Time out

FYI – if I don’t post for a week it’s not usually a good sign and this time was no different. But first, let me recap what’s been happening for the last couple of weeks.

Monday 3/7: 4.1 miles on the trail at 10.03 pace and 493 ft elevation gain. I love this trail and want to run it as much as possible now that the worst of winter is over.

Tuesday 3/8: 3 miles at 9.30 pace with my favorite girl. We’re still working on running by my side and not trying to trip me up.

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Wednesday 3/9: 4.8 miles at 8:17 pace. 10 minute warm up, 20 minutes at 7.51 pace, 10 minute cooldown. This was my first tempo run outside in forever and on a part of the actual Salt Lake half marathon course – including a b*tch of a hill – 114 ft gain in less than a quarter of a mile (!). I actually finished this run feeling great, and just a little excited for my race.

Thursday 3/10: Rest. Oh my. I did not wake up feeling good. In fact, my left calf was decidedly unhappy. About a year ago, I had a serious strain of this muscle and was completely out of running for six weeks while I waited for it to heal. So now, it’s a weak link. It wasn’t the sharp pain of a pull (that hurts like a mofo!) but definitely tweaked.

Friday 3/11: 5.55 miles at 8.39 pace. Commute home to practice some downhill running. And no my calf hadn’t healed fully so the last part of this run was not fun. The weather was great and I enjoyed it, but running it was a mistake.

Saturday 3/12: A huge mistake. I woke up on Saturday in even more pain. My calf was not ready to party. I headed to the gym to spend some time on the stationary bike and managed to get 20 miles done but I knew that I needed a break from running (again).

Sunday – Wednesday: Rest. Complete rest. No running. No biking. No gymming. Nada. And it was great! Work was crazy this week and looking back at the last couple of months of training I had to admit that I needed rest. A lot more rest. I had been feeling super tired and run down. Doing too much too soon and my body isn’t ready for that right now. I need to scale it back a little to get my energy levels back up.

I was also thinking about the triggers for these little injuries and they seem to coincide with ramping up speedwork -> starting some interval training, and then some longer speedwork. My race is in a little over four weeks – actually the Saturday before Boston, and my plan is to only do easy runs until then. I haven’t signed up for anything else after this half so there will be no pressure to follow a training plan.

I also realized that there are more important things than this race -> which is no longer even a goal race. I want to hike, trail run, backpack and do fun things outside. This doesn’t mix with running injuries. I think it will be good for me to back off when I need to, so that I can say healthy.

Thursday: 3/17: 3 miles with Sophie at 10.32 pace. Awkward run but feeling so much better.

Friday 3/18: Rest.

Saturday 3/19: 8.75 miles at 8.52 pace. This run felt great. A couple of little aches but this was one of those runs that just feel amazing, where time flies by and you want to keep going forever. To be honest, if this run had gone badly (and I was really worried that this would be the case) I was ready to drop out of the half. But now I’m pretty sure that the race is doable – not a PR race but something to get back into the groove of racing.

Sunday 3/20: 4 mile hike with my best girl.

Monday 3/21: 6 mile at 8.35 pace. Back to the treadmill. The worry of another calf strain is now hanging over me so I decided to hit the ‘mill and not worry about hills – there is literally nowhere flat to run in Salt Lake – and get started on watching the Gilmore Girls. One and a half episodes in and I’m kinda liking it.

The one thing I’ve learned – and I feel like I’m always learning something new about running – is that I need more rest days. No more running consecutive days – at least not for the near future.

Any new running lessons? Or lessons you had to learn the hard way?

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20 thoughts on “Time out

  1. I’ve learned many running lessons the hard way. I tend to ‘test’ an injury out just to make sure it really is an injury and then I really do myself in. I’m currently not running – again. My reality might be running only 3 days a week, fingers crossed. I just want to be able to adventure with my little adventure mutt.

  2. Ugh, sorry you’re still dealing with calf issues. That sucks. I’ve leanred that as much as I would like to be a 5 or 6 day a week runner, my body disagrees. 4 days is a good spot for me. Not that I’ve even hit that lately. 3 seems to my happy spot these days.

    • I think 5 was my sweet spot when I was training for my first marathon – and had a pretty amazing training cycle. But I want to run everyday – maybe some day. Hope your week is going well!

  3. Hey!! It’s great reading your blog again; although, I’m so sorry about your calf issue! It seems like you’re figuring everything out though and you’re right- I’m continuously learning things about my body and about myself so keep it up!! I hope you have an amazing week! XOXO 🙂

  4. Oh man the freaking calf. I know I’ve said this before but I know how frustrating it is. UGHHHH. But you really seem to have it dialed in and know how much you can/can’t do before aggravating it more. My biggest mistake actually revolves around a dumb calf injury. Ran a great marathon in October, felt great the next day so I signed up for the RW half – it was a week after the great marathon. Mistake #1 – wtf was I thinking following up a marathon with a half that I knew I couldn’t resist racing?? Mistake #2 – running a PR pace out of the gates, pulling my calf by mile 3 and continuing to run – finishing a minute off of my PR and limping for weeks after. Caused the rest of my fall to SUCK. I should have DNF’d!

    • Oh man! I remember reading about that! My problem was not taking a calf pull seriously enough. I thought I could take a couple of weeks off and be fully recovered. Umm no – I needed a full six weeks off before I could run-walk again. The thing I learned was that if it hurts to walk then you definitely have no business trying to run LOL. I can’t believe you ran 10 miles with a pulled calf! Runners are crazy, yo!

  5. noooo not the calf again. 😦 hope the pain subsides and you’re able to listen to your body and appreciate the activities you can do without hurting yourself further!

  6. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor says:

    Oh no! I’m so sorry your injuries won’t go away (although I’m glad you ended the week on a high note and don’t have to drop out of your half!). It is really hard to give up on a goal you had your heart set on. If it makes you feel any better, I know of some runners (fast runners) who say that they got a lot faster by just running a ton of easy miles all the time. Eventually they got back into training mode and started doing more speed work but obviously all that easy running day after day helped build their aerobic endurance. Don’t discount the value of consistent easy miles. It seems like people either get injured from too many miles or injured from too much speed work, and once you find out which one you are you can adjust accordingly.

    I know it sucks but don’t ever give up on your goals. It is often our most drawn-out journeys that most enrich our lives.

    • Thanks Hanna! I hope I didn’t come across as too whiny because I still can run and my half marathon this spring was never going to be a PR race. Now I have the rest of the year of no pressure running – I think you’re planning something similar after Pittsburgh? I love running – even the treadmill (thanks to Netflix) and want to do it without worrying about hurting something else. I was reading a running forum recently and it said something similar to you. To run faster you need to run more, and to run more you need to run slower. So to run faster you need slower – if that makes sense?

  7. aww sorry to hear about your calf. I feel like you’ve read about my injuries over the last year and coming back strong meant coming back sloooowwww. I took a good amount of time to just run easy and very slow. Also-i did not run consecutive days when coming back. It was all about the slow build while monitoring the injury. And you need the extra days for cross training and building strength in the weak areas (which is most important and less fun than running, but totally necessary!)

    • You’re totally right! I guess I thought I was a super special snowflake who could just jump right back in – turns out I’m not LOL! Easy running with more rest days sounds a million times better than not being able to run for weeks or months on end. Time to get the ego in check and do the smart (if slightly boring) thing for a change.

  8. Noooo!! I hope it’s nothing to serious and that rest resolves it. I definitely run with a little worry after my tibial stress fractures. As soon as I feel a tinge, I panic but then it quickly subsides. I’ve been making it a mission to cross/strength train more as I build up again to marathon training hoping that that helps curb any re-injury. Good luck to you!! Sending healthy calf vibes!

    • My calf appreciates it – and is even feeling a little better! I think I’m always waiting to feel that twinge on a run – especially over the last year (!) where it feels like it’s always been something. Maybe I should sign up for a tri so that I’m motivated to cross train…………

  9. charissarunning says:

    Ugh so sorry about the calf pain coming back into the picture. It does seem that whenever you add some speedwork to the mix, it tends to rebel against you. I like your idea of sticking with the treadmill (where you can have flat surface) and keeping the running at every other day for now. I hope it works!

    • I think my body is thinking “WTF are we doing?” when those tempo/fast runs happen. I think I’m going to follow your lead and just work on building a solid base before I sign up for anything else.

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