Hercules, Hercules!

Last fall/winter, I ran a bunch of marathons in a row.  I pushed myself to run immediately after each race and it led to an Achilles injury.  I’m trying to be smarter this go round.  Maybe it’s because I met my Boston goals, but I feel very relaxed and I’m listening to my body.


Right now my body is puffy.  I am seriously retaining water weight.  My girlfriends and I had a good laugh that I feel like the Nutty Professor!


Like many Boston runners, my quads are sore.  Stairs and getting up off of the toilet are my nemesis.  Seriously, I will consider this week a success if the toilet paper holder is still attached to the wall!
2 Days Post-Race: 
I got out for a lovely trail walk, did some light free weights, and modified core work.  I’m also doing my best to lightly foam roll.
I’ve noticed a few runners writing about their Post-Race Blues.  CLICK HERE for a chuckle!
Here are my final race stats from the Boston Marathon:
Net Time: 3:38:37
Overall: 12950/26610
Gender: 3998/ 12022
Age Group: 2914/ 6011
Here are a couple of questions I was asked about my race recap:
Did I run through the water stops?
I walked every water stop except for the last two.  I alternated between the course Gatorade and water.  It was just a few steps, but long enough to make sure the fluids made it into my mouth.  I also carried my handheld with Cocogo in it.
When did I run my first marathon?
My first marathon was in June 2010.  I don’t remember my official time, but it was over 5 hours.  
I noticed you were wearing earbuds.  Do you always run with music and will you share your playlist?
I rarely run with music.  BUT…it definitely gives me an extra boost.  I wore my headphones for the entire race, but didn’t turn my music on until mile 16.  I used it as a reward to push me through the Newton Hills (mile 16-22).
Here’s my playlist from this race:
GDFR- Flo Rida
Hey Mama- David Guetta
Bad Girls- M.I.A.
Little Red Wagon- Miranda Lambert
Survivor- Destiny’s Child
All I Do Is Win- DJ Khaled
Touch the Sky- Kanye West
Shake It Off- Taylor Swift
Down- 311
Sabotage- Beastie Boys
Paris (Ooh La La)- Grace Potter and the Nocternils
Hard- Rihanna
Waka Waka- Shakira
Got Your Money- Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Uptown Funk- Mark Ronson
Gold Digger- Kanye West
Bills- LunchMoney Lewis
What’s next?
I’ve ruled out the Country Music Marathon, but am still considering the half marathon this coming Saturday.  I’m going to listen to my body.  I have no problem going out as a cheerleader, but I would love to run it.  We’ll see!
After that, my next race is the North Fork 50k in June!

My sweet friend Corrie gave me this bracelet before the race. It means the world to me!

Do you get puffy after races?
Do you try to foam roll even when you’re sore from a race or do you wait?
What’s your next race?
Do you suffer from Post-Race Blues?  Sometimes I do, but right now I still have my race high!

Join the Conversation

  • http://runoklahoma.com Run Oklahoma

    Congrats, Jen. Thanks for sharing. You’ve lived a dream that so many wish for. Boston is an amazing accomplishment!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!!

  • http://motherhoodandmarathons.wordpress.com Molly@MotherhoodandMarathons

    Haha, the post-marathon bathroom struggle is real! Also, I like your playlist. I had a recent workout where I played GDFR on repeat almost the entire time – it’s such a good running song!

    I do sweep some after races. I usually drink a ton of water to try to flush everything out. I can’t foam roll if I’m super sore – it’s too painful!

    My next race is a half on May 16th and then I’m running a full in the fall. I’m looking forward to both!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      GDFR was perfect for the race!! I’m getting a massage this afternoon…hopefully it will help! Your half is almost here!! Good luck!

  • http://motherhoodandmarathons.wordpress.com Molly@MotherhoodandMarathons

    Gah – sweep should be swell. Silly phone :)

  • http://readeatwriterun.com M @readeatwriterun

    Congratulations! Looks like you had a great race and time despite conditions.

    I think the puff is water retention from the race and healing/hydration and from carbs which hold more water. I especially notice it because I don’t usually eat grain, but allow myself GF grain after races.

    I haven’t rolled at all, haven’t even stretched – I really should have, but haven’t been horribly sore. Tuesday I swam 1/4 mile and wound up walking about 6 miles broken up. Wednesday was tougher – travel day – made me more stiff and sore to be sitting so much! Today I’ll walk and maybe do some other things, tomorrow maybe a swim. I won’t run till at least Saturday. Was supposed to get a massage today but my therapist has a cold or something, not going to risk it. Hope she’s better for our Sunday session!

    Uptown Funk was quite helpful to me in the Newton Hills :)

    I have had some post-race blues (and moments of high), probably because my first Boston had been THE thing in my life for over a year. I have a bunch of training tweaks to make as I’m now considering everything training for Boston 2016 (including my fall marathon and the current recovery) but without the near target I do feel a bit at sea. There’s a local 10 miler here this weekend that is tempting me, but like you, I have pushed too hard in the past….my Oct/Nov marathons and Dec 50k put me into overtraining/underrecovery. at the start of the training cycle for Boston, and definitely compromised my training and my race. I’d like to be smart enough to have learned from it happening once and not ever repeat the experience! (plus, it’s looking like rain for the 10 miler, and I think Boston punched my “I can run in the rain” ticket 😉 I’d volunteer but they closed that a while ago.

    Next race is Beach to Beacon 10k in August, then Baystate Marathon in October. Not sure if I’ll do any local 5ks between now and then. I really want to improve my marathon times, so that’s the lens I’ll look at everything – races, strength training, plans – through.


    • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

      YAY! So glad to hear you are doing well, M! Take care of yourself!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I got a massage today and it hurt in a good way! I’m going to attempt a shakeout run in the morning…fingers crossed. ?

  • http://www.dixieruns.com Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    I haven’t run a full marathon, the symptoms are going to be new to me… I can’t imagine feeling anything but happy when it’s over!

    My next race is my FIRST half marathon on May 17…. Ahhhh I’m nervous!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Your first half!!! That’s so exciting!!! My first 1/2 is what made me fall in love with running.

  • Meghan Smith

    Great post race recap!! Love the playlist too, GDFR is my jam?!!! And I understand the post race blues too. I was extremely puffy after my last marathon but that was due to the 4 IVs I received at the medical tent immediately after I finished?. It took a good 4 days for it to go away!! Great tips about the water stations too, I carried my own fluids but I’m thinking I should’ve walked through them all. Is your bracelet from Momentum Jewelry?? They have such cute bracelets!! Again congrats on your BQ at Boston!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      4 IV’s?!! I’ll bet you were puffy from all of those! I’m not sure where the bracelet is from…it was a gift. :)

  • http://oldrunningmom.blogspot.com/ wendyistakingthelongwayhome

    You look really strong in those pictures! I’m trying to be smart after running multiple races this spring. I have one more half in a week, and then I’m taking a couple weeks off to let my legs and feet recover. I want to head into fall marathon training strong and injury free. My goal is a BQ, so I want to give it my best!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’m doing the same thing. I have my 50k in June and then I’ll chill for the summer and start to train for NYC!

  • http://www.sarahruns26.com Sarah @ SarahRuns26

    I have the Wisconsin Marathon in about ten days, then the Utah Valley Marathon in mid-June. That’s all that I have on tap right now. Looking at two fall races, but we’ll see!

    I usually don’t have much problem foam rolling after a race, but that doesn’t mean it is pleasant. When I ran back to back marathons (Sat/Sun) I am convinced the only thing that made my legs worthwhile the next day was the 40 minutes I spent foam rolling between the races!

    Enjoy your time off! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      40 minutes foam rolling is impressive!!!

  • Stephanie

    I have a question about the Boston Marathon. The website says a qualifying time to enter is 3 hours 45 mins. A bit longer as the age brackets increase. However, I saw some finishing times of people on Instagram were well over 4 hours. That chick from Orange is the New Black finished in over 5 hours! So, my question is, do the qualifying times not apply to everyone? Or did these people have great races to get their BQ and then just slow it way down for the actual Boston Marathon? Sorry if that’s a weird question, it’s just been bugging me.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      There are three ways to get into Boston: qualify based on your age and sex (my qualifying time is 3:40), raise a large amount of money for charity, or know someone involved with the race and receive an invitation. Once your at Boston, you can run it at any speed. Some folks just like to go slow and enjoy the event!

  • Caitlin F

    Oh my goodness Jen!
    I, too, ran Boston and my husband rubbed my legs yesterday and called them “tree trunks.” I don’t know why I bothered to put jeans on because they are so tight on my legs. It is so crazy what our bodies do but amazing at the same time. Monday was everything I hoped it would be! We are Boston Marathon finishers! Wow!!!
    Congrats to you ?

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Huge congratulations to you!!!!!

  • Amber S.

    You are a rockstar!!! Congratulations on an amazing race.

    I ran the Garmin marathon on Saturday and I am still puffy! My next race is this Saturday! I am running the inagural Golden Driller Marathon in my hometown of Tulsa, OK! This will be my first time to run marathons on back to back weekends so I am anxious to see how I do. I was planning on just having fun on the race this weekend, but since last Saturday was a bit of a bust due to the humidity, rain, and mud, I think I am going to try to race it now.

    Congrats again on your BQ at Boston!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      You rock for doing two in a row…good luck!!!

  • http://gretchruns.com Gretchen | Gretchruns

    Thanks for the Q&A! Those were really helpful answers. It’s great to hear how much you improved from your first marathon. Mine was similar – between 4:30 and 5:00 so it’s great to know I can also BQ with lots of hard work!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I never ever thought I’d be able to BQ. I’m definitely not a natural runner!!

  • http://milesandblessings.com/ milesandblessings

    A 50k…WOW!!!!! You are amazing!!! I have 2 1/2’s coming up in May :).
    I usually wait a week or so to foam roll…but I do use the stick instead. That way I can put less pressure on it, but I am still getting my muscles rolled out.
    I never have had the post race blues until my last marathon in Nov. I think it was because I met my goal and did not have another race on the calendar. I thought I would love taking it easy and not training, and I did for about 2 days :). It REALLY helps to get another race on the calendar if you are feeling the post race blues :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Having another race to look forward to always helps my mood!

  • http://www.fitandfaithfulfitness.com Chelsy

    I get so puffy after races, especially right after the race. I feel like I am hardly recognizable in my post-race photos.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That’s how I feel!!

  • paria@momontherunsanity.com

    I always get puffy / gain a couple pounds on race weekend, then lose it over a week! Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  • http://www.suzyhastheruns.com suzysuzyheather

    I totally get puffy! It’s all the inflammation from micro tears in the muscles. It’s bizarre.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That’s good to know what causes it! I’m ready for it to go away!!

  • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

    Okay, just thinking about you using the foam roller kind of makes my quads and IT band hurt right now – hahaha! I wish I’d walked more in the couple of days after my first marathon (in December) but, the truth is that I was pretty lazy in those first few days! I think it really helps with the stiffness and muscle tenderness, for me. You’re doing GREAT! I definitely got puffy after the marathon; I ate way more salt and didn’t sweat much! Love your playlist, by the way; have been meaning to download “Bills” after Jonathan played it for me and I forgot until now! Also, thanks for giving me some hope…can’t believe your first marathon was finished in just over 5 hours, less than 5 years ago. 😉 Take care, Jen!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      My first marathon was ugly. I walked and cried and was completely undertrained! And, that Bills song gets stuck in my head!!

      • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

        I can’t even imagine that, Jen! You’ve come a long way, my friend! 😉 Yes, I LOVE that song – hahaha!

  • http://deannasellsavon.wordpress.com Deanna Sells Avon

    You’re so awesome! You’re pictures are great. You look so strong! I too was inspired that your first marathon was over 5 hours. I ran my first marathon last fall 5:11:something. You inspire me anyway because you are just like a lean running machine. I thinking just yesterday how awesome you were and that I could never qualify for Boston with my marathon time. So I’m glad you threw in that little fact about your first marathon. :) #nevergiveup 😉
    Do you have a post somewhere about your running journey? Thanks!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      My first marathon was ugly!! I walked, cried, and was undertrained! Now I actually enjoy the distance…crazy!!

  • http://yizzylovestorun.wordpress.com yizzy08

    I was just wondering this morning if you were going to attempt the CMM. I usually wait until the end of the week after a marathon to foam roll. I have never experienced the puffiness after a race. I did have broken blood vessels on the inside of my ankle after Boston 2012. I am guessing because of the heat that year. I have never had that since. It was weird. My next race is a Night Run 8k here in Phoenix. A new distance for me and we get to run across two bridges that are lit up at night.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’ve never done a night race, but I’m registered for Vegas later this year. Good luck and have fun!!!!

  • http://eathostrunstyle.blogspot.com Sun

    Congrats on a fantastic race and another BQ! I can’t imagine the soreness from running those Newton hills. But sounds like you’re doing a great job with keeping moving the days after the race :)

    I think it was smart to walk through the water stations because you’re right – it only takes a few seconds and it’s better than running out of fuel or being dehydrated in the final miles of the race!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I used to be afraid to walk a few steps…as if that would mess up my race goal. I realized it actually helps me!

  • http://charissarunning.wordpress.com charissarunning

    Amazing experience! I love your pictures!!
    Haha stairs and the bathroom struggles are the worst after a marathon. Wishing you a speedy recovery!!! I’ll be running my half marathon goal race this weekend – so excited!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much and GOOD LUCK!!!!?

      • http://charissarunning.wordpress.com charissarunning

        Thank you, Jen!!

  • http://nirunner.blogspot.com Angela @ North Idaho Runner

    Congratulations on your amazing Boston Finish!

    I don’t notice any puffiness after races but I could tell when I stepped on the scale this morning that I must be retaining something hahah (Ran a 50k this past Sunday)

    Foam rolling depends on the level of soreness, honestly. If I am REALLY sore then I’m more likely to roll because I know that I need it. Otherwise, I’m a huge baby and tend to avoid it.

    I have a trail half marathon on 05/09 which will be my final “long run” before my 50 miler (MY FIRST!!!) the following weekend on 05/16

    I have post-race blues when I cannot run because I’m too sore or feel that I have a looming injury….which I’m dealing with right now….I have a minor calf strain that is keeping me on the sidelines. It’s getting better each day but I’m not going to push it and end up with something that takes weeks to heal.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That’s so awesome you’re doing a 50 miler!!! Injuries always bum me out. You’re smart to take it easy and let your body heal!

  • http://babetaruns.wordpress.com BabetaRuns


    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://ahotsouthernmess.wordpress.com ahotsouthernmess

    ha. sabatoge was on my playlist as i crossed the finish line at the charleston marathon (I did the half), only to discover that my 13.4 reading was accurate…they goofed and the course was long :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Oh no!!! What a crazy coincidence to have that song when the course runs long!!

  • http://cupcakesandmiles.wordpress.com cupcakesandmiles

    I don’t really notice a puffiness post-race.

    I’m a bad foam roller even when I’m not sore, so it’s a good day when I do it at all. I DID however do some foam rolling tonight! :)

    I had a bad case of the blues after WDW in January. I’m about to start a new training program, and am really starting to get excited though.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’m always happier when I have a goal race to train for!

  • https://twitter.com/casiruns casiruns

    Hi Jen! I just discovered you this week. Loving your blog :)

    I just gasped out loud when I saw that your first marathon was 5 hours. My first marathon is in January and my goal time is to be under 5 hours! It was really encouraging to see that your first marathon was 5 hours and now you’re running a 3:38 marathon, and that change was in just five years. It gives me hope!!!

    • http://www.jenchoosesjoy.com JenChoosesJoy

      Thank you SO much for reading!!!! I haven’t run my whole life and I’m definitely not a natural. Stick with and it WILL get better!!!