Recovery and rehab

15 Aug

Who knew it could take so long?


This part I hadn’t given any thought to. I knew, more or less, how the actual act of running and preparing to run an ultra could affect my body and mind, but it never dawned on me to find out what the effect would be afterwards.


For eight days straight, I was broken. I was so incredibly exhausted, ALL the time.  I slept for about 16 hours a day for the first three days.  I couldn’t eat, despite being told I should refuel and rehydrate. I was asleep most of the time and when I was awake I just wanted to be asleep.  My body felt wrung out, battered and broken.  I couldn’t walk up or down stairs.  So I just lay in my bed or on my sofa and slept, woke up, then slept some more.  I began to get worried, not really appreciating the effect such an act of endurance would have on me.  I got online and I found out it takes between 5-7 days to recover from any endurance event over 30 miles long.  Day 8 was the worst for me. I was at work by then but I was in physical agony, still tired, the whole effect brought me to tears.


By the next day it was as if I had woken from a coma. I felt amazing, in comparison to how I had felt.  I was human again, I could walk again.  I could go a whole day without a nap!  This was real progress.  Of course, I hadn’t fully recovered.  It’s taken me a month to get round to writing this update.  Deep, deep down my body is still repairing.  I am still sleeping very well every night, dropping off immediately but at least I wake up refreshed.  My legs still ache occasionally and so I’ve been to see my physio and my osteopath.  He was the one who pinpointed that TFL issue I had in the closing stages of each day of the race.  I now have daily stretches and exercises to do to help that recover.  I have run only three times since the event and each time felt good, apart from the niggling TFL so I’m giving it total rest now.  Total, unmitigated rest.  OK, I’ve been swimming, and I’m walking quite a lot, but not running.  I’ve got myself a new pair of trainers as an incentive for when I’m ready to go again.  At the moment they are shiny and bouncy and silently beckoning me back to the world of running….


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