My half marathon training came to a screeching halt as of last Sunday when I stopped all formal exercise due to left shin and ankle pain. I rested, I took my homeopathic remedies, I iced, I ate healthy and drank lots of water. I did not exercise at all on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. I really babied the left leg. By Wednesday I was ready for something but not running. The pain had diminished to a vague awareness that something had been sore. While Carlos was in school I went to the gym and did some upper body strength exercises as well as 20 minutes on the Arc Trainer which placed no impact on my legs. The weather was sunny and cool. I was itching to get outside so I left the gym and headed to the college for a walk around the pond. I ended up walking a very leisurely two miles while reading blogs on my phone and soaking up the sunshine. In my calendar I jotted down that I felt no pain just an awareness of sensation on the inner aspect of my left ankle. The shin actually felt fine, but I still returned home and iced my lower leg and ankle immediately.
Not wanting to push it I took Thursday off completely from exercise. By Friday I was pain free, no twinges of pain or sensations so I decided to run. I didn’t wear my Garmin. I just took off at a slow pace and I ran one full loop around the reservoir. I told myself before I set out that if I felt any discomfort or the slightest hint of pain I would stop running. It was ridiculously windy at the reservoir, but that didn’t stop me. I ran at a very comfortable pace. I was really just happy to be back out there. I walked at times because of the wind pushing at me. There seemed to be no escaping it. I felt like I was in a gigantic bowl and never once had the wind at my back.
After the run I went home and iced. I felt fine throughout the day and into the night at work. However, I decided to take it easy over the weekend and just do strength training and the Arc Trainer at the gym. I’ve discovered the medicine ball recently. Thanks to my Nike Training app and a Tone It Up workout posted by Errign the other day. I know it’s no big discovery but it’s new to me and I like the variation of exercises. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent at the gym doing whatever I wanted except for running. I had no plan, just kind of winged it. It was a welcome change for me.
The weekend was busy but very enjoyable. On Saturday morning Orlando, Carlos and I were on clean up duty at the park where Carlos plays soccer. We raked and packed bags full of leaves and other debris still left over from the crazy fall weather last year. We returned to the field later in the day for Carlos’ soccer game. He scored his first goal and his team won!!! It was so exciting especially considering his team did not win one game last season. Carlos has been on cloud nine since, but not so much about scoring the goal. He is just really loving soccer this season. His new coach is fantastic. Many of the kids are the same and all the parents are super nice so it’s a good time at practice and the games.
On Sunday Carlos and I played outside all morning into early afternoon. We played catch, cars, lounged on the grass and chit chatted. Later in the day Orlando and I walked along a local rail trail while Carlos rode his scooter. Despite the chill in the air we hit a nearby farm for local homemade ice cream on the way home. I had the honey ice cream. It was delicious. I’ve learned to order a kids size cone so I can enjoy myself without going overboard, plus I try to keep dairy to the bare minimum if possible. We were all exhausted that evening. Everyone chuckles when I tell them that my child goes to bed around 6:45-7pm most nights. It’s true but he’s also usually ready for bed by then. He sleeps really well because he is so active all day.
Since my longest long run throughout this training was 11 miles I woke up Monday itching to get a longish run in. I had absolutely no intentions of running a double digit run so I settled on about 7.5 miles, half of the half. Again I didn’t bring my Garmin, I just ran at a comfortable pace. I felt great throughout the run and after. I iced and took some Ibuprofen to ward off any exercise induced swelling. Perhaps it did its job or maybe I’m healed. Whatever the case I plan to take it easy the rest of the week. Today I did some strength training at the gym. Tomorrow I will do something, not sure what yet, maybe a walk while Carlos is at school or possibly a light short run. Thursday will be a rest day and Friday a walk.
I think it’s important to have goals and to strive to improve in everything you do, but not at the risk of injuring yourself permanently. I’m not an elite athlete, hell I’m not even an athlete. I cannot afford to hurt myself and risk being unable to work or care for my son. I hope to continue running comfortably for a very long time. I will always set goals and try to get better, but I assure you I will only push so far. If running has taught me anything it has taught me to listen very carefully to what my body is telling me.
Saturday morning is the half marathon in Shelburne, VT. I will be running this one for fun and with complete gratitude to my body for healing itself once again.