I started writing this post almost 2 weeks ago, not sure what I actually wanted to talk about, but knowing I wanted to write. It’s been almost a month since I last ran, and I don’t think I’ve gone this long without running since I became a “runner” ~3.5 years ago. The month has been a mix of depressing, exciting, and anxious feelings… sometimes just one at a time, sometimes all together in one.
When I decided to not run Boston this year and give myself the time it needed to actually recover, my thought process went a little something like this, “Great, take a few days off (2), then make an ‘injury workout plan’.” I thought that by still working out, but not running, I would be better off than I was before, and definitely able to get better. My plan-- which basically subbed in swimming for running-- was as follows:
Monday AM: swim 1,600 meters (1 mile); PM: lift
Tuesday AM: swim 700-1,000 meters (realistically I would always choose the latter), Core 2, Myrtl
Wednesday AM: swim 700-1,000 meters (again, I would choose 1,000), Core 2, Myrtl; PM: lift
Thursday: “yoga if I wanted it” (take a guess, I would go…)
Friday: bike 30 minutes, swim 700 meters, Core 3, Myrtl
Sunday: bike 60+ minutes, Core 1, Myrtl
I completed the above schedule for one full week, and my body felt like it was in full training mode, as did my brain, and although I know what’s not what my body needed, it’s what my brain was telling it to do. Two Mondays ago, the day after I completed my “perfect injury workout week,” I woke up later than expected thanks to sleeping poorly due to another Boston snow storm and the plows that accompanied it. I was “supposed to” swim a mile, but wasn’t feeling it. I immediately texted Jana to tell me it was okay to do less, or rest, but I got a little (JK, a lot) of tough love.
But this was something that I needed to hear. Jana, who is just now coming back from her own injury, reminded me that in order to recover, I actually needed to rest. She told me she was worried about me-- as any good friend would-- and that I was digging myself further into a physical injury, and I realized (or maybe Jana said it, because she knows everything) I was also digging myself into a mental rut.
Now as someone who decided to be mature and call it quits on Boston and trying to run before I got even more hurt, I acknowledge I was being incredibly stupid. Sure, I wasn’t running and putting a ton of stress on my knee, but I was still moving-- a lot-- every day. I used to intertwine yoga and “rest days,” but Jana likes to remind me that a rest day means doing nothing. Literally nothing. So, I promised Jana I would take a full week of rest (minus one day of yoga, which she happily agreed to).
Yes, the week was rough; I felt lazy and like I was gaining 20 pounds. Thankfully work was crazy and a little bit of a distraction. But most importantly, I survived, and I mentally and physically feel better. After eight days off (take that, Jana!), I got back in the gym and took things slow this week. I swam twice (and felt like I was swimming through chia pudding), lifted twice, and took two yoga classes. Next week I’ll continue to be responsible and add in another day of swimming or spinning. Then so on for the next few weeks.
Again, even though the week off was rough, Tom told me that my leg felt great, and he didn’t even want to see me next week-- winning! We discussed a plan to get me back on my feet and running, and decided another month of adding swimming and cycling back in slowly, until I’m back on my normal load, seems like a great idea. Optimistically, I’ll be ready to run on April 1st, after he agrees that my strength is no longer that of a baby kitten’s.
Besides from the sadness of not being able to run-- especially with this week’s 65* Boston weather-- it’s extremely frustrating and sad seeing all of my friends running, especially those training for Boston. Things like Strava don’t help this, especially with my competitive nature, so I deleted it (for now). I’ve also been trying to limit my social media mindless scrolling-- swapping it out for reading REAL BOOKS (#PrintMediaLives)-- and I believe this is also helping. Highly recommended for anyone going through an injury… or those who just want to back off the competitiveness. I’m trying to keep reminding myself that I’ll be out running the marathon course, when I’m ready, and there’s no point rushing it or getting angry about it. I’m thankful for friends, and a boyfriend, who get it, and aren’t forcing me to get back on my feet too quickly.
Until that happens, I’m going to continue to listen to my body, and take an extra day off if I feel like it. I’m also going to commit to actually blog about my non-running life, including travel plans (anyone ever been to Asheville? Jon and I are going in a few weeks!) and cooking (yay for new InsideTracker results and therefore recipes!). Feel free to hold me accountable to at least one blog post a week :)
And in an effort to make rest days great again, here’s a few things I’ve been able to do without spending 2-3 hours a day working out:
Bachelor Mondays-- arguably one of the best days of the week thanks to 8-10 of my girlfriends spending Monday night screaming at Nick Viall’s pursuit of finding a wife, while downing wine
Grabbing dinner (and trying duck and rabbit) with a few of my sorority sisters who I haven’t seen in WAY too long despite living in the Boston area
Celebrating National Tequila Day with Jana, Britto, and Carolyn (and a guest appearance from John Murray) complete with tacos, guac, lots of margs, and pop rock cotton candy
Perfecting my breakfast skills for when Jon comes home from double digit runs
Making banana cookies. Lots of them. (Let me know if you want the recipe!)
Getting locked in a room with my coworkers and getting out in 58:08 (highly recommend)