The one thing that kind of sucks with most training programs is that they prepare you for (almost) every scenario that occurs on race day, but they don't prepare you for the horrors that occur the week after.
I'm just kidding, there really aren't any horrors. It's normal to feel run down and need more sleep (your body has to fix all that damage that YOU did to it!) but to be honest, everyone reacts differently. In fact the same person might react differently to different races! I know Hal Higdon calls this week "Zero week" and stresses rest-rest-rest! And who am i to disagree with Hal?? Some people like to go for a shake out run the very next day. Thats cool and all, but no one is expecting you to do that. I take a minimum of two days off from running and strength-training (haha, we all know i never do strength-training...). And thats if i am feeling perfect. I do like to walk around though especially with waffles, who pulls me along and does most of the work.
So what does my zero week look like you ask? (ok, no one asked.)
PROTEIN! Normally, because i don't eat a lot of animal by-products, i tend to have a low protein/high carb diet. It's what comes naturally to me. I know its not the natural thing to do, but i rely heavily on on protein rich nutrition drinks/supplements after a marathon.
SALT! You would think by now i have the hydration thing mastered. I don't. I ended up with a terrible side stitch, and was so loopy after the race that i realized i was extremely dehydrated. I think i did ok drinking on race day, but i did a terrible job drinking water all last week. I am snacking on olives, which are salty and high in unsaturated fat. And so delicious.
SNACKS! Sadly, marathons mess with my tummy a bit. I usually can't eat a large feast of a meal for a couple days. Which sucks, because after running 26 miles, i want to be able to conquer an entire pizza. I can't though (without getting sick at least) So i have literally been eating small and bland things every 2 hours. Luckily, at my job i can sit at my desk eating all day with minimal judgement.
EPSOM SALT! I really wish i would have bought a massage like three months ago. I didn't though. grrrr. Instead i have been soaking in epsom salt and foam rolling. It's actually quite nice! (although i totally smell like epsom salt now. And that smell just will not wash off!
SLEEP! Actually, i am still not getting quite as much sleep as i want. I want a lot though. And i have not alot going on this weekend, so i am SO sleeping in. It shall be glorious.
VITAMIN C! I get the sniffles after every marathon, and even after some of my harder half marathons. It's basically a karate chop to the immune system. I like the emergen-C mixes. I don't know if they really help though, i just sneezed like four times in a row.
RELAX! Seriously. I just ran a marathon. If you need me, i will be on the couch in sweat pants after work everyday, with a fleece blanket and a dog in my lap. And i will be watching brainless trashy reality tv. My mind needs a little break too! Aside from walking to keep everything from stiffening up, don't expect much from me this week!
I hope everyone is taking it easy this week. I am already getting the "itch" to get back to training to try and sneak some in before Dublin. Truth is, nothing i do between now and then will help me. But a lot could definitely hurt me. My main goal is to get there as rested as possible so i can bring my A game. It's in here somewhere....