After I had pain during my run on October 18, I took a full two weeks off from running. I didn’t intend to take two weeks off, but it just happened that way. I did go hiking on Soapstone Mountain in Shenipsit State Forest with my dad for his birthday two weekends ago. It was a very easy hike on a well-worn path that even cars can drive on. Pretty soon into the hike, I realized the pain was definitely soft tissue because while I could feel the discomfort all the time, it was on inclines and declines that it really flared.
We ended up covering 3.3 miles with only a 468-foot elevation gain (1,069 feet at the summit) in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I could have gone twice as far/long, but I wanted to make sure I did OK the next day, too…which I did!
But then it was back to lots of very, VERY late nights with all the Red Sox ALCS and World Series games. All those sleepy mornings paid off with a World Series win, but it led to some workdays that felt like years. Working a couple of 12-hour days didn’t help either, so I decided to give myself a pass on workouts last week.
Instead, I focused on sleeping when I could (even if that meant napping before the 8pm games) and doing lots of PT work on my posterior tibial tendons – where my shin splints have taken up residence. I went to see Ben the PT on Wednesday and he wasn’t nearly as concerned about the pain as I was, and then I did a ton of Googling to see that lots of runners experience significant pain long after a healed tibial stress fracture, so that reassured me that I’m not reinjured but just coming back from a very serious injury – and it’s going to take a while to feel normal again.
I finally felt ready to get back to my normal workout schedule this week (but not Monday – because the Sox won late on Sunday night), but I had a 7am work obligation on Tuesday, and then a 5pm conference call, so that left me no time (or energy) to run yesterday like I planned. The 7am thing was a one-time thing – and a good thing because it was about an award my company received – but I have really got to get better about making time for my workouts. Because when I don’t work out, I get sick, don’t sleep well, am grumpy, and am not on my A-game at work. So it’s a vicious cycle that I really need to break before it goes too far.
This morning I finally went to my training session after taking all of last week off. It felt UH-mazing. It was a lower body day and as excited as I was for the big lifts, I knew that maxing out was not an option. I need to be more mindful of running when lifting, because if I’m too sore to run with proper mechanics because of my strength workouts, then I’m not working toward my goal and the reason that I’m working with a trainer – to run a healthy, injury-free marathon and perhaps break 4:40 (26.2 miles in 4 hours and 40 minutes). So even though I could have gone heavier than 105lbs on my back squats and barbell bridges, I didn’t. And even though I could have done 60-75 hip adductors with the resistance bands during each of the 4 sets, I only did 40. Nothing is worse than having an awesome strength workout and feeling that “good sore” feeling, but then it turns into a “way too sore to run with a normal gait” feeling. I still got an awesome burn and crushed 450 calories by 7:30am, but I don’t need to totally blow out my muscles.