This week my patience has certainly been put to the test! It was supposed to be another 50+ mile week, but that was clearly not going to help me meet my goals. With the combination of racing the Buck Ridge Burn faster than I had planned, and then a solid week of 56 miles last week (which included a 10, 11, and 23 miler), my body began to tell me it needed rest in the form of a nagging weakness in my right hip that was causing my IT Band to let me know of it’s presence every time I had to exert force on that side. I’ve been through enough training cycles to know how this goes. Could I have logged a decent amount of miles this week? Absolutely. Would I have been running weak and actually caused a “nagging tightness” to turn into a full blown injury? Definitely. So I had to ask myself what was more important. Sticking rigidly to a training plan and modifying my runs here and there so that I could say I ran this week….or giving my body the rest it was demanding so I could meet my overarching goal of arriving to the start line of Cayuga strong as hell and ready to kick ass. I choose ass kicking every time 😉
The decision to rest extra days when your training plan tells you otherwise is NOT an easy one. However, I have complete confidence in the training I have done so far. I have gotten in many solid long runs backed up by a second long run the following day, mountain repeats with decent vert, and some faster runs that were on both road and trail as well. This was the first time I had any type of signal during the past 16 weeks that my body could possibly break down if I continued to hammer on as per my training schedule. In the past (Gettysburg Marathon training & Ironmaster’s training) I pushed through potential injuries I started to feel about 10 weeks into training and ended up with an actual injury that put me out of running for 3-4 weeks. So playing it safe and resting this week, given my past experiences, was definitely necessary to help me meet my goals. An extra week of rest, a regular cutback week next week to ease back in…and then two more hard weeks before taper is the plan for now.
This is life, you know? Roll with the punches. Play it smart. Stay positive. Focus on your goals. Things hardly ever go as planned. So you problem solve, create an alternate path, and work your ass off in new ways to continue moving forward.
So what did I do this week?
I rested, saw my chiropractor, did my chiropractic homework (dynamic “cobra pose” stretches to open up my hip muscles more), stretched, foam rolled, ate fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, replaced runs with cycling, and lifted and worked on core like a boss.
Monday: 8 mile cycle, upper body, core, foam rolling, stretching, tennis ball for myofacial release in hip (works wonders!)
Wednesday: 3 mile trial on trails with dog (run/walk to test the extra rest day). It was clear I needed more than one extra rest day so we stopped @ 3 miles and I went to the gym), 7 mile cycle, upper body, core
Thursday: 6 mile cycle, core, weights
Saturday: 10.2 mile cycle, stretching, strength, upper body, core
Sunday: stretching, foam rolling, core
How to Maintain your Sanity when you Can’t Run
Besides getting frustrations out during weight lifting, here’s how you can to stay sane during time off from running. . .
- Read a good book! (Never have time for that!)
- Go to a good sports chiropractor. For anyone in my area, Dr. Lenny at Align Chiropractic is amazing. The boys have gone there for wrestling related injuries, and I went during my Gettysburg Training. Dr. Lenny takes the time to assess what is going and figures out the root of the problem. He does not just treat the symptoms. He is pretty confident I will not be sidelined over this, just a little bump in the road. I go back tomorrow. I love getting an expert’s point of view during a critical time in my training and am thinking that I should probably make it a regular thing when my training gets more demanding.
- Catch up on work or chores to stay busy. (Not exactly fun or stress relieving, but good to know something can be crossed off the to-do list). My students will be amazed that their tests are graded and entered so fast!
- Talk to your friends or text them to see how their trail runs went. You might think that would be like rubbing salt in your wounds, but NOT AT ALL! I am living vicariously through them. If I can’t run in the woods I want to hear all about someone else doing it 🙂
- Discover an obsession for something new….like sriracha.
- Watch trail or ultra running videos on You Tube while you are cycling. Here’s one I watched this week. Crazy race!
- Have your family over for lunch and build some new hayfeeders for your goats.
- Heck, just cuddle up with your goats while they take a nap. LOL