Recovery & reflection

It’s been a week now since the marathon last Sunday. A time for rest and reflection.

I knew that my body would be sore on Monday, the day after the race, but I hadn’t been prepared for quite how sore I would be! I had set the alarm for 6am as I was due to have a meeting in Perth at 8am. I tried to get up and see how I felt – the answer was quickly revealed! So I sent an email, cancelled that meeting, and went back to bed.

As the week went on the soreness eased. I had a massage on Tuesday evening, which helped ease the pain. By Wednesday morning I was heading back out for a short run – just 15 minutes, part of Greg McMillan’s marathon recovery plan. I hobbled around the village, but I was delighted to get out for a run!

By Friday much of the soreness had gone and I did another 15 minute run, this time after work – a great way to end the working week. There was still a bit of soreness in my ITBs, but other than that I felt fine and the pace was pretty decent.

It’s Sunday today and I’ve just done an easy 30 minute run, 2 laps of the village. No ITB pain this time. It’s good to get back out running, even these short easy runs, they’re part of who I am.

With a lot less volume this week, I’ve had time to reflect on the race and on the training I did beforehand. I only started running seriously again in late March, so taking on a marathon 6 months later was always going to be a big ask. I had the endurance for around 18 miles, but beyond that I was always going to struggle.

Thinking back to my training, and now knowing what the last 10k of a marathon feels like, I realise that I didn’t fully commit on those long training runs (beyond 18 Miles). Those were the runs where I found myself having to stop, to rest, to take a picture of ‘that great view’. What I really needed to be doing at that point, in hindsight, was gritting my teeth and pushing on. But I guess you only realise that after you experience the marathon for the first time…..

I also need to train more on hills. We live in a valley, and most of my long runs had been on the flat valley roads. That’s fine if you’re going to be doing a marathon in Berlin, but Loch Ness was anything but flat. So more hill work will be on the agenda this winter.

Finally, I’ve had a chance to chat with Coach Greg McMillan after the race and look ahead to 2018. He’s keen for me to focus on shorter races next year, to work on my speed, which we can then take into a Spring 2019 Marathon. So it looks like I’ll be focusing on 5k & 10k races in Spring 2018, and then moving onto half marathons next Autumn.

I’m excited about this, as I like the variety of training for different distances, and the one thing I’ve missed this year has been running fast. I then know that I’ll be going into the 2019 marathon properly prepared, and a PB will be on the cards.

For now though, the next few weeks are about continuing the slow recovery, then we’ll move onto building a solid base. Joanna, Rebecca & I are in Lanzarote for a week early November, so it will be good to get some longer runs in the heat and sunshine.

For those of you that have raced a marathon, what were the biggest learnings you took from your first race?

New shoes arrived on Friday!

Recovery

It’s nearly two weeks since the crash. It’s been an “interesting” experience.

It’s amazing what you can’t do with just one hand. Tried tying your laces? Or putting socks on? How about cutting up your food? It’s not easy! Even having a shower was a challenge at first, but we’re getting better at that 🙂

But you adapt. Showering is now fine, albeit a bit weird. I’ll spare you the details. I figured out how to put my socks on last week – I was really proud of that! Jo’s still cutting up my food though.

Putting on clothes has moved on too. For the first couple of days I couldn’t move my left arm, so I had to drape a shirt over it. It wasn’t pretty. Yesterday I managed to wear a polo-shirt and a jersey and then put my sling on. Small things make you so pleased.

The hospital put me on strong painkillers, which I really needed. Breaking your collarbone in 3 places isn’t funny. However, as well as numbing the pain, the codeine was also numbing my brain. I felt dopey, and struggled to get the right words out when I was tired so we’ve changed the dose and cut down the codeine. Almost immediately I felt more alert! At lunch with my Chairman yesterday I couldn’t stop talking, back to my old self. Happy.

So, tomorrow I go back to hospital for a checkup. They’ll take another x-ray and we’ll see how it’s healing. I’m worried about my lump, but everyone’s told me it’s normal. Tomorrow we’ll see. I’ve called it Ricco, after that little cheating scumbag Ricardo Ricco, ‘cos he’s a total pain in the neck!

All being well I’ll be back on the turbo this weekend. Just a light spin, but it’ll be good to be back on the bike. It’s really not that long now ’til Mallorca……