Now that the 21 miler is in the books the tapering process begins in earnest. It’s important to take several complete days off from running to allow the muscle soreness to completely disappear. The residual effects of Saturday’s long run can actually cause soreness to worsen on the second day so don’t be alarmed if this occurs. Walking and other forms of low-impact cross-training (i.e., spinning, deep water running, yoga, elliptical, etc.), along with getting enough rest, eating well, and staying hydrated and using the Roll Recovery R8 will speed your recovery.
Many first-time marathoners can’t imagine how they’ll be able to run another 5 miles after the incredible effort it took to make the ascent up Heartbreak Hill Saturday. There are two very compelling reasons that contribute to this doubt. Once your mind knows the precise distance you’re running on a given day it communicates that to your body. If you were only scheduled to run 13 miles yesterday, I can assure you that you would have looked forward to just getting to 13 miles. And you would have been just as grateful the run was over at 13 miles as you were when you completed the 21 miler.
Most importantly, Marathon Day is a completely different experience. Saturday doesn’t even constitute a dress rehearsal for the Boston Marathon. Despite running with several hundred other runners as you made the trek from Hopkinton to Boston College, you were largely running alone compared to what your journey will be like on April 21st. Very few of the cars on the marathon course were happy about all the runners slowing their progress. But in just a few short weeks, all of New England will be focused on the Boston Marathon. The marathon course will be entirely yours for as long as you need it to be.
Those same drivers that were frustrated by your presence on ‘their’ roads Saturday will be laying out the red carpet for you and providing a heroes welcome as your make the journey into Boston. You will plan to run 26.2 miles on April 21st and your mind will communicate that to your body to make sure it’s ready to cover the entire marathon distance.
And the unimaginable excitement of everything the Boston Marathon entails is your assurance that you will make it to the finish line!