believe how many people like me there are out there – some now experienced runners, some starting out.

many are using their experience to promote some seriously awesome causes.

my family and other animals

it’s one of the best things to come out of doing all this – not only have I realised/accepted that I am in fact a runner, but I’ve found an online home too!

so this post is dedicated to each and every one of you.

regardless of age, sex, location, fitness levels, which stage you’re at, how slow/fast you are…

you’re my heroes, my inspiration, my people!

image courtesy of Sally Crossthwaite via Compfight
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