After the Chickamauga race, I was pretty exhausted and with good reason. During the race, I could tell that my legs were getting sore, which was one reason why I went into Marathon Survival Mode. It wasn't until today when the residual pain has subsided. It is hell to have to walk down stairs after a long run or marathon. luckily, I wasn't as bad as I have been after a marathon. I was still hurting quite bit but there are things that you can do to speed up recovery. For muscle pain, I try to get a deep tissue massage of my legs after a marathon, this helps recovery by almost 2 days. Also, the night of the marathon, I use one of the back massager on my legs and this also helps speed up the recovery by a day or 2.
After Richmond in 1999, my first, I was still sore a week after the race. Then, in 2001, we were walking through Carolina Pottery in Myrtle Beach (after the MB marathon) and she used one of the massager on my leg. Instant satisfaction! Oh me oh my! Then, after Richmond I used the birthday certificate for a sports/deep tissue massage. It was a little painful at first, but I was ready to go the next day!
If I had planned on doing the marathon, perhaps I would brought the massager, but alas, I did not… so my soreness was compounded with the ride home from Chattanooga (1.5 hours) but I did walk around some and that helped.
What doesn't recovery quickly is trauma to the toes and feet. They take a lot of abuse over the course of a marathon and all the running that you do before the marathon is to toughen up your feet and toes for the whole 26.2 miles. This is similar to a guitarist conditions his fingers to play the guitar. I have lost toenails before from long runs before, that is a common occurrence. I have had regular blisters, blood blisters and tender toes. I could tell while running that I was going to have some toe issues after wards.
When asked “What is the something that a new marathon runner should know before running a marathon that isn't frequently asked?” My first reply is “Toe Nail Maintenance”. You can reduce the toe trauma by making getting your toe nails cut. I wouldn't suggest a pedicure until after the marathon because you want the callous skin to protect you. If you let your toe nail get all scraggly, that over the course of the race, your toe nails can cut through your sock and cut into the tongue of your shoe? It depends on how you carry your toe during your stride…
Below, is a picture of my toe from Saturday. Luckily enough, only one toe was affected. Once I trimmed my nails, it relieved some pressure. The nail was stressed but still seated strongly in the toe, so I know that I won't lose it now. You can tell that I needed to give my piggies a little TLC before the race, but I thought I was only running 10 miles!