On Running and Life Lately

After the Marine Corps Marathon, I took nearly two weeks off from running. I did not run a step until November 8, which was 12 days away from running. For the first week, I completely rested. It was just as well, since I had long days at work that week.

I started to feel ready to run again, physically, about five days after my race. But I still needed the mental break from running. Eighteen weeks of training is a lot, and even when I wasn’t able to train I spent all my time thinking about running and fretting over missed training. I think it’s important to take a step back and do some other stuff for at least a short period of time. It keeps you from burning out on the sport you love. Too much of a good thing, and all that.

So during the second week after my marathon, I did some light cross training. It mostly involved some strength training circuits (corework, pushups, lunges, planks, etc.). Finally on Saturday, November 8, I was ready to run and convinced Barry to hit the local mountain bike trails with me. We only ran about 2.5 miles, but it felt so good to be back out there. Which is exactly how I wanted my first post-race run to feel.

mountain trail elevation

We only went halfway up the mountain.

Naturally, having not run trails in quite awhile (aside from that one day), my legs were burning and so were my lungs. But it was good. The only downside was rolling my right ankle on a rock towards the end of the run. My ankle didn’t really hurt afterwards but the area below it, along the side of my heel did. It wasn’t that bothersome, though, so I met up the next morning with Kim for an 11 mile run on the Dora and New River Trails.

I had a great time running with Kim, as we hadn’t run together in a few weeks. I spent nearly 7 miles describing every detail from the Marine Corps Marathon weekend to her. She probably regretted asking me to tell her about it 🙂 I noticed my foot was bothering me a bit from miles 6 – 8, but it went away and I attributed it to the unevenness of the trail during that section. Later that day, though, my foot was swollen and bruised along the outside of my heel and it was pretty painful to walk on. I spent the rest of the day icing it and trying to stay off of it as much as possible.

I had to take off Monday through Wednesday because my right foot continued to be painful. On Monday and Tuesday my foot was pretty painful to walk or stand on. But the bruising and swelling subsided, and it started to feel better by Wednesday. I took Thursday off as well and then cross trained on Friday. It was my first Jillian workout in months, and I could definitely feel that!

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred workout

Saturday morning I met up with Kim in the chilly 20 degree weather for a 6 mile run. We actually met up at the Huckleberry, which was fun and a nice change. I insisted on running some of the new section of trail, so we got some hill work in, too!

huckleberry trail

My foot felt fine the whole run, and despite the chilly weather it felt great to be out running since the air was crisp and the sun was shining. It was also exciting to see they have almost finished the bridge that will connect the old section of trail to the new part!

huckleberry trail new bridge

Once we finished running I changed into a dry set of clothes and made use of my trip to the area by doing some Christmas shopping. I know it’s kind of early, but I can’t stand the crowds after Thanksgiving! During my shopping, I noticed my right foot was bothering me again in the same spot. This was kind of disheartening, since it had felt fine since Wednesday, and during our run. It continued to be mildly painful the rest of the day, which did not bode well for the trail adventures I had planned for Sunday.

My foot was still bothering me yesterday, so I spent the day dusting and cleaning the house instead of playing on the trails like I had wanted to. I also gave the dogs baths, which can often be it’s own strength training workout when they’re in the mood to escape from the tub (both were in such a mood).

bloodhound bath

I did another Jillian 30 Day Shred workout in the afternoon and then hung out on the couch and watched the 2014 Kona Ironman. Pretty good end to the weekend, at least!

At this point, I’m still planning to run the Star City Half in Roanoke with Kim this Saturday. It’s the first time we’ve actually planned to run an entire race together, so I’m excited about that! Whatever is going on with my foot seems minor, so hopefully my Saturday plans will work out. We’ll see how things go this week.

How long do you typically take off after a big race? Is it based on how you feel physically or mentally?

14 Comments

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  1. I took off 2 weeks from doing anything too. I have no desire after a marathon and that’s ok!! Some experts tell you to take a month off! I can’t imagine that though. I’ve only run twice and my hip flexor is really bothering me. Hope your foot is ok!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…WIN Detergent Review/GiveawayMy Profile

    1. I think we all need that mental break after weeks of training. I cannot imagine a month off, either, but roughly two weeks off was about right.

  2. Keep an eye on that foot and don’t overdo it. Hopefully it won’t cause you any more trouble. I am planning on getting some flat land training in for the drum stick dash so make sure you are in tip top shape. I would hate to show you up.

    LUD.

    1. Hope I can keep up. No dropping me until the finish line is in sight!

  3. Those dang trails, so beautiful but so dangerous. Hope your ankle gets better by Saturday.
    running schlub recently posted…The Liebster AwardsMy Profile

    1. Thanks. It’s feeling better, but not completely. Not sure what it is, but I think I’ll be alright tomorrow.

  4. Yay! So excited you get to run a half with your running buddy! Zoey and Shrek send their sympathies to Hank and Scout 🙁 But it is SO NICE to have nice smelling pooches in the house 🙂
    Amy recently posted…Snow DaysMy Profile

    1. I’m looking forward to it! H & S appreciate Zoey and Shrek’s sympathies, haha. They’re not big bath fans… Hank tolerates it better than Scout. But they’re so shiny and smell so good afterwards!

  5. I’m terrible and probably don’t rest enough. I feel lost without running so I usually just take about 3 days off before I add a short run in. Last week I started out super easy with the elliptical and then started running a day or two after. 18 weeks is a very long time to be stressing over a training plan. I know!! lol but like I mentioned, I feel so lost without running or a plan. I hope your foot turns out to be just fine! 🙂
    Jess@Flying Feet in Faith recently posted…#MotivationalMonday Celebrate!!My Profile

    1. I feel ya! Running is definitely my number 1 choice when it comes to exercise. Everything feels right with the world when I run 🙂 But I also need that downtime.
      Meagan recently posted…Runners Tell All: Biggest Fan(s)My Profile

  6. Hopefully you just pulled a little something in your foot and it will work its way out. At least that didn’t happen during your marathon training! I’m glad you took some time off. Too many bloggers I read are so neurotic about not missing a day of working out that I think they are mentally and physically wearing themselves way down. The half sounds fun! No big deal after a marathon, right? 🙂
    jan recently posted…Winter is Here!My Profile

    1. I think that’s probably what it is. I’ve run a few times and it hasn’t hurt at all during my run, but it’s been bothersome afterwards. I think I just need to take it easy for a bit and it will work itself out.

  7. Since I’m so far behind in some of my reading, I’m bummed to hear about your foot. Since I saw that you ran the Star City Half, it must have recovered!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…GratitudeMy Profile

    1. It has recovered! It was weird how it wouldn’t hurt when I ran but would hurt afterwards. That made it hard to figure out when it was okay to run again. But it’s back to 100% now! I don’t know that I was fully recovered for the Star City, but it was so cold that day I couldn’t feel anything, anyway.

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