Running Week: 10/20/2014 to 10/26/2014 and Running Burnout

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Week 1 post marathon was just as I expected: lacking in mileage. Back when I started my goal of a running streak in 2013, I popped right back into running after every race. However, since I’m not currently chasing that crazy goal I didn’t feel the pressure to get out there and run the day after the marathon. Instead, I took the well deserved rest day on Sunday and figured I’d tackle a small, easy run on Monday.

Running was difficult on Monday. I ran “Garmin-less” on purpose that day because that gadget tends to have a pesky influence on how a pace myself (typically towards the quicker spectrum). I knew I needed to take it easy because my body was still recovering from the beating it took at the race. My body definitely let me know, in more ways than one, that it was still in repair mode. After about 3 minutes I could feel the pain in my feet. About ¾ into my run, my calves started to fatigue. After the run I felt small twinges of pain in my pelvis. It was quite a slap in the face since I’m used to recovering quickly but it was obviously this time was going to be different.

I didn’t sweat the fact that I was still aching too much. Instead I did some reading about post-marathon recovering and saw that it was normal to take anywhere from 4 days to 14 days off after running. However, in my experience I know I get testy and fidgety if I go more than 2 days without running. I decided to proceed with the mindset that I would run if I felt good that day but I wouldn’t time myself and wouldn’t push for long distances. I’d also take rest days when I felt like I needed them. I would have liked to have cross-trained more but our community gym is still closed and I don’t trust the roads around here yet to bike (it’s usually edging nighttime when I go out for my runs).

I ran a short and sweet one on Tuesday, and took Wednesday off because I felt crummy. Thursday was the first day I felt like my old running self and felt the “snap” in my muscles. I set out on a “longer” run and felt great the entire time. I ran with my Garmin this time and was pleased to see my pace was back to normal. It felt as though I was back! Friday was another average run and Saturday was a rest day since I wanted to move my off days to Saturdays. Izzy has Gymboree at 9:15 and we have to leave the house around 8:30 to make it there on time. With the sun rising later and later, it’s difficult to squeeze a run in on that day.

Sunday I hit a wall. I went out for a 5K but it was a miserable one. I just wasn’t feeling the run and hated every step. I think it was the dreaded burnout runners talk about. My heart wasn’t in it and if it wasn’t for my husband’s encouragement to just get out there and do it, I probably would’ve sacked the plan to run and lazed on the couch. I just felt tired physically and mentally. It’s been a long time since I felt that way about running so it was kind of disappointing. Still, that was how I felt Sunday and I knew it really wouldn’t indicate how I would feel Monday. I was really glad I deferred the Wicked 10K to next year, though, because I don’t think I could have run the 6 miles with the way I was feeling.

I guess the biggest lesson I learned this week is to not rush things. I may not feel like my body went through a lot race day but it did. I just need to listen to it and play it by ear for a bit. Most importantly, it’s okay to not run with the same vigor as I did pre-marathon. Most people don’t after a big race. Everyone needs some recovery time.

I’m hoping this week will be better. I fly out to CA in a week to spend some time with family and get ready for the Disney Avengers Half on the 16th. I’m excited for the race since it’s been a while since I’ve completed a runDisney race. I settled on a Captain America costume for the race and can’t wait to have fun with that. I’m also looking forward to the awesome food I’ll get to eat again. What I’m not too thrilled about is the inevitable pressure there’ll be to see as much family as possible. I may need a vacation from the vacation when we get back, lol.

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