In Praise of Recovery and Tough Guy Trainer

I generally don’t like to run for about a week after a marathon. The old rule of thumb is a day off for every mile raced, but that doesn’t mean no running. It just means, take it easy. But I like a whole week off from running and that’s mostly what I did this time around too. Except, May 31st is my “runniversary” – the anniversary of the day I started running. In 2009, May 31st was my day one, week one of the Couch to 5K program and of course, I like to celebrate that with a run. In this case, a run of one fairly slow, fairly creaky, mile. But a run nonetheless!



I was really happy to take the rest of the week off and just walk with friends and do some yoga or even, gasp, do nothing at all. I also got a massage.  And I ATE! It’s 11 days after the race and I feel like I’m still hungry.

On the Sunday a week after the race, I went for a quick run with a Sub 30 buddy who was in town for his daughter’s swim meet. Four creaky miles. But the last one felt better than the first one at least.


Then Tuesday, a sweaty and disgusting five miler with Snarky Girl and Wednesday, a three and a half mile jaunt with Rooster. My legs still felt pretty dead and mostly I was wondering when these runs would be over with already.

Thursday I met with Tough Guy Trainer. Part of me was dreading going because, ugh, so hard and he’ll ask me to do chin-ups and what if he wants me to do squats? But I’m a creature of habit and anyway, my week-of-nothing was over, so back to the gym.

I’m so glad I went and I just want to give a big shout-out to Tough Guy Trainer! Of course, it was fun to go over the race with him. And, of course, we did do chin-ups, which were fine, actually. I didn’t lose nearly as much ground on those as I did last training cycle. Then during the rest of the workout, he made three adjustments that just show how personal personal training can be. First, we did do squats, but with only 12.5 pound dumbbells. The most I’ve done is 75 pounds with the bar and I thought, is he going to want me to do that? But of course, he didn’t and he could tell that even the 12.5 pound dumbbells were plenty on my weary legs. I don’t know if lunges had originally been on the menu, but if so, he dropped them after seeing those squats.

I also did some rows with the cable machine. He threw quite a bit of weight on there and I was struggling, but, being me, when he asked, I claimed I was just fine. He didn’t say a word. Just took some of the weight off for the next set. On the other hand, my triceps were not apparently terribly involved in the race so when the tricep pull-downs were too easy, he added more weight and in fact, then we also did a round of dips on the bench. I love how he adjusts on the fly and I felt great after this workout. Full of energy for the first time since the marathon!


Today is 12 days post-race and right on schedule, I finally started to feel some pep in my legs. SUCH a difference! I’ll still take it easy for a couple more weeks, but it’s awesome to start to feel like myself again.


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2 Responses to In Praise of Recovery and Tough Guy Trainer

  1. I would definitely be taking a break after running a marathon! I think I took a week off after my Disney challenge race- boot camp but no running. Sometimes it feels good to do something outside the normal routine! Oh and I eat ALL THE FOOD for like a week after a big race. Totally normal.

  2. I am always hungry for DAYS or even a week after a marathon. It’s like my body doesn’t want to eat the day of or after, but then it tries to make up for it tenfold by Tuesday haha!

    I’m glad your legs are starting to feel better!

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