Ventura Marathon: Super Excellent Recovery Week…Sorta

“Can it wait until after my marathon?” That was a common question that was either voiced aloud or to myself.

The race took place on Sunday, and at 9:30 Monday morning I was at UCLA to get a procedure that I had put off until after Ventura. This paragraph will be brief: It was a chick-thing.

More chick stuff got handled later in the day when I finally got my keratin treatment done. Geez, especially with the high humidity here, my hair was been unruly, and there have been many ponytail days. Since I can’t workout for 48 hours after getting the treatment done, I “had” to wait until after the marathon. Check.

Caught up with Husband. This past Wednesday, we celebrated fourteen — 14 y’all! – years of marriage. Yay us!

Taken in Phuket, Thailand the year we got married.
Taken in Phuket, Thailand the year we got married.

After consuming pizza, cake, lemon bars, and kettle chips, I tried to get some nutrients in me. I even dabbled in “cooking”. Ha. Actually, it was the exact opposite. I found myself incorporating some raw foods into my diet to move my recovery along. I juiced, ate raw cereal, and made raw cashew cream to eat with my dates. Hmmm, maybe I should have been eating like this before my marathon. Ya think?

I also made a trip to the acupuncturist. In addition to the standard needle procedure, she performed a couple new techniques on me: a cupping massage (I usually have static cupping) and a rapid release massage with what looks to be a prop borrowed from the Fifty Shades set.


But that’s not what you’re here for. How’d the running go, right?


Post-marathon recovery for two of my last three marathons has been, well, disappointing would be an understatement. During the 2013 Ventura Marathon I suffered my first IT band injury, and it took me three months to recover. Post 2014 Mountains2Beach Marathon found me taking another three months off after suffering an IT band injury in my other knee. At this point, post-marathon had become almost as stressful as the actual marathon. Basically, I couldn’t exhale until after I got the first ten-mile run in post-race. After Mountains2Beach this year, my knee was definitely sore from that downhill pounding, and sure enough, I had to bail a quarter-mile into my first recovery run when I felt that familiar twinge on the side of the knee. No bueno. Since I had a big vacation planned, I just took a two week break from running, and when I finally laced up the Nikes, I didn’t skip a beat. I was thrilled!

But this time…Friends, I ran three miles on Thursday with no problem. And this weekend I got through a five and ten-mile run easily. Instead of recovery months, I had a recovery week. Finally!

Raising the roof in celebration of the first successful recovery run!
Raising the roof in celebration of the first successful recovery run!

This makes me quite hopeful about my upcoming races. Even though my actual finishing time in the Ventura Marathon was somewhat disappointing, I felt fitter at the end, minus the heat, and my quick recovery indicates that my body is getting stronger and more acclimated to the marathon distance. All good things.

So what’s the caveat in the title? Well, I had hoped to add one more procedure to my busy post-race Monday, and that was to get a cortisone shot in my chest to hopefully reduce, if not eliminate, the inflammation. I had yet another exam, and my concierge doctor suggested that I wait another two weeks. It may be more of a nerve inflammation, and it is located in an area that has a lot of nerves and muscles and nodes and I don’t know what else there. Dr. K wasn’t sure how much a shot at that point would help and wanted to see if it would just go away after another two weeks. The good news is that three practitioners say it’s nothing that won’t eventually heal, but no one can say WHEN it will heal. In the meantime, almost three weeks in, it continues to be something that makes sleeping tricky and everyday tasks uncomfortable if not at times painful. Strangely, it seems to be less noticeable the longer into a run I get. The scariest part is that I tried to do a down-dog pose, but when I went down for the push-up portion, my left arm collapsed underneath me. There was no strength or flexibility. I am someone with above-average upper body strength for my size, and I can bust out fifteen (guy) push-ups on the random, but right now, I can’t do one. This is…well, it’s freaking me out.

I’m trying to stay positive and not think about it too much, and this week I hope to resume track (easy pace), do a longer long run, and basically start training for the next race. When I was in school I lived my life in semesters, and now it’s according to races. Basically, everything is happening in 8-12-16 week increments, and procedures are classified as “immediate” or “can wait until after the marathon.” Such is a runner’s life.

Hope everyone has a great running week!

Total weekly mileage: 18 miles
Long run: 10 miles easy
-6 sets of ab exercises
-11 sets of leg exercises
-rolling rolling rolling
-I also texted my trainer. That counts, right?

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