Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Post-race recovery

You can read all about my race experience here The race.

Crossing the finish line felt great, but as soon as I got my medal and took a moment to admire its shininess, I had only one thought on my mind..FOOD! Earth Fare were one of the race sponsors and put out a good spread! By the time I was finished running, a lot of the food was gone but I still managed to inhale a banana and some pretzels!
Me and my precious, awful picture :)
That taken care of I headed to the medical tent with the intention of getting some ice for my knee. What I got was a full injury examination by a physiotherapist, bonus! She was able to pinpoint the source of my pain..I almost jumped of the table. My Lateral collateral ligament was severely inflamed. She did checks which involved her pushing on the inside of my knee, to check if the ligament was torn. Diagnosis- it was inflamed from my stupid IT band passing over it. I walked limped away with a giant ice pack strapped to my knee.

You know what's good for pain, BEER. Thanks to the Highland Brewing Company my bib came with a coupon for two beers. A muscle relaxant, carbs and tasty all in one, what more could you want. A couple of those and I was talking the ear of my friends, who'd drove up for the day to see me finish. We headed out to lunch. I had another beer (and lots of water) and half a pizza. I really thought I'd eat everything in sight but I didn't really taste the pizza and was full after less than half of it.

I went back to the hotel to assess the damage and shower. Besides a tiny blister on one toe and some weird gunk from my belly button there was no rubbage. Thank you BodyGlide and Fleet Feet! Everyone was exhausted especially the pup! We all fell asleep with the TV on. 2 hours later my angelic best friend went to a CVS and came back with lots of liquids and a large bag of ice (forgetting that most hotels have an ice machine). I proceeded to basically bury myself in that bag of ice. I would have had an ice bath but I was worried I'd fall asleep in it!

I ate the rest of my pizza, had a protein shake and slept for the rest of the night after a healthy application of water and ibuprofen.
The next morning I continued to ice my knee. I knew the best thing I could do for my body was to walk a little and stretch but walking might not be so good for my knee right now.

My desire to see DuPont State Forest won out. I'm a little obsessed with the Hunger Games so I really wanted to see some of the filming locations in the park (at the waterfalls). No serious hiking was involved all the trails were leveled with gravel. I quickly learned that my knee didn't hurt if I walked downhill backwards. I looked like an idiot but I think the alternative moans of agony might have made me seem like more of a weirdo. Small children were passing by me even when walking forwards but it was a beautiful day for a walk and the waterfalls were spectacular.
Stairs, ouch!

This is how the cool kids walk down a hill
Totally worth it.

It's now 4 days post marathon. Each day is like getting up to a new and improved body as the soreness recedes. I'm pretty much back to normal now. I've been on a steady diet of ibuprofen, not something I like to take, so today I cut it down a lot, only needing some this evening for my knee after a day on my feet. I'm icing my knee 3-5 times a day, as well as stretching everything focusing on my IT band and my dreaded foam roller has seen lots of use.

 I got a massage yesterday from my regular masseur...heaven. After 4 visits she has managed to deknotify (my own technical term) my, until now, permanently knotted back. Yesterday she went to town on my legs. She noticed the swelling and tenderness in my right knee but said overall my left leg was in a worst state, poor thing compensated for my right one I guess. I know massages are expensive (I'm not rich believe me I know they cost money) but its worth it...not only for recovery but to help with any hard training. While I was training my runs after a massage felt like I was floating along and post-race just one massage has taken care of any residual muscle soreness.

Right now all my plans are all up in the air. A lot of it depends on my knee but I might start a swimming regime this weekend to keep my fitness up. I've even contemplated getting a trainer for my bike so I can use it indoors in the evenings to build up my weak quads. Someone smack me for saying this but I even miss running. My knee is already feeling better but I know from experience how this injury can linger so all I see in my future for sure is stretching and ice!

1 comment:

  1. Smart plan. After my first marathon, I had a small protein shake and an ice bath. The next day, I did a slow 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by time in the gym sauna and hot tub.