Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments on my marathon report! Overwhelming is what it is! I even gained a few new readers. On reflection, despite all the agony and the cramping calves at the NJ Marathon, I handled the heat a lot better than it seemed at the time. Maybe it is my Indian origin. Though I have run nowhere close to this distance while in India, I am sure living through sweltering 95+ degree summers for 26 years of my life must have helped condition me to the heat to some extent. I did suffer through it and feel it was a minor miracle that I did not end up a casualty of the race, but in light of this new theory, I don't feel like much of a hero.
As you know, recovering from a marathon is almost as confusing as tapering for one. There is a lot of (often conflicting) information on how best to return to your regular running schedule after marathon. While post-marathon recovery varies for different individuals, there are some standards. Recommendations vary from 26 days of no hard running or racing, to no running the first week then reverse tapering to simply trusting your body. Some websites advise no activity whatsoever, except light walking during the first week. No cross training, nothing! What is your marathon/half marathon recovery plan?
Funnily enough, following various runners' recovery on blogland and DailyMile, I realized that by Day 2 after the marathon, runners are itching to return to running. By Day 3, some have attempted at least one run. By the end of the week, most people have run at least 10-20 miles.
While I was mentally ready to run on Tuesday, my body vehemently disagreed. Till Thursday, calves were hurting and tender to touch and my quads, which seemed to have fared well during the race, were screaming. Walking down stairs was especially tough. I developed a sort of sideways shuffle, which worked...sort of. I swam on Monday and Tuesday (a lot easier than walking), walk/trotted on Wednesday and managed an extremely slow jog for most of the 3 miles on Thursday. By Saturday, I was well enough for a short run with the group at the towpath, albeit slow.
After the run yesterday, DH and I went on a bike ride at the towpath.
The towpath had been patched in several spots after the frequent floods last year, so it was a bumpy ride.
An anxious, angry pappa gander hissing at us, warning us to stay away from his new family...
An unexpected sight, right on the path...
We also saw a fat snake slithering into a bush...too quick for a pic.
We packed a picnic lunch and carried it with us. With Frank Forerunner in Biking mode, we biked 7.75 miles one way and found a nice spot by the canal for lunch.
No pics of lunch...it disappeared too fast! We biked back, stomachs full. On most of these outings, we spend an awful lot of time preparing and packing food..and it ends up being the highlight of the trip! Needless to say, the return trip with lighter backpacks and heavier stomachs, was less enthusiastic and more sluggish. By the time we got back to the car, our butts were quite sore. My quads were exhausted. But the soreness from the race is almost all gone.