Marathon Aftermath and Recovery

Hello, friends. Sorry for the radio silence last Friday.

After getting home from a business trip late Thursday evening, there wasn’t enough caffeine in Northeast Tennessee to get me through a blog post.

I think the emotions and fatigue from the marathon finally caught up with me. I was passed out from exhaustion about three seconds after the girls were in bed.

A Whirlwind Week

After getting home from Richmond on Sunday afternoon, I lounged on the couch and watched football.


No, I watched helplessly as my beautiful daughters – who’d spent the last five hours in the car and had a megaton of energy – pulled out every toy, book, and puzzle and turned our living room into a disaster area.

I also started the first of 17 loads of laundry and tried to get things ready for my trip, all while navigating the stairs in the spectactular side-stepping fashion required after running 26.2 miles.

Monday was a total blur as I desperately tried to dig out from an avalanche of work email, while simultaneously getting ready to leave town.

Preparing for Potential Pandemonium

Before children, getting ready for a trip was easy. Pull out the suitcase, carefully select my favorite business attire, and, voila, ready to go.

With two kiddos under five, this is infinitely harder. Before I even think about myself, I have to get everything ready the girls might need while I’m gone.

Do they need anything for preschool? Is there enough clean laundry to survive potential accidents of the potty, craft, or meal variety? Are there yummy snacks to keep them occupied without launching them on an epic sugar high?

At least I don’t have to worry about prepping breastmilk anymore. That’s enough to launch the Mother of All Meltdowns!

Dressing for Success

And selecting my business attire is no longer a matter of style. It’s a matter of finding clean, work-appropriate clothes that don’t have telltale stains around the collar or chest from my teething, drooling, dripping, vomiting, or crying (sometimes all at once) offspring.

Somehow I managed to pull together a few semi-decent outfits. And shoes. Of the non-running variety. Which I avoided wearing unless absolutely necessary.

More on that in a minute.

Re-joining the Human Race

Tuesday morning I dropped the girls off and hit the road for Charlotte, NC to take a professional development class and visit customers.

I hadn’t been on a business trip since February. I was going a little stir crazy in my home office and was pumped to interact with someone other than the FedEx man.

I might have surprised the course instructor when I tackled him for a bear hug.


The thought only crossed my mind a dozen times. I’m a professional after all.

But I practically launched myself into Ashley and Lisa’s arms (AKA The Dose Girls!!) when I met them for lunch on Wednesday. They were sweet enough to drive into town and meet me during my course break.

This was my first blogger meet-up, and it did not disappoint. Ashley and Lisa are even more awesome in person! I just wish we’d had more time to hang out.


Rockin’ the Reverse Taper

I was so busy last week I barely had time to dwell on the fact I hadn’t run a single step since crossing the finish line at Richmond.

I was going to take it easy anyway, but the business trip was a convenient excuse to stay off my feet.

Plus, I’m still nursing a major marathon-inflicted boo-boo.

I didn’t include the details in last week’s recap, but I tore my heel up something fierce.

A few minutes into the race, I felt my right heel rubbing. I figured it was just because my socks were wet, and I didn’t give it a second thought because the pain quickly subsided. Or maybe I just ignored it in my panic at being at the back of the race.

Fast forward three and half hours. After crossing the finish line, I looked down to see my right heel and the back of my shoe covered in blood.


Apparently my wet sock and shoe had extracted a sizable chunk of my heel.

Last week, I had to cover it with Bean’s princess band-aids so I could wear my work shoes. The rest of the time I wore flip flops, which became increasingly problematic as the temps plummeted!

The cut is already much better, but I’m hesitant to run until it’s fully healed. It hurts when I go up and down stairs, and I don’t want to re-open it.

So, over the last week, I’ve been to the pool twice to swim laps. Otherwise, pretty much nothing. Nada.

With Age Comes Wisdom, or At Least Denial

A few years ago, this lack of activity would have driven me absolutely insane. I would have worried about loss of fitness. I would have been itching to lace up my shoes.

But, you know what? I’m totally ok with it.

My legs aren’t sore anymore, but my muscles are still tired. And so is the rest of this mama.

When my girls actually slept past 7:00 on Saturday, I rolled over and snuggled deeper under the covers. It was heavenly!

I hope my chill demeanor is not only a sign of maturity but also proof I gave the marathon everything I had.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m looking forward to setting new running goals after the holidays.

And fingers crossed my heel is better later this week so I can offset the copious amounts of turkey and dessert with some quality trail runs.

But, for now, I’m enjoying the extra cuddle & giggle time with my girls. Besides, I hear laughter burns a boatload of calories.

Pass the pecan pie!

Coca-Cola Photo By: DeusXFlorida

Do you indulge in downtime after a big race or event? What are your holiday plans? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving treat, savory or sweet?

55 thoughts on “Marathon Aftermath and Recovery

  1. What a week!! Doing the marathon and then zooming off to a business meeting…you’ve got superhero levels of energy and stamina! You are a force of nature!!
    We had SO MUCH FUN meeting you! Whoo Hoo!! I wish we’d had more time, too, but we will take whatever we can get!!
    I hope your heel heals very quickly (turkey and pumpkin pie will surely have healing properties for you) and you are able to get on with your new running goals after the holiday! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…Where In The World Are The Dose Girls?My Profile

    • I definitely believe in the healing power of turkey and pie! Especially if there is ice cream and whipped cream to top the pie! YES, meeting you was AWESOME, and I can’t wait until we can do it again!

  2. This is so great to hear (except about your heel – ouch!!!) because you certainly deserve a break and obviously, your body needs it. When I chose to be smart about my recovery (like you are) I usually come back into that first run and feel great plus, really excited about running again. Enjoy your time off – I know I will this week with the holiday and family visiting. Ahhhhh rest!
    Allie recently posted…Thankful For What I’m NotMy Profile

    • Absence from running is definitely making my heart grow fonder! I’m not ready to train for another race, but I’m looking forward to some peaceful runs on the trails. Running for the sake of running. Ahhhh, what a beautiful thing! Enjoy the holidays and don’t let the fam drive you too nutty!

  3. I was so happy to hear you met the Dose Girls. They are two of my favorites – both IRL and in the blogosphere. Oh, your heel! I’ve done some really bad blisters during distances races so you have my sympathy on that one. Can’t wait to hear what your new running goals are! I may set a few of my own for the spring….we’ll see.
    Ilene recently posted…Upside DownMy Profile

  4. Sounds like you are listening to your body in just the right way, and the benefit of extra rest equals extra snuggle time with Bean and Monkey is priceless!

    We run in a Thanksgiving morning race every year and then invite the Cruisers back to our house for brunch before we start cooking for our Thanksgiving feast. It’s become a wonderful tradition! Apple pie and vanilla ice cream is definitely my favorite Thanksgiving dessert!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…JFK 50-Mile RecapMy Profile

  5. Ouch on the heel! I’m so sorry-that bloody heel on the sock and shoe is the worst thing about finishing a race :( I hope you get to relax this week. I am not going home. I hate traveling during Thanksgiving and love spending the time with friends.
    Amy recently posted…House-HuntingMy Profile

    • Traveling during the holidays can be a major pain. We’re within driving distance to family, but it looks like we’re going to get walloped with a big storm over the next few days. Could make things interesting!

  6. I hate that when we get home from a long trip, and the kids are so happy to be home and re-united with their toys that they plaster the whole floor with every single toy and/or book.
    And meeting The Dose Girls for your first blogger meetup? You skipped the starter step! You went right for (one of) the best. Mine involved Ilene and Michelle so I did too.
    I love downtime after a big event. Heck, even a small photo shoot requires the rest of the afternoon to relax and indulge.
    Tamara recently posted…It’s Because You Care.My Profile

    • You, Michelle, and Ilene?! Talk about cream of the crop! But, seriously, we need to figure out a way to have everyone meet up at one time! How awesome would that be?

  7. So glad you are enjoying some downtime from running. We all should take it and I certainly do after long races and/or runs. Our need is there for both mental and physical. Enjoy that time. It is ok!

    Speaking of your heel, it is my guess you wore some little short sock that I call “no seeum”. I always wear wool socks to run. Email me some time and I will tell you what I use.

    Now as for Thanksgiving, I plan to run the Turkey Trot 5k (one of my few short races of the year) Thanksgiving morning and then spend the rest of the day eating and spending the day with family.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • A fun run and a day spent with family sounds like the perfect holiday! Enjoy!

      You’re absolutely right – I was wearing a low-cut ‘no seeum.’ Will definitely pick your brain for recommendations!

  8. Yep, Pecan pie is on the Thanksgiving menu – just for you and me!
    Enjoy your down time with the girls and hubby!
    See you on Turkey day!
    Love, Mom

  9. Whew! What a week. Sorry about your heel- love the quote from R & J- “Tis but a scratch!” Ouch. Love the bit about the sideways stepping…
    I wish I could tell you that things get easier as the kids get older- and in some ways, they do. Your girls will become independent; one of mine can even do her own laundry now. But it also gets busier.
    Enjoy the down time ANYTIME you get it. Don’t feel guilty.
    Today I’m preparing for 12 people (all in-laws) to descend upon my house for Thanksgiving. Five days after they leave, we depart for Maui.
    Talk about stressed out packing…
    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
    Julia Tomiak recently posted…Why Reading Literary Fiction Improves Social SkillsMy Profile

    • Ohhh, I can’t even imagine the day I can share the laundry duties with the girls! Good luck with all of the holiday preparations. Try to channel some of that Aloha spirit early! So excited for your trip to Maui. You are going to have a FABULOUS time. Can’t wait to read all about it.

  10. Nicole, you are just amazing. Seriously! And you look fab in that sweater, love love love it! Right now, I can’t even begin to imagine how I could leave my little bean home for a business trip….but a night alone in a hotel sounds so incredible, arg. I actually gave up a trip to Bermuda, both because it was right before Memphis, and because I was worried about being away from the baby for 4 days! Now, what I wouldn’t give for just an overnight trip. Hahaha.

    Can’t wait to hear your post-holiday goals. I am on the upward swing of my “between baby” goals (or “sandwich goals” if you will….because I am trying to sandwich them right in between babies) and just hoping and praying I can tick these little goals off. Pretty stout order, so I am a little nervous if I can actually hit them all. We shall see!
    Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted…Two weeks till Memphis!My Profile

    • Crystal, you deserve major props for going after some HUGE sandwich goals. Love that by the way! It’s tough to leave the little ones behind for business trips, but missing them just makes the return that much sweeter. Scooping them up after a long trip away is one of the best feelings in the world!

  11. Blood makes you bad-ass. Like Curt Schilling bad-ass.

    After a big race (or game) I find the best way to celebrate is with the team and pizza or wings. Both, if we win.

    For the holidays, I’m praying for enough freezing rain to strand the girls and I at home. But not before I get a rotisserie chicken and fixins for pie and mac&cheese.

    My favorite treat for Thanksgiving: Pies. Not just one pie, but a sliver of everything offered. It’s like an all-star game for pies. God bless America.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted…On the Road Again: This time, at a Dish of Daily LifeMy Profile

    • Yes, nothing like a little blood to elevate a mama’s status to bad-ass. Spit-up and drool are a different story entirely! And I wholeheartedly agree. Celebrating a victory with food is a MUST. But would you believe it if I told you it took several hours to get my appetite back after the marathon? The first order of business was a very hot shower. Which felt absolutely DIVINE, except for the moment the water hit my bad-ass wound. Holy friggin’ OUCH! And, Eli, BLASPHEMY! Chicken on Thanksgiving? Even a Hokie won’t skimp on the turkey when loading up her plate on Thanksgiving!

  12. I’m in recovery mode this week too.
    My husband’s Christmas (yes, already) office party was on Saturday…..and the DJ was present. And I was representin’!!
    This is the story of how mama got her groove back.
    for 2 1/2 hours. in her fancy high heeled boots.
    And then couldn’t walk for 3 days. LOL

    I think I should set some loftier goals.
    Rorybore recently posted…Monday’s Music: Don’t U Forget About MeMy Profile

    • Rory, where are the pictures? Please tell me someone got pictures of mama getting her groove back in kickin’ boots! And dancing the night away deserves downtime for sure!

  13. Hope your heel feels better! Its amazing the things we don’t actually feel during the race that we do afterward. I had a big blood blister on the bottom of my right foot just below my big toe (I spared those details on the blog). But after a week of rest it is gone!

    I know that side step method for stairs :) when we got home we had to unpack the camper which involved at least 10 trips from the camper, into the basement, and up the long stairway to the main level of the house… and then back! My legs were in full on protest.

    I am looking forward to some trail running over the holidays, too! And possibly my first trail race in Jan (which I haven’t really talked about yet). NY favorite Thanksgiving foods are turkey, stuffing, and then its a toss up between pumpkin pie and egg custard pie. But I just ran a marathon, so that means I can eat all the things, right!? (Don’t answer that, its rhetorical) ;-)
    meagan recently posted…My first trail runMy Profile

    • Yikes, that’s a lot of stair climbing after the marathon! I still can’t believe you walked around the Nascar Museum after your race. You should definitely sign up for a trail race. They are so much fun and very low-key and relaxed compared to road races.

      And, I will definitely answer that question. Because the answer is an emphatic YES!! Enjoy an extra slice of pie – you just ran a marathon!

  14. Welcome back – I missed you! I don’t run big races (or any races), so I’ll just answer your food questions. Because I definitely eat. My favorite Thanksgiving treat is dessert, which is not much different than any regular meal. I like the holiday, but I don’t get super excited for it. Especially when I am cooking, which I am this year. At least I’ll burn calories running around the kitchen!
    Dana recently posted…Oh, to be a teenagerMy Profile

    • Dessert is my favorite part of any meal too! I firmly believe there’s a special section of your stomach reserved for sweets. No matter how full you are, there’s ALWAYS room for dessert. Major deja vu. Did you write about this dessert pouch on your blog? I feel like I’ve had this conversation before… Or maybe it’s just my stomach talking!

    • The temps have dropped big time here in the last few days, so snuggling deep under the covers is absolutely fabulous! You’re so right – absence from running is definitely making my heart grow fonder! And quickly forget how much I was hating running around mile 20 last weekend!

  15. You totally needed that down-time!! I’m so glad that you are taking it and letting your body recover.
    And – OUCH on the heel – I hope it is well enough for you to get a couple easy runs soon.
    So very awesome that you got to meet Ashley and Lisa! Great picture of y’all!!
    Kim recently posted…Almost Time to Bring out the Trees!!!My Profile

    • Aren’t Lisa and Ashley adorable?! Yes, my body was practically screaming for the downtime. I’m so glad I don’t feel the guilt anymore. Makes life much more pleasant!

  16. Okay, “grooving” mama, I’ll let this blog pass w/o comment (haha). See ya later this week and you can show me that heel injury. Love, Papa Q

  17. Sounds like a much-needed and well-deserved break, both physically and mentally. I usually give myself about a week of “do something, anything, as long as it’s something, whatever you feel like” – which keeps me moving but takes virtually all the pressure off. [And with two little kids, I think that you necessarily keep moving.]

    I’m in New Jersey with my family for the holiday; almost nothing could make me happier (except having KMN here with me). I’m gorging on cranberry sauce, baked-apple treats, peanut butter cups, and a fresh stick of deodorant (wearing, not eating, the latter). It’s been awesome. As the family trickles in, there will be even more food and family and general shenanigans as the week progresses. I can’t wait!
    Holly @ Run With Holly recently posted…Fortunately/Unfortunately (Nov. 26, 2013)My Profile

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