So today is Wednesday-a little over 72 hours since I stopped running. I feel fantastic. I have no lingering soreness or DOMS at this point. Sunday morning, I returned to my house around 4ish am (this is just a guess as I totally lost track of time.) Amy helped me to get into my house and dropped off all my gear. I was able to make it up the stairs, into the shower and into bed fairly easily and quickly.
These steps were just from 8am to midnight. All in all, it was around 145,000 steps!
Let me tell you, the sensation of finally being able to lay down on something soft (as opposed to the cold, hard floor of Amy’s tent which lasted all of 8 minutes) was amazing. I felt warm and secure and although my legs hurt, I quickly fell to sleep. Only to be woken by my awesome toddler just 2 hours later. For those of you who know me in real life, you’ve heard me talk about my trouble with sleeping and despite running for 20ish hours, sleep was not going to happen. So I got up with Liam and Chris and we decided to go get my car which was back at the race (my crew decided it wasn’t ideal for me to drive myself home-probably a smart decision.) I got dressed by myself in my new awesome personalized shirt, Chris helped me to tie my shoes and off we went to Starbucks for Coffee (plus a breakfast sandwich and a Megpie for me!)
Basically we were out and about for the rest of the day. And while I was sore, it was manageable and even decreased the more I moved. I took a one hour nap in the afternoon and that was it. I tried to rehydrate throughout the day. My hunger was definitely increased but I didn’t feel ravenous as I have after previous long runs.
Monday, I took the day off of work and sat in the hot tub for a while at the gym, got a massage, met Chris for lunch and ran errands. I later met Amy at the park for some kid and socialization time. What I didn’t do was sit down much which brings me to today-I feel like I’m about as recovered as I’m going to get. My body feels great and I do think I could run comfortably. Now, I do know that it’s going to take a bit longer for the damage to repair itself on a cellular level so I’m going to continue to take it easy for a bit longer. I read to take a day off for every 10 miles you ran though I’m not sure I’ll do exactly that. Typically, I’ll take the day off after a marathon and will run very easy for 30-40 minutes on the second day. For this week, I will likely go for a nice and easy run tomorrow at 4 days post race and will see how that feels before making any training decisions. I plan to try to get out on the trail this weekend as my next race (Mohican Marathon) is coming up in about 6 weeks.
So for the logistics; I spent a lot of time planning on what I would need for this race. Much of this was guesswork because of lack of experience. My longest run prior to this was just 8 hours so I knew my needs would be different but I just wasn’t sure exactly how. I’ll divide this up in a few categories to try and shed some light on what I ended up needing:
- Clothing: This was a bit tricky as the weather vacillated wildly in the week leading up to the race. For several days it appeared as if it would be in the mid 80’s and sunny. As race day got closer, the forecast changed to rainy and mild. It was unclear as to how much or how long it would rain but I knew that it would be in the upper 40’s to mid 50’s for the race. I packed two sets of: capris, shorts, short sleeve shirts, and long sleeve shirts. I packed about 5 pairs of socks which I knew would be crucial during the rain. I also packed a rain coat, a 3/4 zip and a heavier coat. I ended up wearing the same capris throughout. I wore the 3/4 zip and t shirt for the first 11/12 hours or so before changing into a new sports bra, long sleeve, and my cold weather jacket. Socks were changed 3-4 times throughout.
- Gear: I packed several pairs of shoes ranging from light road, minimal trail, maximal trail. I also packed a pair of shoes 1 size larger to account for potential swelling. I ended up not changing my shoes at all. My Altra Lonepeaks were great for the duration. I brought a headlamp with several battery changes but ended up wearing Amy’s during the night for reasons unknown. I brought a handheld water bottle which I mostly used during the day but got tired of carrying sometime in the night and ditched.
- Nutrition: I packed a ton of tailwind with multiple flavor options but I did not use it at all, mostly because I had an appetite and I prefer to eat if possible. I utilized the aid station for nutrition and enjoyed peanut M and M’s, cold pizza, grilled cheese, peanut butter pretzels and later in the evening, hot pancakes dipped in maple syrup which tasted like heaven! I took a salt pill about once an hour and Endurolytes every 2-3 hours. I aimed to eat 150-200 calories an hour and think I did a decent job of that. I started drinking coke and had a tiny bit of red bull as the day progressed. I also drank about 8 ounces of black coffee around 5 or 6 pm.
- Things I didn’t use: Imodium, Advil, Pepto, and any other preventative meds. I didn’t use any moleskin, band aids or duct tape-my feet only needed a coating of lube every now and then to stay blister free. I did not need any bio freeze or other topical agents. As for the majority of my clothes-I could’ve packed a bit lighter but who knew I’d be low maintenance in the clothing department. Would I pack differently next time? Probably not. The only thing I might do differently gear wise is unpack my gear before starting-I may have been more likely to use some of it earlier (like a change of my top after the rain ended) if it was more easily accessible. I reached a point where I just didn’t have the energy to go digging around in my gear. I think I may have sent Leighanna on a wild goose chase for my Trail Toes-all avoidable with a simple bit of prep.
What I will do differently next time (will there even be a next time?!?) There may be a next time….I really enjoyed the format of the race. The loop made it incredibly easy for spectators and I was able to change pacers out frequently which kept it fresh for both me and my crew. A few days post race and I’m having some thoughts about future 24 hour events. My schedule is pretty loaded for 2017 and I am trying to hold myself to what I already have planned and nothing more. So no more 24 hour events for the year; that I know for sure.
As for things I’ll do differently; I will try to reduce the amount of socialization I did. While I don’t regret it, I think I lost some time early on when I was feeling good, time that could’ve been spent on getting a jump on my mileage early. As mentioned above, I will take the time to unpack my gear rather than leaving it in it’s bin. I didn’t realize that I would have no energy later which would lead me to not use what I had packed even when I wanted it. Another thing I will do differently is probably wait to use caffeine. I waited probably 8 or so hours, in the future I’d like to hold off a bit longer so I can better utilize the effects of it.
As for changes to my training; I’m not sure I’d do anything differently at this point. Yes, people told me it would be hard but the only way to truly understand that is to get out there and experience it firsthand. I ran a lot beforehand and I ran consistently. I ran safely to a peak of 55 miles per week and felt great throughout. So no, no changes in training at this point.
What’s next? Well, as I mentioned before, I have the Mohican Marathon in a few weeks. After that is “Northeast Ohio’s Toughest 50k” (their words not mine) the Buckeye Trail 50k and then the big one-Burning River 50 miler at the end of July!