Congratulations on finishing the Broad Street Run. Have some water, maybe an adult beverage, and grab that aloe gel if that sun got to you. You deserve it, and a nap.
But if you're like me, you're already asking what's next. How do you keep the fitness gained to run 10 miles through the summer, especially if you want to do a half marathon or marathon in the fall?
If this was your first 10-mile race, says Dr. David Webner, director of running medicine at Crozer-Keystone Health System, take a week-long break. But if you can't sit still, you can do something.
"They can stretch every day," Webner said. "If they're really exercise junkies, they can do a little bit of non-weight-bearing exercise, like ride a bike or swim in a pool."
But he's adamant about that one thing: no weight-bearing exercise for at least a week.
If you're a more experienced runner, you don't need to do the same kind of recovery for a 10-mile race, but you're still entitled to a bit of a break, and maybe a sports massage to work out the kinks from sprinting down Broad Street (I have other post-race traditions, like getting a hair cut and a pedicure, which I'll be doing this week to celebrate running the New Jersey Marathon on Sunday).
Then, Webner said, you should set summer goals around one thing: variety.
If you want to keep some sort of running routine, he suggests mixing up your weekday workouts. "You may just want to do medium runs of two to four miles or mix it up and do some hills, track workouts, maybe try a longer run on the weekends of six to eight miles."
If you're just sick of running, break out the bike or hop in the pool. Webner also recommends strength training at the gym with free weights or kettle bells, or even testing a PX90 home-workout program.
You can still sign up for some summer triathalons or duathons if you don't want to swim. And you don't need all of the latest high-tech gear. I've seen many mountain bikes at the Tri for Our Veterans triathalon in Sea Isle City, set this year for May 25. They'll take you as you are.
You can also mix up your running by choosing a different kind of race, like a 5K or a trail run. The Haddon Heights Firecracker 5K on July 4 is a fun, relaxed holiday race and far enough from now to keep hitting the pavement. If you're looking for a trail race or curious about the world of ultra running, the Dirty German Endurance Fest is on May 26 in Pennypack Park in Philadelphia. The shortest race is 25K - about 15.3 miles - but some runners will be going 50K or 50 miles that day.
The important thing, Webner said, is to make sure you don't burn yourself out on running, leading into late summer and fall training.
"The worst thing for a runner is to be miserable running," he said.
Mixing things up this summer will keep that misery away.