Sunday, November 30, 2014

Promises, vows, and honor thy legs

Last night I learned about yet another local woman getting attacked while running. Apparently she was running with a friend at 4:30pm yesterday, and the perpetrator supposedly jumped out of the bushes, stabbed her in the abdomen, and ran away. All reports say she's going to be ok, which is good news. Kind of unnerving, though! This incident happened in the forest preserve where I did a lot of my long runs this summer. I've written about that forest preserve before, and I'm well aware that it isn't the safest place for me to run alone. Let me tell you that yesterday's incident was on my mind this morning when I went on my Sunday long slow distance run. It makes me angry that this keeps happening here and I really hate that I can't just relax and run. This morning, I took my run to the retention pond, hoping that it would be safe and uneventful. And it was both. The path was empty, with the exception of a few walkers, and one runner. It was also joyful, as I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise in the fog and over the frozen pond:


My run was slow and steady, but it was not pain free. There comes a point in every runner's life where they have to acknowledge some injury--or a nagging precursor to an injury. Today was that day. Besides the shin splints that have been plaguing me the past couple of weeks, as I ran around the pond, I began to finally realize that my right piriformis needs to be addressed. Because not only was I feeling a pain in the ass (literally), I had some tugging at my right IT band. The shin splints were also only in my right leg. Could they all be related? I'm thinking yes. Experience tells me that if I don't intervene now, this thing is going to progress. And then I won't be able to run at all. Been there, done that (many times, sadly), and no, I won't let that happen.

In addition, yesterday I pulled out a new pair of shoes to replace the Asics Gel Nimbus that have been so kind to me this year. Back in June, I won a pair of Sauconys of my choice from another blogger. I researched the entire line of running shoes and thought that the Guides would be the closest to my beloved Nimbus'. So yesterday, I slipped on the Guides and went out for a 4 miler. 


The Guides were very different from my Nimbus'. I noticed right away that they felt stiffer. I could hear my feet flapping on the ground, and I had to stop multiple times to roll out my ankles to release my shins. Running in these shoes reminded me of when I started running in orthotics. Too stiff. My legs felt tight all day, and I foam rolled twice yesterday to try to release the muscles. When I woke up this morning, I was stiff and sore. Not good. Its amazing what a different pair of shoes can do to a runner! So I pulled out my old favorites, and headed out for 8 miles. Being sore initially, I loosened up fairly quickly. I noticed the cushy ride that I'm used to with my Nimbus'. Felt a sigh of relief. And made a decision not to run in those Saucony Guides again. I will never again stray from my Nimbus'. Ever. Girl scout honor. I'm not saying the Guides are a bad shoe. A lot of my friends swear by them. But the Guides are not the shoe for me. And now I've aggravated some already angry hot spots...ugh! I'd blame the shoes, but no, this stuff has been talking to me for a while. I really have no one to blame but myself.

I was a girl scout--on my honor!
Another thing is that I haven't been very good about stretching and foam rolling lately, besides my weekly yoga session. I have made a vow to get back at it on this "off season".  I need to do some hip strengthening/balancing that Becky showed me back when we first started working together. Clamshells, resistance band, monster walks. 

I'm also back at this: 

The lacrosse ball. My secret weapon. This thing is great for getting into tight spaces that you might not be able to hit with the foam roller. Or if you can't afford regular massages. Active.com has a great article on 10 self myofascial release exercises for runners. You can read it here.  I also use the lacrosse ball for my hamstrings. I've tried a tennis ball but it isn't firm enough. The lacrosse ball is hard as a rock. Hurts so good. And very effective, when you use it...

I sure don't want to take any time off, but I really need to give myself a break. It's so hard to do after such a fantastic running season! I've been down this road before and I can't seem to learn from it. It's the advice I give to everyone else and I need to listen to myself:


For the next 2 months, it's time to rest and recover. Yes, I'm still going to run. Shorter distances during the week, and those Sunday long runs will be slow. No speed work. Foam rolling and lacrosse ball massage after every run. Yoga 1-2x/week. And strength training with Becky. Hopefully, come February, when I need to step up my training for my half in March, I'll be all rested and fresh. 

My body has spoken. It's time to pay attention.

PS. I'm linking up with Tara at Reading n' Running for her Weekend Update!

26 comments :

  1. Total agreement! I get SO annoyed when I read about people bragging about "running through the pain," If they only knew how idiotic they sound (and, unfortunately, I might be one of them...at times). I shall be your off-season companion, if you so desire to have one ;-) I am enjoying minimum mileage....doing a couple short runs during the week & my "long runs" on the weekends will not exceed 5-7 miles. There may be an occasional longer run, only if I have been pain-free and the weather permits LOL I have no one to impress and nothing to gain by overdoing it. And my body needs an off-season to recharge & gear up for next season. So, chin up! We've got this!!! ;-)

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    1. Ok, we are in this together! I'm glad to have some company--seems like we are in the minority here...

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  2. Oh shin splints! I hate those and have had them many times. Not sure why they just pop up from time to time. Speedy recovery friend

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    1. So weird how they just come out of the blue. I'm focused on recovery now.

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  3. Oh, good reminders here too (I've been reading lots of posts tonight that remind me of things that are important!) ...Yes, on listening to your body! Yes, on taking more time to foam roll and take care of our bodies!! Recover fast!

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    1. Yes! And I've got yoga on the agenda this morning.

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  4. This is one of my biggest pet peeves about the blogoshpere. It's so easy to get caught up in training like others vs training the way that's best for your body. I've already cutback considerably and running will take the backseat for awhile. Hope the shin splints and PIA fade away fast. I need to try a LaCrosse ball!

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    1. Social media in general seems to promote pushing beyond our limits. I mean, what's up with all these ultras? And the high mileage? That might be ok for some but not for me... It's hard not to get caught up in it tho!

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  5. Sorry to hear abou you nagging pains during your run. Glad that the old shoes helped a bit with that. It's so hard to try another pair of shoes when you are so used to one kind. I have never ran in Saucony shoes. -L

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    1. I really didn't think it would be such a difference! Who knew?

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  6. Sorry to hear about the aches and pains, but--I am so impressed that you are acknowledging them and taking action. The hardest thing to do, I know! And that totally sucks about the attack in the forest preserve. It makes me angry, too, that we even have to think about it as women. Be safe out there!

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  7. Sorry to hear about your pain. I am one of the stupid runners who ran with a stress fracture...never again. Shoes are very important. I keep looking for the right ones...now I am wearing Mizuno Wave Rider 18s.

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  8. pain sucks - i've had a few nagging things i intend to get looked at soon!

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    1. I'm hoping my "home remedies" will take care of things!

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  9. Great advice to listen to your body. I need to follow your advice and take it easy in this "off season". I've been injured over the past two winters, so I'd like this year to be different. Hope your legs respond quickly to your therapy. Scary about the attack, hopefully they catch the guy.

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    1. I'm not good at taking it easy, so maybe if I put it out there, I'll stick to it?

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  10. Good for you, Wendy! I mean, not good that you are feeling the beginning of what could be a problem, but good that you are taking the time to deal with it now. I saw your post on FB yesterday about this woman who was attacked...good grief. That is AWFUL! I wish these things would stop happening, because it sure makes running alone a lot less fun. I'm with you on the shoes...I've tried that before and I will never do it again, either! So scary and also strange how wearing a different shoe makes SO MUCH difference. Thanks for linking up again this week, Wendy!

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  11. Thanks for the link about the myofascial release exercises! I need to get a lacrosse ball; my massage therapist keeps telling me I should use one.

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  12. I have been slacking on the foam rolling too, but I did it tonight before reading this blog!Great minds think alike.

    I think off seasons are important.

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  13. I am happy you are taking the rest now before it gets worse!!!! And bummer about the Guides! I am an Asics girl too, and once tried a pair of Mizunos that felt just like that to me - so stiff. I need my Asics clouds. LOL!

    And I feel bad, reading the comments and seeing that people feel pressured to push themselves and do what others are (in the blogosphere), even if it's not right for them. :( Learn what you love and what your body loves! There is a blogger I read who kept signing up for things and not doing them cause she thought she had to run a certain distance. No! Do what you want! Especially DON'T run a lot unless you like it. One lady I know said she wants to do a marathon to "say she did." Um, but she hated half training. I advised that she start liking running long, before thinking about doing a marathon, first!

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    1. I feel like you do...this whole trend towards running ultras? Not something I want to do, nor do I think it would be good for my body. Thank you!

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