A couple of weeks ago I announced on my blog that I’d be taking a break from running to let my shin splints and right calf heal.
For most people this would be an easy (and probably very welcomed) break but for me it was actually terrifying.
I don’t just run to stay in shape…I run for my sanity – It’s how I de-stress after a long day, it’s when I do my best thinking for my blog/work and it gives me a sense of accomplishment nothing else gives me. So without running WTF am I supposed to do?
Well, considering my body gave me no other choice but to stop running I’ve had to find ways to stay active (and sane) that don’t involve putting a ton of stress on my muscles/ joints.
Thankfully, I’ve found a few types of workouts (discussed below) that have really helped get me through this running break. I’ve actually really enjoyed slowing down and cutting back on my super intense workouts. I feel like my body is way less puffy, I have more control over food cravings and I see more muscle definition that ever before. It’s been incredibly eye opening to realize SH*T maybe I was really over training and doing more harm than good for my body.
Lesson learned, sometimes less is more.
Last week I shared the unfortunate news that my right calf has been causing me a lot of pain and discomfort. Well, I attempted to ease back into training this past week and things have just gotten worse.
I’m not a doctor but I think the extra stress on my lower legs with my calf being irritated has caused my shin splints to really flare up. I’ve battled with shin splints since High School but I can honestly say I have never experienced shin pain like I did this past week.
My week of training actually started out well. I had one good run with minimal pain but then tried running Thursday and felt pain with every step and Friday didn’t even make it 1.5 miles before the pain got so excruciating I had to stop and
walk limp back to my car.
On Friday hobbling back to my car I came to the conclusion that I needed to take some time off running. I’ve been training every single week for almost 2 years and my body is just screaming at me that I need a break. I’m honestly at the point where I can hardly walk without being in pain and know if I don’t stop and take care of myself something really bad like a stress fracture is going to occur.
Should we start this post off with the good news or the bad news?
Let’s do the bad to get it out of the way!
Last week I ran the La Jolla Half Marathon and completely destroyed my right leg. My original goal was to just go out there and have a good run since it was my first half marathon in about 9 months. Well…my competitive nature got the best of me and I stupidly gave the race 110% when my body was nowhere near ready for that kind of intensity.
This entire past week I’ve been dealing with awful calf pain…we’re taking pain so intense it hurts to walk! So instead of training and working toward my real goal of a 1:45:00 at Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego on June 4th I’ve been stretching, foam rolling, icing and even went and got new running shoes with custom insoles.
We’re just going to jump right into this post because it’s going to be a long one.
I swear you can’t even make up the crazy things that seem to happen the day before/ day of a race. On Saturday I had to go pick up my mom from the airport at 8:00 pm. I figured this would be perfect…I’d grab her, drive up to my parents house then just stay the night and could leave from their house for the La Jolla Half in the morning.
So I show up to the airport and park in the cell phone lot where you can chill until people’s flights arrive. I turned my car off and sat for about 25 minutes waiting for her to text me that she had landed. When I went to start my car to drive over and grab her…DEAD! My car had completely died. We’re talking would only make a terrible clicking sound when I tried to start it status.
Balancing working full time and training for a half marathon can be challenging.
Do you run before work? After work? What if you get stuck on a project and have to skip a run?
I am not a morning person AT ALL so unfortunately most of my running has to be done after work. With that comes the added morning stress of packing to be sure to have I have clothes, fuel, sunscreen, body glide, a hat…etc.
Over the past few months I can’t tell you all how many times I forgot my Clif Shot Bloks or Body Glide and debated skipping my run. I never actually skip my runs BUT they’re certainly just a little less enjoyable when I’m missing one of my running essentials.
I’m 3 weeks into Kara Goucher’s Half Marathon training plan and all I keep thinking to myself is why the hell did I not try this plan YEARS ago.
When I started running I had no idea what I was doing and created my own training plans that were centered around a weekly long run and 1-2 recovery runs. I figured the best way to get better at distance running was to run long distances over and over again right? WRONG! I would end up blowing out my legs and being too sore for any other running.
My crazy training plans worked because I’ve now completed 5 half marathons and 1 full marathon BUT I have never felt in any of these races that I could have gone any faster. My body was so use to running the same speed over and over and over pushing the pace wasn’t even an option.
I have so much running related stuff to update you all on so we’re just going to jump right into this post okay?
In 2016 I ran all my races with 1 goal in mind: finish without dying. This year I’m a lot more comfortable with my running abilities and after last weekend’s Hot Chocolate 15k I’m feeling more confident than ever that I can chase down a half marathon PR!
My next half marathon is the La Jolla Half in just a couple of weeks. I’m not in shape enough to PR on that course especially with all the crazy hills. So the race I’m really training and working towards is the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon on June 4th.
My current half marathon PR is 1:54:23 which is pretty freakin fast! For Rock ‘N’ Roll I’m not looking to just shave a minute or two off this time I’m looking to CRUSH IT and work towards a 1:45:00. This would require me to run about an 8 minute mile for the entire race and considering my average pace on today’s 12 mile trail run was 10:30/ mile I’ve got A LOT of work to do.
My 3rd Hot Chocolate 15k is officially in the books!
Before I start this recap I have to give a HUGE shout out to the race organizers and volunteers. I was blown away how organized this entire event was from start to finish.
There were no bathroom lines, parking was a breeze, corrals were actually enforced and there was hydration every mile or so on the course. AWESOME job Hot Chocolate run!!!
Anyway let’s start this recap out reviewing my goals for this race. My main goal was to finish (obviously) but also to use this as a practice run to get back into racing groove after 7+ months off. Well, spoiler alter…I ended up PR-ing on the course and am very confident that I can do the La Jolla half in a few weeks!
BUT the day didn’t quite start out as perfectly as it ended…
Sorry this post is a day late but I was just too dead from my trip to San Francisco to write anything yesterday.
Speaking of my trip…it was AMAZING! We flew in early Friday morning and immediately headed to Blackwood for brunch and bottomless mimosas. If any of you ever go to San Francisco you HAVE TO try Blackwood’s “Millionaire’s Bacon”…it will change your life. The rest of the day was spent sipping on drinks and soaking up some sunshine.
On Saturday we headed up to Napa which is about an hour outside of the city for some wine tasting. To say we went all out for this wine tasting would be an understatement. We rented a limo, stayed at an AirBnB, got all dressed up and made it to 4 wineries! Our day ended with us climbing the Napa sign for a picture so I’ll let you all just use your imagination how the day went HA!
I woke up at 3:00 am yesterday (which for the record felt with 2:00 am with the time change) to drive up to LA to work the Hangar Half Marathon. When I arrived my caffeine hadn’t hit me, it was freezing and completely dark outside…needless to say I was a little bit grumpy.
Before the runners headed to the start line a few stopped by my booth to grab some samples and an older man came up and asked me if I was going to be running. Without even thinking I made a sarcastic comment and said “No way. I’m so happy I don’t HAVE to run this morning. Waking up this early to work was hard enough”. I expected him to laugh or walk away but his response totally blew me away. He said, “You never HAVE to run. You should always be thankful you get to run”.