Written by Jen 'hot on your heels' Halliday.
As you may or may not know – Jacob and I completed the Northburn 100miler a while back (To find out the full story – see Jacob’s blog).
To say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done is an understatement. We were in training for the event for 6months, though it had been our goal for much longer than that.
I’m not sure if I really knew how long it would take to recover from such a brutal event…and I was quite blasé in how it would affect me.
Sleep – not only was I extremely tired (we were racing for 43hrs) the event was also very emotional – big highs and big lows. It took well over a couple of weeks to catch up on my sleep and not feel like I was in a fog. I made the mistake of going straight back to work, when I should have given myself the rest of the week off to sleep and recover.
Physically – My poor feet were so swollen I didn’t wear shoes for over a week – I just worked in my slippers! My toes were numb, which was a really weird feeling – in fact, my big toe is still slightly numb (4 months later). I lost a few toenails and (gross – sorry) all the skin peeled off my feet (see the blog about how to prevent and treat all manner of foot things during racing here: How to Avoid Trench foot and Blisters) – to reveal baby soft feet below – yay! I kept taking magnesium to help with muscle soreness, Epsom salts and long soaks in the bath and a good multi vitamin to ward off any bugs. And I treated myself to a massage!
Listen to your body– it took a good few weeks before I really wanted to go for a run – and my body told me when it wanted to stop too. Even though I felt great, my 1st few runs where well under 10km. When my body said stop, I did just that. One thing I am conscience of was chronic fatigue – so I took it really easy and slow.
After the race, I’ve spent time doing other things – other than running! Not having to train for an event has freed up time for family, friends and other activities. Now I’ve added in a cross-training class, the gym and bike riding to my training and I’m loving the variety!
Finally... After around 4 months I felt ready to train and work towards another event – What can I say!! Race fever has got me!