RnR USA: The Aftermath

So let me tell you that after the half marathon on Saturday, I was sorer than I’ve EVER been after any half marathon before. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I wasn’t well trained on the distance portion, though I definitely prepared myself for the hills.

As soon as the race was over and the adrenaline started wearing off, I headed to gear check to pick up my bag and really struggled to walk up the stairs. It hit me like a ton of bricks pretty much immediately when I stopped running, and I was SO sore and so stiff that I could barely move. I took a bunch of time to stretch, then took the metro home, then laid immobile on my couch for a few hours before going to town with my foam roller and my newest purchase, The Stick (which I love, by the way).

I headed out Saturday afternoon/evening to meet some people who were in town for the race and had a grand old time celebrating my new PR and so many bloggers invading DC (again).


Thanks for the photo, Gretchen! I’m on the left in the front row, and side note – getting in and out of that pose for the picture hurt like a b*tch.

Drinks ensued into the evening (along with a trip to Lauriol Plaza for frozen green margaritas and fajitas in the spirit of St. Patty’s day, obv) which I am sure took the edge off for the rest of the day on Saturday, but when I woke up on Sunday, I could barely get out of bed.

I took some Advil and stayed in bed for a bit longer until it kicked in, but I couldn’t believe how elderly I felt! It was unfortunate that I had no choice but to force myself up because I had to work at a conference for my day job all day on Sunday. And let me tell you – 9 hours straight on your feet the day after a half marathon is not an ideal situation, but I survived.

On Monday, I was still feeling pretty stiff and sore, but less so than Sunday, so I headed to the gym and did 40 minutes on the elliptical (intervals so I didn’t get bored). The movement really loosened me up, so much so that I even ended up cranking out 10 minutes on the stairmill for good measure before calling it a day. And I really think it did the trick, because I woke up yesterday feeling almost new.

So what next?

If I’m being totally honest, I am pretty excited that the half marathon is over. I really do love running, but sometimes when I am training for races for so long it can feel like it’s taking over my life. Running starts to feel more like a chore rather than something I’m doing because I want to, so I am looking forward to not to be on a training schedule anymore for the time being.

That said, I do still have two races coming up in the next several weeks – The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler a week from Sunday (my 3rd year in a row running it!), and then the Broad Street 10 Miler in Philadelphia at the beginning of May. Running wise, my goal is to do a longish run (6-8 miles) this coming weekend in preparation for the Cherry Blossom Run, and then try to keep running 1-2 times a week in conjunction with lots of cross and strength training.

I am excited to be able to change up my routine and get more well-rounded fitness regimen going. I was looking at the class schedule for my gym and getting giddy at the idea of getting to do whatever I want for a workout, rather than what was on my training schedule! And last night, I went outside after work and did a brisk 45 minute walk, covering 3.3 miles. The weather was incredible and it was so nice to just say, “I feel like going on a walk!” and then do it because I wanted to!

What is your favorite way to be active if you’re not training for anything? How long does it take you to get back into your groove after a big race?

9 Comments on RnR USA: The Aftermath

  1. Diandra
    March 21, 2012 at 9:15 am (9 years ago)

    I have never trained for anything, and my favorite exercise is – running. ^^ I also enjoy long walks and the occasional hike (we live in a beautiful area with lots of mountains and forests to either side of the river Rhine), but nothing gets me as excited as the idea of heading out the door in my running gear after work.

  2. Meg
    March 21, 2012 at 9:33 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth,

    It was so nice chatting with you at the blogger meet-up. Thanks for the tips about some hilly routes in D.C. – I plan to tackle those as I train for the Iron Girl half and all its bridges.

    I have to agree with you that I felt more sore after Saturday’s race than I have in a long, long time. But, I keep telling myself it’s a good sign that I worked hard and pushed myself to the limit during the race!

    Good luck with your upcoming runs. I’ll be doing Cherry Blossom, too!


  3. Maria
    March 21, 2012 at 10:41 am (9 years ago)

    The soreness I felt after the race can not be put into words! I flippin’ LOVE Lauriol Plaza! I had the same celebratory meal at Uncle Julio’s on Saturday night. Now that I’m done with the race, I’ve jumped straight into weight training and it hurts so good!

  4. Lisa
    March 21, 2012 at 10:49 am (9 years ago)

    I ran my first half on Sunday and my legs still haven’t quite forvigen me yet 😛
    I managed to do the elliptical yesterday and I think I’ll stick to that and walking for the rest of the week.

    Congrats on your race and good luck with the next ones 🙂

  5. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    March 21, 2012 at 11:37 am (9 years ago)

    It’s hilarious because the post I’m writing for tomorrow is my feelings towards how training starts to suck… because I definitely agree! It starts to feel like your entire life is being planned around one race. Ugh.

  6. Life's a Bowl
    March 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm (9 years ago)

    I feel the exact same way about running when it’s the last few weeks of training, running = chore, not for enjoyment… Like planning weekend plans around the long Saturday run or running at the crack of dawn or at dusk in the dark just because you have to get your run in… Hope you enjoy your break after the other races!

  7. Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun
    March 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m currently recovering from hip surgery but I’m spending a lot of time dreaming and planning my running comeback for 2013!

  8. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    March 22, 2012 at 11:00 am (9 years ago)

    I love your play-by-play post race (I also love Lauriol Plaza!)
    The reason that I DON’T do races anymore is because of the training. I love to run- when I feel like it. I don’t like feeling like I am being forced to run – especially since there are so many other forms of exercise that I do love.
    Is the Stick for your calves? I don’t use my foam roller nearly enough (speaking of things seeming like a chore)…

  9. Dee
    March 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm (9 years ago)

    I did my first half in October, and I felt exactly like you described afterward, if not worse. I recently did my second on March 11, and decided to stop and stretch frequently, for like 1-2 minute sessions. I stretched at mile 5, 7, 9, and12. After that race, I was stiff but only a little in pain. As soon as I got home I did a session on my foam roller, even though I just wanted to lay down. I did some brief stretching. Hours later, I got up and did another session on the foam roller, and a full out 40 min yoga session using a DVD. By the evening, stiffness and soreness were almost gone, and were completely gone 24 hours later! It was drastically different than my first, and I think the in-race stretching, and the foam rolling, are the main reasons for the difference!


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