Some experts say that following a marathon, you should rest one full day for every mile you ran, meaning 26 days of recovery.
Others say you should rest one full day for every kilometer you ran, meaning 42 days of recovery.
I say you should rest one full day for every dog photo you snapped at Thanksgiving the week after the marathon, meaning — let’s be honest here — I’ll be in recovery mode until Malia Obama’s in the White House.
Might as well get comfortable.
In truth, I’d expected to be significantly more active in the nearly three weeks since I crossed that Philadelphia finish line. I thought I’d run a few easy miles that first week to shake out my legs. I imagined I’d do a 5- to 6-miler over the Thanksgiving weekend to burn off my pie gut. I pictured myself back at yoga, back in the pool, back on the elliptical and back doing all the other glorious cross training I gave up in July to focus on my lone goal these last five months: the marathon.
Heck, I was so optimistic in my recovery, I even packed multiple pairs of running clothes for my post-Thanksgiving vacation in St. Martin.
Oh, how wrong I was. After not even looking at my athletic shoes for our entire four-day stretch in the tropics, I can assure you that said luggage space would have been much better spent on literally any other travel necessity — particularly corkscrews.
Why haven’t I been out there getting back in the game? Plenty of reasons, really. It’s been cold. I’ve been enjoying sleeping in to 7 a.m. I’m still mentally fried after that major race. And let’s not forget that fact that since Philadelphia, my knees soooometimes feel like they aren’t in the right socket. No big deal, right, doctors?
But not running also brings its downsides. I’m more irritable, I’m not sleeping as well and I’ve been watching my weight creep up on that cruel bathroom scale. Most importantly, the identity I have come to build for myself — Anne the runner — doesn’t make all that much sense when I’m sitting around wondering if I should give the Seamless delivery guy a key so I don’t have to get off the couch every time he buzzes.
So without further ado, I hereby determine 18 days of recovery is enough for this once and future runner. I’m going to get back out there tomorrow and put a few more miles between me and the New Year. They aren’t going to be pretty, or fast, or maybe even forward, but they’re going to be miles.
And that, my friends, is the only real road to recovery.
How are you getting back into the swing of things after your fall marathon?