How I feel after running a marathon

After a crossing the finish line I am physically exhausted and in some pain. My first thought is “when can I sit down?” 

After the Chicago Marathon I did not get to sit down until about 1 1/2 hours after the race! Once I was able to finally have a seat I tried to stay sitting most of the day, with the exception of walking to and from the car and into restaurants.

For me, the pain is different after a marathon versus the next day. Directly following the marathon my feet are extremely tired feeling, my hips are sore, and my legs are simply exhausted.

The day after the marathon my feet and hips are back to normal- no pain.

My legs, core, and upper back/shoulders are another story…

I usually try to avoid medicine, but I do take ibuprofen immediately following a marathon, and throughout the next day to help with soreness and inflammation.

I woke up Monday and struggled a bit to get out of bed! I am not surprised to have extremely sore legs, but shoulders and back?! It does make perfect sense though.

Running for 3-4 hours straight does a toll on your whole body.

If you think about it, your body is upright with no form of relaxation for 4+ hours, while your shoulders and arms are also moving.

I am slow moving the whole day following a marathon (as well as the rest of the day of the marathon). Each step I take is painful, mainly in my quads. My calves are pretty good, a little sore, but overall they feel great. My hamstrings are also in perfect shape, surprisingly.

Even a simple touch to my quads causes pain. The pain is from thousands of microscopic muscle tissue tears. That is okay though… it happens, and they will repair themselves (that is how your muscles become larger).

The only real struggle I face is going up and down the stairs, which I did a lot on Monday. I tried to rest on my couch for the majority of the day, but avoiding the stairs was not an option. I’m sure it was comical looking.

I took a hot bath to allow my muscles to soak, which felt great. It was a little difficult to relax due to Charlie. He has an irrational fear of water and tried to “rescue” me from the tub the whole time.

I am not a napper, but I did enjoy a two hour nap on Monday. It was much needed! If you’re training for a marathon or have just run one, please make sure to get extra sleep! Your muscles do the most repair when you are sleeping.

Charlie also took a nap with me.


The rest of Monday night I tried to contain myself to either my couch or lounge chair.

My friend came over to watch the newest Walking Dead with Morgan and I. We recored it from Sunday night, so we were extremely anxious to watch it. Do you watch it? What did you think? It was SO intense! I had anxiety the whole episode! My two favorite parts of the episode:

  1. Darryl and Carol hugging
  2. Rick running to Judith


As far as Tuesday… I am still quite sore (just in my quads though). My shoulders are a little sore, but much better.

I expect to be feeling back to normal by Thursday.

I am not sure how many days I will take off from running (I am already going crazy). I am definitely taking one full week of ANY form of exercise. I’ll just have to see how I feel come next week and ease back into running.

How do you feel after a major run?!

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