Marathon – The Aftermath

My previous blog (26.2) was written at 6am the morning after my first ever marathon.

Social Media Meltdown

It was clear flicking through the EMF facebook page on Monday, that there were a LOT of unhappy runners. Most of them raging because the results were not going to be published publicly. This isn’t really an issue for Bean and her 5:40:16 run, but for those wishing to qualify for Boston or the likes of, its a bit shite. However, it IS the 3rd year they’ve done this. Possibly cost cutting… Which fits in with the absolute SHAMBLES that was the finishing line.

By the time I got there, no one was really manning anything. It wasn’t until I found my mum and realised how starving I was that I remembered that I was supposed to get a goody bag. They’d run out. I’d got a T shirt handed to me and asked if I wanted some water and my medal. (Are you REALLY asking if I WANT my medal? GEEZ IT.) And when I got back to my friend’s flat, I opened the Tee to find it didn’t have the distance on it. It was just the standard Finishers tee that you get as well as the distance one.

Annoying.

I emailed EMF who eventually came back to me on Tuesday afternoon to say they’d post them out “asap”. It’s not that big a deal, I’d be more pissed off if I was the girl who posted to say she’d got home to somewhere in England only to find she’d been given a half tee.

Anyway. Edinburgh has the potential to be a really brilliant event. And I did love it. (Despite the fact that you’re only *in* Edinburgh for 5 miles) But it seems they get something wrong every year. I gave them very honest feedback… I’ve since had an email saying you can now choose to make your times public. But no mention of the fact that eventually the RAN OUT OF MEDALS?!! (Shocking!!!) Being a retail buyer and having to predict sell-throughs on products with no actual firm information on how many I will sell, it amazes me that they, despite knowing exactly how many people had entered each race, STILL ran out of stuff. Their predicted failure rate is obviously offensively high.

The Recovery

Moving was pretty horrible in the first few days, if I’m honest. If I was totally still in either the seated, lying down or standing positions, I was fine. Brilliant, in fact. But the transition between these three positions was tough. Yes I stretched off, and had a massage, but there’s only so much that my body will let me away with and forcing it through 26.2 miles with a dodgy hip was a bit too much for it.

I had, with some kind of stroke of genius, managed to book a physio appointment for the Monday night. I couldn’t drive so Brian had to take me and collect me. PhysioDan took one look at me and giggled. What an absolute mess I was in.

The Walk was pretty funny. Like someone had stuck a splint to my left knee. I couldn’t bend it at all. I wasn’t very brave about it either. Dan focused on stretching out my hip and working on my knee a bit and diagnosed a bit of Patella Tendonitis which ought to clear up on it’s own.

The sunburn was deep and very painful. I had a small cry each time I had to apply Aloe gel. Lesson firmly learned.

Oh. And I wore my medal ALL of Monday.

Tuesday saw small improvements to range of movement. Physio made my knee feel a bit better and my limp was starting to look less like a Quasimodo walk. Bonus.

I managed 800m of breastroke and Frontcrawl at the pool on Tuesday night. Very relaxing and I felt fast (though it’s likely that the other pool users were just REALLY slow…)

On Wednesday I returned to work, bling in tow, to regale my colleagues with many tales of Marathonning. They did pretty well. Not one person yawned. I work on the 3rd floor of a very old building and the lift is supposed to be for customers only. I kept forgetting that my knee was wobbly (I’m used to the hip… that’s been groaning on since March…) and trying to scale the stairs. Lift it was until Friday.

I didn’t do any exercise this week apart from swimming and a bit of Pilates based hip work. And by Friday I was REALLY beginning to miss running, like some kind of weird addict. But I knew my body wanted me to rest.

After work on Saturday I attempted a cycle. 14 miles around Loch Leven on my MTB. It felt MAGIC. I felt fast and strong and nothing hurt. “This is what I’ll do for a while” I told myself. So this morning I ventured out again and went anticlockwise and managed a QOM! (Unbelievably)

Setting Goals

I’m the type of person that works well to goals. If I don’t have them I tend to feel a bit lost and depressed. So all week I’ve been busy setting mini goals for myself. And bigger ones.

I want to do a triathlon next year. Plus VLM if I get a place. So swimming and cycling will now get plenty of attention while I get back to the gym and start rebuilding my hips and knees with a bit more strength. Running will be small distances for now. Just enough to keep all the parts moving but not enough to do any damage.

The First Trot

I went out and tried a mile today. Not a brilliant plan. I knew my legs would feel like lead but I wasn’t really prepared for all the weird pains that started in my pelvis and knees. Bit depressing. But as I said above, it’s time to build strength now so that for next time (and there WILL be a next time) I will be stronger, leaner and faster.

The Questions

Marathon runners. Ask yourself: what is the weirdest/funniest/most offensive question you’ve ever been asked?

Here’s a few beauties from this week: (Along with my retorts)

“YOU ran a marathon?”  – Yes. Quite surprising, isn’t it? Given my addiction to donuts and beer…

(When told I’d like to run VLM and do a tri next year) “You’re nearly 30. Shouldn’t you be thinking about having children?” – My sole purpose is not to breed. I’d actually like to achieve some life-goals before I start pro-creating and spending all my money on baby-wipes and pampers instead of Asics and Garmins.

“Doesn’t it hurt?” – Yes. “Why would you do something that hurts?” – Because it’s a marathon. Not many people get to do those. Lots of people can’t even walk. And I can. I can use my legs. So I will.

Final Thoughts

The marathon has fundamentally changed me. I’m so focused on getting stronger now. I’ve always been competitive, but I’m REALLY competitive with myself. I feel a strange sense of calm. I know now that I pushed through pain for about 2 hours just to get to a finish line. If I can do that, I can probably push myself to do almost anything. Manning up is going to become second nature, I think….

 

 

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