I have read that recovery after a road race takes approximately 1 day per mile raced. This being said then the 1/2 marathon race last Saturday would take about 2 weeks to completely recover. This was the longest road race that I have competed in (I have done triathlons where the total time was longer - for example - The Heart of Dixie was 1/2 mile swim, 27 mile bike, and 7 mile run - 2:22). I do not remember the recovery for that race lasting more than just a few days.
So this week following the 1/2 marathon last Saturday my legs have been hurting and very tired. I only swam or rode the bike trainer until Wednesday (4 days after the race). On Wednesday I ran 6 miles into work at a very conservative pace. This run should not have had hardly any effect on me. It was probably one of my worsts runs ever. I felt as if I was dragging my legs every step of the way. My time was at about an 8 1/2 minute per mile pace - any average training run.
Later that day is when we got out on the field for a little football. This was humbling. I run a lot - long runs, fast runs, intervals, etc, but just running around the field was hard. There is a different intensity when you are chasing someone and even more so when someone is chasing you.
Everyone was sore the rest of the week. I stayed off of my legs. So at this point I am not sure if I was sore after the football because of the lack of recovery from the 1/2 marathon or if the intensity of the football was really that high.
My training plan called for 1:45 minute run today. I was not sure how this was going to go and I was not looking forward to it. The temperature was low for Mississippi at about 35 degrees. I bundled up and hit the trail. Surprisingly the run went well. My legs worked themselves out and I was able to complete the prescribed 1 hour and 45 minute run with few difficulties. My right hamstring did get tight at the 10 mile mark but it worked itself out. Total mileage for the run was 12.5 miles for a just under 8 1/2 minute per mile pace.
I have been planning a full marathon for the spring of next year. Considering the recovery I am now having second thoughts. The recovery for a full marathon could cause my fitness to suffer.