Knowing when to rest

You may have noticed there was something missing from our mini-holiday recap. I didn’t fail to mention my long run, because I didn’t do one. It was a taper week, with 15 miles on the schedule. I wasn’t just being lazy, I was being cautious.

You see after my 19 mile run almost two weeks ago, my knee felt a little tight. Nothing major or unexpected after running that long, more annoying than anything else. I ran my two weekday runs. Never hurt during my runs, but by Friday the ache was a little bit worse. I decided resting was more important that the 15 miles.

Monday I ran again. I cut about a mile from  my distance and felt pretty strong. No pain. I ran again on Wednesday, again cutting it short about a mile, just being cautious again. Little bit tight and achy. I rested again on Thursday. I have 20 miles on the calendar for this weekend.  The thing is, I’m scared.

I’m scared that if I run I’ll end up injured with just 5 weeks to go before my marathon. I’m scared that if I skip another long run I’ll start losing my fitness. I’m not sure which scares me more right now. So I’m icing. I’m getting a massage to try to make sure my IT band is as loose as possible. It’s worth a shot.

I’ve made it this far. I’m so close to the race. I’ve been strong and healthy. I’ve gotten faster than I’ve ever been. It might not be fast to some, but to me, it’s a huge improvement.

I’ve worn my body down.

For the past several weeks I’ve not taken care of myself after my long runs. Sure I’ve stretched and had my recovery chocolate milk. But I haven’t rested. I just shower and continue on with our hectic schedule. I’m busier than I’ve ever been at work because I’m now basically my own department.  Great careerwise but exhausting. I’m sleeping maybe 5 hours a night with at least one interruption from Ella calling to me for comfort for what I’m sure are her sore gums (her 3rd and 4th teeth have to be coming in right?). I’ve become lax with my strength training because I rarely get to the gym before 8 pm. By that time I need to do my run and get home so I can get those few precious hours of sleep. I’ve made rookie mistakes and now I’m paying for it.

I’ve moved my long run to Sunday which will allow me three more days of icing. I can’t say I’ll be relaxing as I’m heading to Estes Park to be a bridesmaid and celebrate the wedding of one of my oldest friends.

Hopefully it’s not an actual injury, but just a minor ache and annoying setback. Worst case scenario, rather than running for a few weeks I’ll have to crosstrain. Not the end of the world but a serious blow to the hard work that I’ve done and my confidence on making this my best marathon yet.

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