This past week was my first week back to running after taking a week off after Chicago. These weeks leading up to Richmond will be about recovery and maintenance, not training. I’ll get to that a little more in a bit.
After a marathon, I usually take at least one week completely off from running and even try not to cross train during that time. This marathon was the least sore I’ve been post-race which I think had to do with many factors. Post-race ice bath, walking around a lot that day, consistent strength training, and racing on a pancake flat course after training on so many hills. I actually don’t think taking walk breaks during the race had much to do with it, because I took less than during Columbus last year and I remember being really sore after Columbus. Regardless, I stuck with my recovery period.
By Wednesday I was getting antsy, so Thursday morning I got up and took my dogs for a 2-mile morning walk. Their normal daily walk route is a mile and they get excited anytime I lead them off of their normal route. I also did an hour-long walk with them on that Saturday morning which got us to a little over 3 miles. That was it for the week after the race!
Four Weeks out from Richmond
After my week off, I resumed running in my normal routine including my mid-week long-run. My first run back was in torrential rain, but I enjoyed it! My mileage was closer to my average training mileage for this cycle, not closer to my peak mileage.
My training group does a two-week taper, so this weekend was a cutback week for them which worked perfectly for me easing back into things. I joined the group for the 13-mile run which happened to also be our costume run! We ran through Hollywood Cemetery at the end of this run which was some big elevation gain for being at the end, but also a great opportunity to snap some photos and enjoy some of the neat history here in Richmond.
Looking Ahead to Richmond
Now that I’m not in training mode I’ve cut back my pace and am just enjoying this time running in the beautiful fall weather and maintaining my fitness until the Richmond Marathon. I will do one more long-run next weekend of 16-miles and then “taper” down to race day.
I still hope to run a strong, PR race at Richmond but will be taking the race more conservatively. This is the first time I’m running two marathons in one season and I don’t want to push it too much. I have also decided that I want to recover and try for a solid training cycle before trying again for a really hard race rather than try to make Richmond a “redemption race” situation. It’s true that some people run a marathon a few weeks later and totally blow it out of the water, but I have never felt that my training was what I had wanted it to be this summer so I don’t see my body being able to bounce back to peak level. I am contemplating a marathon early in the spring which would throw me back into training mode shortly after Richmond, so taking it easy now and running more conservatively at Richmond will hopefully help me to stay healthy and ready to jump into another training cycle.
Three weeks to go until marathon number four!