A month off running (and no post-marathon blues)

A pacer at parkrun with Tamsyn by his left shoulder.

London Marathon was a month ago and since then I’ve barely run. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to, but because I’ve had to catch up with everything I postponed whilst training. The housework has been neglected and I needed to do some studying. However, the benefit of the enforced break is that my knee has had some time to recover. Yesterday I managed my first pain-free post-marathon run. Unfortunately, my right foot is now hurting.

Post-marathon season’s best at Southampton parkrun (30/04/23)

I wasn’t sure how my first post-marathon parkrun would go. After my first marathon in 2012, I struggled to get around Eastleigh parkrun, but I was so keen to win the points competition that I kept going. It was a completely different picture after my last marathon, Southampton Marathon 2017. One week after racing, I managed a 53-second parkrun PB. I hoped that I would get a season’s best and that I might be able to achieve a sub-28-minute time.

Most of the way around, I stuck with the 29-minute pacer and didn’t realise that he was going too quickly.

A group of runners near the playground on the common. A man at the front is wearing a blue pacer vest. Tamsyn is by his left shoulder. She is wearing a London Marathon t-shirt and is smiling, showing she is glad to be running post-marathon

I did the best I could but didn’t quite manage to get under 28 minutes, which was frustrating.

Tamsyn's parkrun results email. She finished in 28:05.

I finished 13/47 in my age group and 118/404 women, which is much better than my recent performances. It was perfect conditions, so M managed a big PB finishing in just over 37 minutes.

Tamsyn and Stu with M sitting on the back of an ebike.
Tamsyn, Stu and M after finishing parkrun © Cary Vardy, 2023.

LRR training session (Monday 01/05/23)

On the first Bank Holiday Monday of May, I decided to go to my first post-marathon Lordshill training session. We met at the Sports Centre and ended up doing hill training. We ran up and down Golf Course Hill multiple times. I completed 6.2km.

If I’d known where the session was taking place, I would have just run to Golf Course Hill as it’s close to where I live.

It felt like I ran very slowly, but I think it was partly because it was a mixed group and most of the other runners are much quicker than me.

Rainy run at Southampton parkrun (06/05/23)

My next parkrun was with M at Southampton parkrun. At the start, I met Cary who also ran London Marathon. She finished well under the Good for Age time for her age group, which is a fantastic achievement. We also met Jo and her friend. Jo’s deferred her London Marathon place, so she was supporting the marathon and saw Cary during the race. Cary took a great photo of us, even though it was raining.

M and Tamsyn with Jo and another runner. They are all wearing rain jackets.
© Cary Vardy, 2023

M started off with her jacket and gloves on but removed them part way around as it was quite warm. It also stopped raining, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. M didn’t like the rain and complained about it for most of the run, so she wasn’t close to her PB. 40:33 isn’t a bad time for a 6 year old.

Tamsyn's results email: 40:33.

John’s 500th parkrun at Eastleigh parkrun (13/05/23)

The following Saturday we cycled to Eastleigh parkrun as it was our friend John’s 500th parkrun. We’ve known John for a long time. He’s been a local club runner for many years… but he’s seen sense and defected from Southampton Athletics to join LRR. I think John was the first(and only) person to shout “Hey Fat Girl” to me when at an event – I think he managed to offend quite a few people!

When we got to Eastleigh we saw lots of other runners who we knew including Southampton parkrun Run Director Malcolm. Mike was marshalling towards the top of the hill, which was good as he cheered me on every time I passed him.

My aim was to get under 30 minutes. Unfortunately, my legs felt tired and I didn’t quite make it. It’s easy to look back and think about how you could have found the energy to be a couple of seconds quicker, but I know I couldn’t have done any more as I was feeling drained.

Tamsyn's results email for Eastleigh parkrun: 30:01.

A hot run at Southampton parkrun (20/05/23)

In contrast with my last run at Southampton with M, this one was hot and dry. M was wearing leggings and a t-shirt and she found it far too warm. She stopped for drinks frequently (and also stopped to try to tie up her t-shirt every 500m). I was quite surprised that we finished in under 40 minutes.

Tamsyn's results email. She finished in 39:11.

A faster-than-expected run at Southampton parkrun (27/05/23)

I’ve been working lunchtimes, evenings and weekends on my assignment, so I’ve not been getting any exercise. I’ve also been eating badly, so I was pleasantly surprised by yesterday’s run. I was hoping that I might sneak under 30 minutes but managed to keep the 28-minute pacer in sight for most of my run. As usual, the third kilometre was where I struggled. I need to get better at sustained uphill running.

Tamsyn's results email from Southampton parkrun: 28:29.

This run was what I needed. I’ve got a bit more of my studying to complete in the next couple of weeks, but have done most of it, so will be able to get back to training.

What next?

A lot of runners that I know have said that they experience post-marathon blues. I was disappointed by my performance in London Marathon but had so many other things that I needed to do afterwards that I didn’t have time to get post-marathon depression. I have lots of goals for this year, including a race that I’ve often thought about. I’m also keen to get back to previous levels of fitness so that in the unlikely event that I get a place in the 2024 London Marathon I can achieve a PB.

I saw a post on Instagram about Truro Trail 10k (formerly known as ‘Meet Your Max’). It was a competition for a free place being run by Whirlwind Sports.

Screenshot of Whirlwind Sports' Instagram post. They were running a free prize draw to win a place in Truro Trail 10k (formerly known as 'Meet Your Max'.
Screenshot of Whirlwind Sports' Instagram post. Tamsyn is announced as the winner.

I was really surprised to win a place, so now need to work out the logistics of getting to Cornwall for a mid-week race.

I’ve got a number of time goals for parkrun which will require training and better nutrition:

  • 28:04 (this would be a season’s best for this year)
  • 27:59 (I’d love to get back under 28 minutes)
  • 27:39 (this would beat my best time from 2019)
  • 27:17 (this would beat my best time from 2018)
  • 26:59 (I’d love to get back under 27 minutes)
  • 26:11 (this would beat my best time from 2016)

I’d also like to get back to blogging regularly. I’ve got a half-written post about London Marathon to finish and I’ve been trying some new products that I’d like to blog about.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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