Post-Race Recovery… I’m Sore.

Yesterday, as you may or may not know, I ran the 2014 Hypothermic Half Marathon… in -25 (-32 windchill). I was a tad sore this morning when I woke up. I never really know which parts of my body will be sore after a race… it’s always just a nice little surprise the next day. Usually it is my quads and calves that are crazy sore because I am running faster than usual for a longer period of time. I think the cold weather changed my running form because my back was really sore this morning. 

It’s pretty understandable that hot weather slows us down, but even cold weather, especially anything below zero degrees, can really affect our running too. For me, the biggest thing I change when running outdoors is how I run. I have to stabilize myself on the ice and snow and that uses a whole bunch of different muscles than running strictly on clear, dry pavement does. I guess yesterday, in addition to trying to stabilize myself, I was trying to maintain a quick pace (for me), which made me hunch my back a bit. One thing I was kind of concerned about was breathing in super frigid air for a few hours and how it would affect my breathing. I sounded like a 67-year-old man who chain smokes when I finished the race yesterday, and for a couple hours after that, but my lungs felt better by the evening and it turns out our bodies are really good at dealing with the crazy things we put them through… phew! 

I was fairly happy with being able to maintain a 7:51 min/mile pace, considering how cold it was. I knew that pushing myself any faster, especially when I was kind of using this race as a training run time trial, would be silly. I set out for 8:00 min/mile because it is actually scientifically proven that cold weather slows us down!

So in reality, according to that table, I was running like 7:15 min/mile, right? 😉 The results for the half marathon were up online a few hours after the race. My Garmin was only 2 seconds off my official time and I came in at 1:42:27. One of the benefits of a small race is that you are more likely to place, which is an instant confidence boost. I think this race had about 200 people. My time was good enough for 1st in my age group (Females 20-29), 2nd woman, and 10th overall.

I joined my mom at the gym this morning but only to walk on the treadmill. Mondays are typically rest days on my training schedule and I am more than happy to not run today or do any crazy strenuous workout. I walked for 60 minutes just to loosen up my body. The rest of the day will be spent actually resting… and procrastinating studying during my last day off of school. I wore my favourite long sleeved shirt to the gym and some capris because I knew I wouldn’t be getting sweaty!

I didn’t drink enough on the race course yesterday, and by “not enough” I mean, I drank nothing. I should probably continue to rehydrate!

… and pop pills. 

It was actually a pretty awesome race yesterday and I fully expected to be a little sore today. I think my sore back just reminded me of how important running form is. If I can practice running with better posture on all of my training runs, when it comes to race day, I won’t even have to think about my form, I will just do it naturally. Cool weather is perfect to run in, but cold weather, not so much 😉 I think that my sore muscles are going to enjoy a day of rest, stretching, and lots of WATER, tea, and americano mistos. 

Are YOU always sore after a race? Do YOU think running in the cold makes a difference in your speed?


  1. Congratulations on your race and placing! Well done. 🙂 I am always slower in the winter because I am so scared of slipping. I was injured once from ice already so I am extra careful now.

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