4 days off (2 days no exercise)
2 hours elliptical
As you can see, in light of Tuesday morning's debacle and my admittedly increasing shin pain, I went against everything ingrained in my body (and mind) and made the smart decision to take most of the rest of the week off. Aside from a few mandatory run clubs with Pacers in DC and one self-imposed mandatory fun run with my good friend and District hostess Jilane, I was pretty much a slug for the remainder of the week. I called off a morning run with Jilane on Wednesday after less than a minute of uncomfortable steps, and in the evening we were easily persuaded to scrap a half-hearted cross-training plan in favor of enjoying a relaxed dinner and a bottle of wine. (Antioxidants, anyone?) Friday, Saturday and Sunday I invoked all sorts of self-restraint and didn't allow myself to run a single step, instead slogging through a few elliptical sessions more for sanity's sake than anything else. I even passed on a long run at Davidson and group breakfast at Toast--where the special was peanut butter banana french toast--because I was adamant about being "good" on my final day off. Ugh.
As much as I hate to admit it, there's probably a reason that my mental and physical unraveling coincided in this particularly insidious manner. In order to find the last time when I only ran three days in one week, you'd have to go all the way back to the end of August last year when I hurt my foot at the Greek Fest 5k. On the one hand (foot?), I think it's a tremendous accomplishment that I've been able to train (relatively) happy and (relatively) healthy for almost an entire year. At the same time, perhaps this was my body's not-so-subtle way of demanding me to take a break and recharge the 'ol batteries before the real training begins this autumn. Because let's face it, we runners are stubborn. I definitely wasn't going to take the initiative to do so myself.
Looking ahead, I'll play next week by ear depending on how my leg feels. I plan to head out for a "tester" run tomorrow and, if all goes well, I'll probably ease back into fairly normal mileage and low to moderate intensity. I also hope to seek some treatment from Dr. Greenapple this week and maybe even a massage on Sunday. Taking one week off may prove to be quite beneficial, but if a week turns into a month then we have a problem. I plan on being extra vigilant next week to ensure that doesn't happen.
Sunday, August 7, 2011