Life After 26.2 and Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese.

Morning run…6 miles plus a little strength work. I’m slowly but surely getting some of my mojo back after the Tyler Rose Marathon. Bring on RnR Las Vegas! I have a couple half marathons to knock out before that too. Beast mode is on.

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So today I thought I’d talk about a few things you can do mentally and physically after the rigors of running a marathon. No matter how you slice it…26.2 miles is a huge endeavor and you should take good care of yourself to make sure you recover properly. Here are a few things that I like the to do after a hard core race.

Book an appointment for a massage. I like to schedule one a couple of days following the race just to get the tension out of my muscles. Sometimes it can be pricey (check with your job though as they may offer flex spending with your benefits to cover it) but I tell you what a little TLC goes an extremely long way.

Give yourself a break. You have put in some serious work over the last few months so enjoy the rest/recovery time! Active recovery is just as important. I love to get on the bike just to keep the blood pumping.

…but keep moving! It will make you less stiff. The day after the marathon go for a walk or if you’re up for it some slow, easy miles. I personally have found this has helped me in recovering way faster.

Find some other forms of exercise that you enjoy. For me cross training is so key. Get on the spin bike, lift weights, do some yoga. Mix it up a little bit. It keeps your body guessing and keeps things spicy.

Put another shorter/faster race on the calendar so you will have something else to look forward to. Whether it’s a 5k/10k or a half in the next few months having another goal to aim for will keep running fun and help you stay motivated.

Or just run for no reason at all. Sometimes just going outside for some fresh air…NAKED (no data/Garmin/GPS/etc) will keep things in perspective and remind you why you love to run in the first place.

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Switching gears a bit…and I’ve got a tasty recipe for fall! Butternut squash mac & cheese. Squash is so good and filling and paired with this noodle dish makes for the ultimate comfort food.

Here’s what you’ll need.

-1 package of rotini or elbow pasta (I used the Barilla gluten free brand)
-2 cups of butternut squash, chopped
-2-3 wedges of light swiss Laughing Cow cheese
-1 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan
-1 tbsp Earth Balance original spread
-Garlic/salt/pepper/panko crumbs to taste
-1 handful of parsley

I love this pre chopped up squash I found from the store! It seriously takes tons of prep work out.

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Steam/bake the squash and mash it up with a fork, set aside. Put baked noodles in a square pan, then season and mix in spread and cheeses. Mix in squash, parsley and top with a sprinkle of parmesan and panko crumbs. Bake in the oven on 375 for 20 minutes. Done!

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Serve with a glass of white wine and call it a day.

Do you have any fall recipes to share? What’s your favorite way to recover after a marathon?

Big Thank You.

Aside

Hey friends! Just wanted to check in with you all. Still alive and kicking. I am in Maryland getting ready for the wrath of Miss Hurricane Sandy! The marathon was a tough one but I finished! Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for the sweet blog comments and posts on Twitter and Facebook, they meant a lot and I thought of all of your encouraging words during the hard parts of the race. Recap to come! For photos from the marathon check me out on instagram- thedancingrunner. Hope you have a marvelous week and those of you on the east coast, be safe and God Bless! -Chelsea