Warning: You might find that the following contains too much information. If you continue reading and get grossed out then all I can say is, "You've been warned."
After I crossed the finish line at the marathon I was physically spent. Emotionally I was on cloud nine because I was so happy about how far I'd been able to run at my goal pace but I had no energy left and my body already hurt.
Fairly early in the race, maybe 6 miles in, I felt some chafing in the back of my crotch under my right butt cheek. I think they call that area the gluteal fold. I tried pulling the crotch of my shorts up to make sure that skin wasn't rubbing on skin but it really didn't help. On the downhill to the lake between miles 7 and 10 I started getting blisters on the bottoms of both of my little toes. As the race progressed both of these areas continued to hurt with the toes causing me the most concern. It wasn't a case of lacing my shoes too tight like in the previous race; I'd very carefully laced them this time to avoid that problem. The toes felt quite sore and it felt like I had grape sized blisters in the fold between the toe and the foot. By the end I felt pretty sure that I'd find blood in my socks.
They had a party with a good band in the American Airlines Center along with some food and refreshments for the runners. The stadium is awesome, but all the tables and food were on the stadium floor which meant going down stairs. The steps were shallow, but I was barely able to hobble down. I was walking like a 70 year old man with arthritis in his hips and lower back. My legs had no strength left at all. About all my stomach could handle was a small bowl of pasta salad, a banana, and a frozen orange/banana smoothie. We ate a bit and then we had to get back to the hotel and check out.
When I looked at my face in the bathroom my eyes were surrounded by a mask of salt crystals. As I took off my shorts I was a little dismayed to see the crotch of my underwear red with blood (I warned you). The leg opening of my underwear had worn a series of holes through my skin in several places starting with the middle of my groin around to my buttock. When I got in the shower the salt from the sweat washed into the open sores and burned like pouring salt water into open wounds.
Surprisingly, the toes didn't look too bad. The inside edge of the pads on my little toes had a thin blister along the edge, but no blood and no big blister.
I then put the stopper in the tub and sat down as the tub filled with straight cold water and my wife shuttled back and forth to the hotel ice machine. After several trips with the room's ice bucket hadn't gotten the water cold enough she got an entire waste basket full of ice and dumped that in. I wrapped my shoulders in a towel and shivered as I soaked for 20 or 30 minutes with my legs completely covered in ice water. This is a trick I read about in Runner's World and tried after long runs while training for the marathon last year. Now it has become standard practice for me after any long run. It helps reduce inflammation in the joints and the muscles.
The worst part of the day was the drive home to Austin from Dallas. My hips ached and hurt as I sat there and we had to stop periodically for me to get out and move around. It was a major effort to get in and out of the car and I still had the old man shuffle when walking. I was taking ibuprofen to help with the pain and swelling, but if it was helping it was hard to tell. When I got home I went upstairs and went to bed. Going up the stairs was no fun.
Monday wasn't too bad. The muscle soreness had set in and was getting worse, but none of my joints hurt and my feet felt fine except for a little soreness from the blisters. Sitting down at work didn't hurt but I'd be really stiff when I'd get up from my chair. I could walk somewhat normally except that my hamstrings were incredibly tight and sore and so I had to take really short steps.
I had scheduled an appointment with my massage therapist ahead of time and after work on Monday I headed in for an hour of body work. The massage was more of a flushing massage instead of the usual deep tissue massage that I get. My feet weren't sore at all. My calves were a little sore, but my lower legs felt pretty good. My hamstrings and quads were incredibly tender and my ITBs (bands of ligament tissue that run from the hip to the knee on the outside of the leg) were tight and sore. My hips were unexpectedly fine.
The massage must have worked because Tuesday morning I got out of bed and could walk normally. This is a little unusual because delayed onset muscle soreness usually hits the hardest 2 days after a hard run. My legs are still sore, which I mostly notice on the stairs, but I'm getting around pretty comfortably. The most bothersome things are the sores in my crotch which I have to sit on at work and which get rubbed by my jeans when I walk. I've also discovered some friction burns on the inside of my upper arms from the sleeve of my shirt and a sore on the outside of my left bicep from my MP3 player, but other than that I'm feeling pretty good today. Actually, I'm feeling much better than I expected because I'm only dealing with muscle soreness and not joint or bone pain.
I'll probably go to the gym tomorrow but I don't plan to do any running until next week. After that I'll have to work back into a training routine and get ready for my next race, a 20 miler, on January 7. I don't plan to run that one hard so my last two real races for the season are the 3M Half Maraton on January 28 and the Austin Marathon on February 22. I'll now be shooting for a sub 4:00 time in the marathon and think that I can do it.