I’ll admit that before I started this adventure, I was pretty well convinced I’d end up injured or walking many miles or both. Amazingly, neither happened. Not sure if any of my “necessities” will work for you, but here’s how I held my body together for 5 races.
- PB&J. Nuff said.
- Glide. Anywhere I could think of.
During the races
- Animal crackers. Seriously. Real food as fuel rocks when you are running slow and long. (My usual choice of gummy bears? They are hard when it’s below freezing…)
- Gatorade and Nuun
- KT-Tape – I’d never have made it without KT Tape on the balls of my feet.
- Compression socks. I didn’t run a single step without a pair on. I used CEP, ProCompression, and Recovery Socks and they all worked well.
- Start slow. With the exception of the first day, my first mile was my slowest of the each race. I tried to embrace the “start slow and go slower” mentality. I found I did well just running easy until I couldn’t and then running easier. This strategy allowed me to push it a bit on Friday.
- Take it one mile at a time. Or sometimes, one step at a time.
- “You can always walk.” Somehow, knowing that there was no shame in walking during these races, made it easier to keep running.
- Nice, long, hot as I could stand it, soak in Epsom Salts.
- Subway. What? You thought I was just eating there because that’s what I could find? Nope. A 6 inch ham and cheese sub with every.single.veggie (ok, I left off the jalapenos) and mustard was the best recovery meal ever. I still crave them. Beer Geek, on the other hand, may never be willing to eat there again.
- More compression. I had compression sleeves under my jeans every.single.day.
- Riding from place to place with my feet up on the dashboard.
- A small hike or walk every single evening as part of our sight seeing.
- Going to bed stupid early every.single.night.
I did foam roll a couple of spots once or twice, but I didn’t do that with any consistency. I think the true key to finishing without injury and without residual soreness was embracing the slowness.
If there’s one thing I learned about this journey it’s that it’s about finishing, not how fast you get there. And I can’t wait to do it again!