Training Log: Time for Rest and Recovery

For the last ten days, I’ve been hit and miss with running.  Even though it wasn’t a half marathon PR, I felt strong during the Atlantic City half.  Unforatenly,  I haven’t felt good since.  Both mentally and physically!

Training Log: Time for Rest and Recovery

After Shamrock half marathon a month ago, I began to have hamstring problems.  My hamstring was tight; it hurt after 10 miles but it never altered my stride.  Luckily with a couple of visits, it went away.  I ran the April Fools half with no issues.

Then last week I began to have foot pain.  It was a pain that was dull in the arch, and I noticed it at the end of my workout.  I couldn’t pinpoint the pain, but I knew it was there.  Sometimes it was sharp and sometimes dull.

I had two gut reactions:

  • Stress fracture
  • The beginning of plantar fasciitis (which I’ve had)

I scheduled another deep tissue massage on Thursday.  If it was plantar fasciitis, the deep tissue massage would help.  If it was a stress fracture, it would not help at all, but it would also be too painful.  Luckily, I had a sneaking suspicion it was a mild case of plantar fasciitis.  The deep tissue massage was perfect and targeted exactly what I needed to get done: (IE: my feet and legs).

On Friday, I ran, and while I felt sore, I didn’t feel my foot.  So for obvious reasons, we can rule out a stress fracture.

Then on Saturday, I ran the “Totally Awesome 80s Run”.  In summary, my legs were extremely sore and tight from the deep tissue massage.  I’ve wanted to do this race all month because I enjoy themed runs.  I decided to take the race easier. My goal was run around a 20:00 5k, but I surpassed that and ran an issueless 19:10.  Not my fastest but I’ll take healthy running at this point.

totally awesome 80s run

Yesterday, I began my run. However, something felt off.  The same foot was having issues, and I got very uncomfortable running on it.  I stopped my run early and went home.  After thinking about it, I also decided it’s best for me to rest completely.

So where does this take me?

I’ve taken a lot of rest lately.  I’ve backed off my training a lot and haven’t been as consistent as when I was running faster times last month.  At this point, it’s better for me to take a break versus decided each morning whether I’m going to run.

I’m at the point that I’ve gotten a couple of smaller issues that could escalate into something bigger.  Backing off is the best thing I can do right now.  I know when I begin to have one issue, I have several.  I’m not worried about either my hamstring (that is 100% better) and while my foot feels off, it doesn’t hurt.

I’m worried that I’ve begun to cascade smaller injuries on top of each other which, for me, typically leads to a larger issue that prevents me from running. I’ve running well for about a year without any significant breaks from running.

I don’t want to have another stress fracture or even a stress fracture scare so resting like the logical thing to do.  This week I backed off in mileage and intensity, and I will do the same until after the Broad Street 10 miler.

Outside of the minor issues, most days I’ve mentally struggled to get out of the door.  I’m not an elite athlete so there is no point to keep forcing myself into a supposedly enjoyable hobby. My hopeful goal is to come back feeling refreshed and take care of any small pains that have gone away.

I’m going to take completely off of running until at least Thursday.  I’ll readjust and reevaluate from there.  

Questions for you:

Do you find larger injuries start with smaller aches and pains?

Do you prefer “themed races” or a standard timed race?

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  1. It sounds like you really know your body. A few months ago I had pain in the bottom of my feet. I talked to a PT who thought it was probably not plantar fasciitis since it didn’t hurt first thing in the morning. She gave me a bunch of stretches to target my feet and that helped. I was just starting half marathon training so I didn’t ease off mileage but I did slow down. The pain eventually went away. Still not sure what that was. I also experienced some pain in my left knee that’s also a non issue now. My main weapon against these things is cross training–swimming and strength training. In my mind if I made the non running parts of my body stronger, the nagging issues would go away. I think it helped.

  2. You are being very SMART! Rest and recovery are just what you need sometimes to come back even stronger. Many of my injuries could have been mitigated if I had listened to my body early on. I do that NOW but it took a few times for me to realize that early intervention is best!! Congrats on another speedy 5K (even though you weren’t pushing the pace) and I love the outfit 🙂

  3. Yes, my injuries always seemed to start small, and like you, I now take the smallest signals very seriously! Good for you for backing off before it becomes an issue. You’ve had many solid months of running, it makes sense that your body is asking for a little cut back. And I find the lack of motivation to run always accompanies that too!

  4. Hmm, seems like a good reason to take a small break. I’m no expert, but I can imagine that a few days off are probably exactly what you need, and listening to your body when it’s still talking normal, and not screaming at you, is a good thing! Hope you find something to distract you in the meantime.

  5. I completely understand your feeling! You are doing the right thing!

    Three weeks ago, I felt a sharp cramp in my foot. Two weeks ago it occurred to me that it might be a stress fracture.. No running until the bone scan. So hard, but the smartest solution.

    Good luck, train smart. You’re an inspiration.

  6. I think the rest will do you good. Like you said, you do this for fun, and you shouldn’t do it if it hurts. I enjoy themed races, although sometimes I don’t always feel like dressing up. I like seeing everyone else dressed up!

  7. I’ve been experiencing a little bit of tendonitis lately too, so I’m thinking now is a good time to focus on weight training and easing off the running a little bit. it’s so difficult to do, but the last thing I want is to be sidelined for more than is necessary because I put too much strain on myself too early. congrats on another great race though. time off or not, you’re still a huge inspiration.

  8. You’re so smart to take that time off. I never thought about it, but you’re absolutely right. When you have a bunch of smaller “problems” (not injuries) that start popping up, it’s usually a sign that our bodies just need a break. You’ve had an amazing year of running so I’m sure this break is needed and will help you feel refreshed and ready to go again!

  9. Very smart to back off training, though it can be hard to make that call. I usually get little aches and sore spots, especially in my calves, but those will go away with time and some TLC. My last injury was a strained hamstring which was the result of overzealous yoga-ing. I usually end up with more chronic injuries like tendinitis that come about because I’ve been lazy about pre-hab.
    Hopefully a bit of time off will mean you’ll be feeling 100% when you get back at it!

  10. Sounds like the right decision to take a few rest days, especially since you’ve already been cutting back and are still have minor issues crop up. It sounds like it isn’t a serious issues, so hopefully later this week you will be right back at it.

    1. That was my thought too Heather. I’ve had minor issues that crop up while taking days off so it makes sense to rest.

  11. I don’t blame you to take a little break and take it easy. You’ve had some big PRs recently in the 5K and some great half marathons and may just need a few weeks of easy, unstructured running and the issues may work themselves out with rest. It’s one thing to have to miss a race you wanted to do, or a few runs, because you will keep the fitness you’ve built, but getting injured and having to take weeks or months off is rough and requires rebuilding. Very smart decision, IMHO.

    That 80s run looks like it was fun! We don’t have a lot of themed races here, but I bet the costumes were fun to see :).

  12. I think it’s so smart to take a break! It seems like you’ve been racing a ton in the past year so your body is probably ready for some rest. Your outfit is totally awesome and totally 80’s 🙂

  13. Such a smart move! It’s easy to overlook things that don’t seem like a big deal until they BECOME a big deal! The rest will only make you stronger! I’ve been struggling a bit mentally lately too. I’m hoping a break will be what I need to come back strong too!

  14. You had a months of great running, backing off and resting is the best thing for you, Now that the weather’s being good and may,june July , are coming up more races are going to pop up, so we’ll rested will do you some good for the future.
    I like both races though I don’t think i’ll dress
    Happy running hollie..

  15. The hardest thing for me is simply resting. I’ve battled with shin splints and stress fractures for my entire running career so I understand exactly what you’re saying in this post. Relax and recover and come back stronger than ever 🙂

  16. You’re being smart, Hollie, and it will definitely pay off in the long run. I’m really excited for Broad Street this year! I prefer timed races because I’m all business and too lazy to put together a costume for themed races. But the 80s run did look fun!

    1. The 80s run was timed! You ran a PR though on Sunday so I think you made the right call 🙂

  17. Crap! I’ve had some nagging soreness here and there as well. It started in my right knee cap (runners knee!) and then moved over to the medial hamstring (I forget what it’s called) where it attaches to the inside of my knee, and now it’s back in my kneecap again. I just need to back off, I know it. I’ve backed off, the pain goes away and then I push myself for a really hard tempo run and then it hurts all over again. Doh! I hope your injuries GO AWAY and that come Thursday, you’re ship shape!

  18. I took off running from Monday – Friday last week because I have had some minor hamstring strain, or that is what it feels like in my left hamstring! I ran Saturday and sunday and am going to probably take off today through Friday again and then see how I feel this weekend. I have a half marathon (my first!) coming up May 15th, so I want to make sure I am okay for that. Thanks for reminding me that it is okay to take off time from running! good luck with your resting, I hope it helps you! <3

    1. I hope it feels better Lindsay. What kind of hamstring issue was it? I know that’s definitely hard. Which half are you doing?

  19. there must be something in the air because i am taking the majority of this week completely off of running as well. something that is supposed to make me happy is feeling like a chore and i dont like that. i hope taking some time off helps your body get back to normal, definitely dont want an injury keeping you down!

    1. I hope you feel better as well Rachael. I hate to hear other people aren’t feeling great too. No one wants that, let me know how your recovery goes.

  20. Very smart and responsible decision to take some extra rest. You’ve had a monster few months of training and racing so this extra recovery time is definitely well deserved.

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