I have some news. I wouldn’t call it bad news, but it certainly doesn’t feel like good news…
After the half marathon on Sunday, I’ll be taking a few weeks off from running.
As anyone who has run regularly for a period of time knows, the body is susceptible to injury with all of the stress that running can bring. I even wrote about how intuition and taking rest days is just as important as getting your mileage in. I’ve dealt with my fair share of sore knees, muscle cramps, nasty scrapes and scabs from (probably hilarious) falls, blisters, and tight back muscles, just to name a few. This winter, I ran into what might be the worst of all of these, as it put me out of commission for around 2 weeks at the beginning of 2015: posterior shin splints. I did my best to let the tendons heal and stop swelling, and I knew the best way to do this was to just not run – to not strain my legs. But, as anyone who likes running knows, it’s really hard to hang up the trainers for a prolonged period of time. I didn’t “take it easy” as much as I should have and though my legs are starting to feel healed up and better now, I know that without a serious break from constant strain, I’ll likely run into the same pains again (soon).
This is probably scarier than when I decided to run my first half marathon. After a couple of weeks, my endurance will be down. We’ll be entering a hot, humid part of the year and it’s harder to run in those conditions. My muscles will (hopefully) be refreshed and happy again, but I’m probably going to feel defeated when I start up again and my pace has changed. I have a plan to do some yoga (do any other runners out there have as much trouble with the calmness and discipline involved in yoga?!) and to bike when possible to keep some cardio in my schedule, but I’m probably going to go a little stir crazy while I’m not exerting myself as much as I’m accustomed to.
Warning, friends and family: my energy levels are going to be annoying.
But, the good part of this is that I’ll be learning a new form of discipline and I’ll be dabbling in some other exercises that I may find that I really enjoy. Get ready for some abs and arms!
The next few weeks are going to be strange. I’ll be thinking about running a lot…maybe even more than normal. And don’t worry, I’m not leaving R unattended with the blog! I’ll be writing about how these new activities (yoga, weights, biking, and relaxing) intersect with my life as a runner and how it may change the way I approach running in the future.
If you have any tips for getting through this time without breaking down and going running on my healing legs, let me know!