I've recovered (mostly) from Sunday's exciting accomplishment and actually went for my first post-race run today. I thought since I could go up and down stairs without crying that it would be okay. It felt really good although my shins are still a bit tender. I need to make sure I stretch better next time. I also read yesterday on the Runner's World website that if you take an ice bath or ice your legs after a race it helps with recovery...so I know now that long hot shower the day of and the long hot bath the next day were not the right move...and for all those well meaning friends who told me to get in the hot tub, I'm just glad our hot tub is emptied in summer because I probably would've!!! *Mental note: stretch better and ice bath next time. Yes, I said next time. In between the physical discomfort and forced self-brainwashing there was a part of me that enjoyed it. I definitely enjoyed the training--it got me back into regular running and during the race I could feel how much better shape I was in compared to before I started the training. And I love having a goal to strive for and then to be able to say I've accomplished it is even better. Thirteen point one miles is totally doable and I think I could even do better next time. No, I know I could do better next time. There is a marathon & a half over in Bozeman in September and I'm seriously considering it. My friend S is already training for it and my half buddy C is thinking about it, too. So, I just might do it..... (at this point I have no desire whatsoever to do a full marathon...the time commitment involved with the training is huge and the thought of doing double of what I did on Sunday seems impossible).
So besides letting my body recuperate, I've also had the chance to check out the race photos online. Now, let me just preface this by explaining that no one, except sometimes professional runners, looks good in their race photos. You don't know its coming so you don't have any chances to prepare--to smile (yeah, you might have to force a smile)or to wipe the sweat (and boy is there sweat!!) off your brow or to even straighten your bunched up shorts (one good reason to try out the cool new runners skirts). Besides being snapped without warning, you're being snapped while you're running...that says it all--you're not posing for your senior portrait or wearing your best outfit and you don't even have your hair styled! So, I looked up my photos with hope, but not much and I can honestly say I was disappointed. Sure, I have the non smiling face, eyes focused on the end while my mouth is doing nothing semi-attractive. My forehead is shiny and my already unstyled hair is messy from miles of bouncing. Even the one picture of me at the end---I am right next to C and she is raising her arms triumphantly in the air and smiling at me while I am "eyes down one foot in front of the other ready to die if I don't stop running soon" is sadly not print worthy. Even without all the sweat and grimace face I wouldn't pay money to print the ugly thing, mainly because I am so freakin' fat in it.
Yes, I've been running my butt off for the past 4 months and strangely enough none of my butt is gone! I knew I hadn't lost any weight, I've been avoiding the scale like the plague because I didn't want to get discouraged by that fact, but there was a huge part of me hoping that maybe I was losing inches or gaining lost of lung space and heart efficiency instead. And I know my lungs and heart are stronger, but come on, give a girl a break!!! That's another reason I'm thinking about doing another race, no not for the second chance at pictures, but for the second chance at training---maybe this time I can do better with the eating (I guess even though I am running my butt off I really don't deserve that ice cream or extra helping of bread) and incorporate more calorie burning cross training. This time I want it to be more than just training to finish the race but training to be healthier because I certainly can't be healthy dragging all that extra weight around. So I've done some reading about dieting while running and I know that its probably just gonna boil down to good ol' calorie counting. I know what I need to eat but its the whole portion control thing I have a problem with. *sigh* I hate counting calories. Then again, I hate these pictures of me more.