Post-Long Run Survival

I came to a realization this weekend: The hardest part of marathon training isn’t going to be the long runs. It’ll be the long run recovery.

I’m still so pumped that I ran 14.5 miles yesterday. Three years ago I couldn’t run more than a few blocks — nor did I want to. Now I look forward to pushing myself on these longer runs, and I enjoy getting out there as often as possible.

Things are so different.

Who am I?


The run itself was challenging, sure. But what came next was really tough: functioning.

I had a hard time with that yesterday.

After the run, I took a long shower. I put on my bathrobe. I tried to eat — though admittedly my appetite didn’t kick in until a few hours later.

Then I fell asleep.

I would wake up for a minute.

And then I would fall back asleep.

It was a vicious cycle, especially since I had an evening of fun planned.

I was wiped, though, and it was really hard motivating myself to do anything. In the future I want to make sure I plan my long runs for early enough in the day so that I have ample time to nap before any evening plans need to go into effect.

Despite my exhaustion, last night was so much fun.

There are certain words and phrases that make me want to vomit.

  1. Moist
  2. Infection
  3. Pus
  4. Hairless cat
  5. Bachelorette party

Last night I attended a bachelorette party. I didn’t vomit, though.

Normally the thought of a giant group of girls running around the city clad in boas and sashes and all that jazz gives me anxiety. I don’t mind the tradition of a bachelorette party, but the whole, “Let’s buy a penis cake and wear penis necklaces and do body shots off boys with penises who aren’t your future husband” mindset isn’t for me.

Luckily, my friend Alex is super cool. So are her friends.

She demanded a “no penis” bachelorette party.

(I’m kind of horrified that I’ve now used that word so many times on the blog. I’m so sorry, Mom.)

This party involved three parts:

  1. Taking a hip hop dance class.
  2. Enjoying a family style dinner at an awesome restaurant downtown.
  3. Dancing.

*Side note: I finally bought compression socks yesterday! And I proceeded to wear them under my jeans during all of the aforementioned activities.

The hip hop class would’ve been more fun if I wasn’t so immediately sore from the run. My knees were sort of achy, but that didn’t stop me from obsessively going full out every time we did the choreography.

We learned a fun routine to “Dynamite” and even though only about half of us were former dancers, everyone got into it.

The champagne, cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberries didn’t hurt, either.

I met Alex through Team Challenge and it was great to have some fellow TC-ers at the party.

After hip hopping our little hearts out, it was time to change and head to dinner.

We had a gorgeous, private room at Supper, located in the East Village. NYC-ers, go there. This place is to die for. It has lots of levels and the food was fantastic.

As always, dessert was my favorite part.

I was a really bad sharer last night and every time someone at the table reached a fork near that chocolate cake, I practically swatted it away. My cake.

After dinner came more dancing at Bowery Electric. To be honest, I was dead by this point. My legs were heavy, my knees were tight and my skin was hurting as a result of some unfortunate chafing (running = sexy).

I didn’t drink much and after some fun people watching I decided to call it a night.

I was home and sound asleep after a very successful evening by 1:30 am.

I was hoping to sleep in this morning and I didn’t set an alarm. But as usual, my body woke up with the sun. By 7:30 am my day had started.

Another thing I plan to learn more about over the next few months is day-after recovery.

Some people take total rest days.

Some people do yoga.

Some people do a shakeout run.

What worked for me today was a lot of stretching and foam rolling and a spinning class.

I use the term “spinning class” lightly. I hardly turned up my resistance and my sprint was barely faster than my regular pedaling speed.

But my legs wanted to move. The thought of holding long poses in yoga seemed torturous and I couldn’t even fathom going for a run.

Spinning was perfect…for me.

The rest of my day was spent walking around downtown and running some errands.

I’m very excited that the month of May is finally here. This is usually my favorite month of the year (there just may be a certain birthday happening this week). This entire weekend has been perfect, with tons of sun, a cool breeze and “wear whatever you want” temperatures.

And yes, I remembered to say “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” this morning. Did you?

I’D LOVE YOUR INPUT: What’s your post-long run survival strategy? Do you rest? Actively rest? Sleep a lot? Eat a lot? Drink a lot?



0 Responses

  1. The good news is that many have come before you and they have conquered. My cousin was SO surprised but loved that her fancy little bachelorette party turned out to have a little naughty side too.

  2. i love alex’s hip hop shirt like whoa.

    i find that every long run hits me differently. sometimes I end up sick, totally wiped and unable to move for hours. other times I’m energized and ready to paint DC red white AND blue.

    i think spinning is a sweatastic way to recover from a long run. it totally shakes out your muscles and does good things for your legs. also, immediate frozen fruit, protein powder and coconut water smoothie is a staple for my post run recovery.

  3. Good job on the 14+ mile run… Every milestone you cross in training will amaze you, after running 3, I am still amazed at the fact of running 18 – 20 miles and that it is possible for the body to accomplish it!

    Keep it up


  4. Fun times! I love the idea of a non-traditional bachelorette party. It sounds like a perfect night out.

    I’m basically pretty lazy, so I use any excuse to lay around. Long runs are perfect for that. After a long run, I stretch, eat, drink, and put my feet up. When the mileage gets really high, I take an ice bath, which I highly recommend. I’ve never done more than a very easy workout the next day.

  5. Nice night out-looks fun!

    For long runs, I recover best by first making sure I slept enough the night BEFORE the long run, drinking lots and lots of water after the run, and walking around afterwards. Sounds weird, but I got more sore by just sitting on my butt after a run. Foam rolling helps when done right after, as well. SO does stretching. These all worked for me! I recovered amazingly well after my 2nd marathon b/c I had a professional massage scheduled for 4 hours after running it–SUCH a great idea 🙂

  6. Rest days, whether it’s complete rest or rest from a specific activity, are so important in training. We need balance, and when we don’t balance, we tend to get unhealthy in some way. Glad “light spinning” works for you!

  7. The long run recovery will get easier! I always have a recovery drink immediately after my run (either Hammer Recoverite or a scoop of whey protein powder mixed w/milk). Then an hour later, a high-carb type meal (usually oatmeal or bagel w/fruit). And lots of water plus a couple cups of coffee, too!

  8. Post long run, I love to hang out with my best friends: the couch, a water bottle, and some good TV. If I feel like it, I’ll take a walk, but usually not. I’ve learned that a little rest goes a long way in getting stronger overall.

  9. Ah the “traditional” bachelorette party is definitely not my style either…at all. Dancing and pasta sounds much more fun to me!!
    The day after long runs I do a short, easy run and a little bit of yoga and lots of stretching and foam rolling. When things are really hurting I also ice (though I should probably get in the habit of icing regardless!) Glad that the spin class felt good for you today!

  10. Ahhh I ALWAYS forget to say “rabbit, rabbit” on the first of the month. You just reminded me! Aww, Man.

    Looks like you had fun last night – despite the achin’ bod!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your compression socks.. and your training.. and just from you in general of course!

  11. For me, I realized after longer runs that I needed LOTS of fluid, some good ‘ol carbs (bagel, mm) and total vegging for awhile after my longer runs when I trained for my half. I was always so wiped after the longer runs that I tried to do them as early in the day as possible on the weekend, which totally helped. Great approach!! PS. Love that this was a “no penis” bachelorette…I’m with you on that one!

  12. Just started reading your blog, which is hysterical, by the way! Random question, what brand of compression socks did you buy?


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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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