As with my preparation for the marathon, I did a bit of research about what to do in the days following it. Some books recommended one day's recovery for each mile run, i.e. 26 days. However, I think this means 26 days of easier running before returning to full training, rather than 26 days of lying on the sofa scoffing chocolate and waiting for fitness to return. Damn.
I read on another blog about a runner who decided to take a full month off running (doing other exercise instead), with the philosophy that if you plan to run for the rest of your life, a month off is nothing, and it's the kindest thing to do to a body you've pushed to the limits. I thought that was a nice idea.
It was Tuesday, 2 days after the marathon, when my legs felt most sore. By Wednesday I felt almost back to normal, and that was helped by a physio session. I asked the physio about the silly myth that you finish a marathon an inch or so shorter than you started it. To my amazement, she confirmed that it was true! Then she shoved down hard on my back, there was a loud CRACK, and she said 'There, you're back to your usual height now'! Ouch!
On Thursday I decided to test my legs with a little cycle. It was typical Scottish weather - I went out in the sun, and returned 20 mins later in a heavy hailstorm! Hard little nuggets were pinging off my helmet as I rushed to put my bike in the shed and ran into the house. My legs felt tired again after that.
On Sunday I had another little bike ride - 6 miles through the countryside in the sun - gorgeous. I kept stopping to take photos, it was beautiful.
Monday included a bit of swimming with Pete and the kids, and some kite-flying by the beach. I felt really ready for a run, but later I had a bit of a cold and cough and felt really wiped out, so I decided to catch up on sleep instead.
So after 8 run-free days, I finally managed to lace up my ASICS and get out there this afternoon. I was home from work early, and had a little window of opportunity before picking the kids up. It wasn't the best run - after about 1 minute I realised the Garmin was still set to 'Biking', so I stopped and fiddled about with it. Then 5 minutes later, I stopped to try to take off my jacket while not dropping my ipod, it was all very complicated. I felt pretty heavy-legged, but it was an ok run.
Now I can't wait to get stuck into it properly again, and focus on some new goals now the big one is out of the way. I hope that all that mileage will have had a positive effect on my running and I can get some good fast times at other distances.