Your legs are shaking, you're out of breath and you feel like you're about to die. Then you see it...the thing you spent months running towards...THE FINISH LINE. A smile breaks across your face, you raise your arms and you feel like your heart is on the verge of bursting. (I mean you did just run a half marathon but also because a wave of euphoric bliss washes over you.) So what next? What do you do after you run a half marathon?
Step 1: Finish Line Selfie!
You just ran 13.1 miles! Who WOULDN'T want to show off! Scream it from the mountain tops. Tell every single stranger you walk by. Smile and wave like Miss Universe because you're kind of a big deal. You just ran further than most people will drive in a day.
Step 2: Catch Your Breath.
Medal? Check. Swag Bag? Check. Passing Out? NO CHECK. The first thing you probably want to do is sit down but DON'T SIT DOWN. Slowly walk it out and catch your breath!.
Step 3: Grab a Chocolate Milk!
That's right, drink chocolate milk! WHY? Because it's delicious and has a carb to protein ratio that is perfect for your post half marathon traumatized body. AND it will hold you over until you get your post race reward meal.
Step 4: Go Potty.
Don't have to go potty? Just take a minute to play it safe. TRUST ME.
Step 5: Maybe Go Potty One More Time.
I'm not kidding! Go potty while there are bathrooms around! Only you can prevent forest fires!
Step 6: Find Your People And/Or Find Your Car.
Not only will your people shower you with praise and make you feel like a billion bucks but they will be like "Let me help you" and "I'll pull the car around." Milk that! Milk it for all it's worth!
Step 7: Eat All The Food.
That's right! Eat all of the food because you earned it! RUN TO EAT! RUN TO EAT! RUN TO EAT! (Or you know, have a salad. You do you!)
Step 8: Attempt to Shower.
This is where you find out if you've chafed. You'll know because your body will feel like it's on fire in a particular area. You're probably going to experience some stiffness so exercise caution when getting in and out of the shower. Maybe have someone stand by in case you fall and can't get up.
Step 9: Take A Nap.
I slept for 15 hours after my first half marathon. I was totally under-prepared and once that finish line high wore off, I made like Sleeping Beauty and passed out.
Step 10: Get That One Thing You're Craving.
Running a crazy long distance is sort of like being pregnant. I crave crazy things after my long runs or throughout training. Last year when I was training for the NYC Marathon, all I wanted were wedge salads. Treat yourself, you just ran all the miles! Go fetch whatever you're craving...or better yet...have your people fetch whatever you're craving.
Step 11: Rest, Sleep and Sleep Some More.
Rest is very important for recovery so make sure you lay low and catch some ZZZZZZZ's. Take a few days off until you feel fresh as a daisy.
Step 12: Foam Roll.
Welcome to Sore Muscles U.S.A. Population YOU! This is probably the very last thing you want to be doing but roll out those fatigued muscles! It helps, after it hurts...
Step 13: Post Pictures Of Your Great Success.
What's the point of Social Media if you can't humble brag to all your friends that you ran a half marathon? Post away!
Step 13.1: Sign Up For Another.
So you've been bitten by the running bug! Welcome to the club! Just remember to give yourself enough time to recover before you hit the ground running. Or hell, go for a marathon! You're already halfway there...
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.