I wanted to share with you all my pretty horrible attempt at long run recovery this weekend. Like seriously, my quads are still a bit miffed. Instead of a post on what to do after a long run to recover, consider this a PSA for what not to do.
Saturday morning, I ran 11.5 miles bright and early here in San Diego along the harbor.
I’d felt pretty tired all last week as if I’m coming down with a cold or something, so I was a little nervous about how this run would go… it took a mile or two for me to get in the groove, but then it all clicked.
Somehow this ended up being one of those rare runs where you feel like you’re sleeping through it – like suddenly you realize you only have one more mile to go, and you barely remember the previous miles at all.
The sailboats were looking particularly exceptional and I appreciated the weather’s cooperation this time around.
I had 12 miles on my training plan but for the sake of time, I was planning to stop at 11… and then felt mildly guilty for having not stuck to the original plan and ended up adding another half mile for good measure. I felt run-drunk and awesome, with the exception of some mild back pain, which started bugging me in the last mile (weird– maybe a core or hamstring thing?). I foam rolled a bit before showering once I’d gotten home, and that seemed to nip it in the bud. Shout out to the margarita-flavored Shot Bloks I ate again mid-run — that extra salt is a God-send in warm weather running.
Like I mentioned yesterday, I had plans to attend the USC football game that night up in Los Angeles, so as soon as I’d showered after the run, I had planned to jump in my car and drive north. I had eaten a banana and drank some water post run and – similar to my 10 miler two weeks ago – hadn’t felt like eating anything else immediately after the run…. But I apparently waited too long to re-fuel (approximately an hour, between with the stretching/foam rolling and showering), and by the time I went to smear peanut butter onto a bagel to eat during my car ride, I could feel myself starting to take a nosedive. I was literally shaky and getting emotional, with a headache starting to brew.
That’s literally never happened to me after a long run (or even a race!). Solid proof that nutrition is key to running and letting your body recover, huh?
But I pulled it together after inhaling my bagel and hopped in the car to drive an hour and change to Orange County, where I was supposed to meet my boyfriend to carpool up to LA When I arrived in Orange County and unfolded my tired self from the driver’s seat, my calves were so stiff and crampy, and I made a beeline to the nearby convenience store to grab some Gatorade — something I should have drank immediately following my run. My electrolytes were a wreck.
After a quick lunch, we headed up to LA, aka another hour plus in the car. And then I ended up on my feet for the next nine or so hours, with plenty of steps to climb up and down the LA Coliseum, where the Trojans play. SO MUCH LEG FUN.
Turns out that’s not the best way to spend your time after a (very) long run. Who knew.
I know, I know…. such a rookie mistake. I really should have known better, but I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be such a rough day since I’ve usually felt fine after long runs, albeit a little sleepy.
During the tailgate, I was pounding water, but yet still managed to get an immediate headache after a couple sips of a beer. Fail. And even though we were tailgating, there wasn’t much food that looked appealing and I’m pretty confident that I didn’t end up eating enough to fully re-fuel after being on my feet so much that day, despite some slices of pizza eaten at the very end of the night.
By the time we got home from the game, I was exhausted, and woke up the next day feeling like trash with the sorest legs i’ve ever experienced from running. It took a while for me to even get out of my pajamas, and I ended up missing a fun food blogger event organized by another Orange County blogger. Boooooo.
Got it body — lesson learned! I will be MUCH nicer to you post-half marathon, and after any and all other long runs in my running future. Promise.
Speaking of – the Long Beach half marathon is in TWO weeks! Taper time!
Have you ever had a long run that you just did not recover from as well or as quickly as you’d anticipated? How do you usually spend your day after a long run? I usually just go to brunch and sit on my sofa…..