Prior to my marathon last week I heard lots of advice about how to get through every grueling mile of the 26.2 that I would need to complete the race. Every runner I knew was sending me messages about various things that had helped them as they ran marathons. Some said eat a big meal 2 days before, while others said eat a big meal the night before. Some said drink a ton of water before the start, and others said drink a little or else the port-o-let would be calling. Some said there would be a big wall at mile 20 that I would most surely run into, others said mile 23 would be a booger.
All of those were good bits of advice, even though I never hit that wall at mile 20, but none of the folks ever mentioned the post race let down that would come as you allow your body to heal from the tiring 3 hours of the race. The mental fight that I have had to face over the last week as I have had to force myself to rest a bit more than anticipated has been very tough. For the first 5 days after the race I did absolutely no running. My IT band, a muscle running from your hip to the knee, was a bit strained pre-race... post race, it was REALLY strained. I had to rest to get it back to somewhat normal.
Saturday was the day I committed to be my first day back out, and of course it was POURING down rain and cold. My leg was hurting from the first step. It was, in fact, one of the hardest runs I have had in the whole past year. Thankfully, I had a great friend that braved the elements with me. She said she hadn't run in weather like that since high school. I was so thankful that she came. I skipped Sunday, and ran again on Monday. I managed to get it 5 miles, but of course the leg started bothering me again around the 3rd mile.
Before you all start worrying about me, a strained IT Band is a pretty normal and VERY recoverable injury. It just takes rest, and a bit more rest. Lately though, rest is the last thing I want to do. Who would have thought? The good thing about this kind of injury... It is a good excuse for an hour long massage. :0) I have an appointment at 9:30 in the morning. :0)