The post-marathon period can be a strange old time. Whether or not you’ve another race lined up immediately, it can be hard to motivate yourself to run again. Physically, of course, you may not have recovered fully yet, and so it may take time for your body and your running to return to normal.
Hopefully you have no post-marathon injury worries. This time last year, after the 2011 Dublin Marathon, I had knitting-needle stabs of discomfort in my right knee that required the no-nonsense intervention of my physio. But this year I feel fine, with no lasting ill-effects.
In fact, I wonder if I recovered too quickly for my own good. After a week off post-race, I was raring to go and scratching at the door to get out running again. Cue two weeks of barrelling around my five-mile route at race pace. Then last Saturday I had my first post-marathon long run: 12 miles along my usual Saturday morning route of forest roads, with stretches where I couldn’t hold myself back from running hard and fast.
And this week I’m feeling the effects of all that.
Tonight on my five-miler I could barely lift a leg and shuffled all the way round. Posture and form went out the window; you’d have thought I was ploughing through mile 25 as the clock neared 5 hours. I hadn’t an ounce of energy in my body or my mind.
So, I probably have a few weeks to go before I get the balance right again. And I should be mindful that I ran a marathon only a couple of weeks ago. The marathon is in three parts: the training, the race and the recovery. You can’t afford to be cavalier about any of them.