Let’s dub this the unwanted take-a-step-back week.
I spoke to some of the nagging shin-splint type issues I was feeling during last week’s recap and have since decided to just take a bunch of consecutive days off from running. Plain and simple – it sucks. I spent so many months recovering from my tight and weak hips, then tendonitis in my posterior tibialis to jeopardize a strong comeback — I’ll take a week and a half off instead.
I ran on Monday (18:59) to determine how the rest of the week would play out for my running. It was the day after my longest run in the base building phase and it probably wasn’t a good indication of the state of my legs, but nonetheless, I used it to determine I needed rest. My fifteen minutes of running put my right medial shin into more pain than just a twinge and I walked it off for about a mile. That night I gave myself my own version of a deep tissue massage and woke up Tuesday morning sore and swollen.
On Tuesday, I did some light mobility work and learned the Turkish get-up at Crossfit just for some exercise, followed by extensive ice massaging which brought out the bruises in my leg almost immediately. I took the rest of the week off from all exercise and only stretched, foam rolled, and continued my ice massaging.
Sunday, I did some static stretching and yoga-esque poses during the Chiefs-Bills game, followed by some strengthening physical therapy moves – plank clam shells, bridges with resistance, and lateral mini-band walks. It wasn’t anything crazy, but the stretching felt phenomenal. Do you think I could get away with it at my desk at work?
The insides of both shins is now sore when I push against the muscle. The right was the only one bothering me this entire time, but now it appears my left calf is also sore when I roll and massage it. Considering I haven’t exercised, I’ve come to the only conclusion I can – muscles that are still getting used to the forces you were/are subjecting them to will hurt when you poke them. It’s really hard to judge what is turning into an injury and what is typical of tissues becoming used to exercise after this long off the exercising bandwagon.
To be safe, I’ll take off a little more time. Tuesday will be one week of total rest, which is probably safe enough — I might run at CF, but we’ll see. I feel like I need to re-think my running right now, too. Is it the distance or the frequency that’s irritating me? I’ve increased only 10% in minutes each week, if that and have been steadily running 3 times each week, rarely back to back so I’m not doing too much, too soon. I don’t even toss in fartleks or speed! I haven’t even hit ten miles per week, yet! At my “peak”, prior to injury in June 2013, I was running three times a week, maybe four, and no more than 25 miles per week. It’s funny because in the scheme of things, I’m not really that far from that.
I’m between two ideas right now: running twice a week, but longer distances or continuing to run three times a week, but all the same (shorter) distances. It seems that 25 minutes is when my ankle starts to get a little cranky, so I think the better idea is the latter. Since I don’t set out with goals for my runs other than no more than a 10% overall increase (often less than), I’m probably going to play around with what I do from here until the half marathon in February (which isn’t a race for me). I’m also considering two shorter runs and one “long” run each week, with that long run being a combination of running and walking. That really seemed to work over the summer when I started running again for the first time again.
I guess I just have to come to the realization that I’m not one of those runners that can just pick up and start over. I need special dedication each and every day to maintain an injury free status. It looks like whenever I’m not running or working, I’ll be doing something recovery/strengthening oriented and if I’m not, I’m slacking. Sometimes I wish I liked participating in another sport.
Whining aside, I did have a great
base building week beer drinking week. J, Laura, and I ventured to Ellicottville Brewing Company for a tour and of course, beer. And you can’t have beer without beer cheese pretzels or entrees that contain sour cream (yum). While I wasn’t running the following day, I’m glad I could help Laura get some much needed beer carbs for her Sunday long run… because that’s what you do for friends.
Hopefully next week I have something more exciting to say like “Hey, I ran and it was awesome!” … send all the good vibes this way, please and thank you.
This week overall: 19 minutes of running (1.8 miles) and an hour of CrossFit.
Next week goals: a good, easy run of any distance.