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Is it Time to Recharge?

IMG_0150I was reading Jen’s – Running with the Girls – “Let’s Call It A Recharge Week, Shall We” blog post from Monday and it really struck a chord with me.

Her post really made me stop and think that I really need to take some time off from running.

Why: I have run more this year than I have since 1986 and I need some time to allow my body to heal and recharge – for the fall running season.

Symptoms

I have struggled with nagging discomfort in my hamstrings and right hip for almost a month, which are not enough to stop me from running, but at the same time don’t seem to be getting a lot better – while I keep running on them – especially my longer runs. I really don’t want this discomfort to turn into something more.

When I looked back through my running log I haven’t taken more than 2 days off in a row, since back in mid February, when a minor calf strain took me off the roads for 4 days.

After Monday’s long run, my legs just felt tired and during the run, I didn’t seem to have the same snap and go that I usually do.

Also my times on my long runs are slower now then they were earlier in the year, which to me is a sign of tired legs.

A lot like you

I know that a lot of runners are probably in the same boat and would probably say similar things about their running and their bodies now. However, most runners are getting ready for a fall marathon or other races that are important to you this fall.

Which makes us runners believe that we can’t take some down time to let the body heal right now. After all – we can’t afford to miss a week of running and still be ready for that important race – it would undermine our self-confidence – even though physically it might be the best thing for us.

This is the time of year that we tend to really not listen to our bodies and pay for it with even more down-time later.

The reality is that

I don’t have a major race planned beyond a half-marathon and I am very confident about my ability to finish one – How fast I can do one is more the question. My race isn’t until later in October, so other than some local 5K’s or a 10K, I really don’t have any racing planned for early this fall.

This time I believe that I will really listen to my body and do what it is trying to tell me.

Rest and Recharge

The Plan

The plan is to take Tuesday through Saturday off and run a little on Sunday – if I am pain-free, if not I may extend it until I am.

I am not worried about the lower weekly or monthly mileage that taking 3-5 days off will cause, because in the long run, this rest will allow my body to run better during the upcoming fall racing/running season – which is my favorite time to run!!!

Still it is hard not to run

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Yesterday and today are prime examples of this great weather that is coming: low 50’s, low humidity, and bright sunshine in the morning, which are making it tough not to run.

However, I am still walking, doing stuff around the house and not surprisingly the hamstrings and hip are feeling a lot better, just after this short amount of time, so I know that this is what the body is asking for.

I just have to keep smart and not suddenly put on my shoes and head out the door for one of those “spur of the moment” it is too nice not to run – runs.

Big Question

Here is my quandary though – I really, really want to run the Bond Brook 5K race on Thursday night, but also “know” that I need this down time to give my body a chance to heal and recover.

I just have to figure out if this low-key 5k race on trails is a good thing to do this week or something I need to skip again this week (I missed last week’s trail race due to my NYC trip preparations)? After all it is only 3.1 miles and there are only 2 more left in the series after this one.

The shorter runs have not really bothered me, so it wouldn’t bother me too much as far as healing – it would be more of a check to see how I am doing Winking smile.

Decisions, decisions

What would you do?

I welcome your suggestions and ideas on this one.

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18 Comments »

  1. I would definitely not run and just got watch. It’s nice to be a spectator sometimes…there’s definitely joy in that too! –Ericka @ The Sweet Life (sweetlifeericka.com)

    • Thanks Erica – that is what TheWife is suggesting too, me of course I want to run ;-). I will just see how it is going tomorrow – I am not a good spectator, much prefer to be a participant, but if I don’t run plan to go and take pics for those who do run.

  2. Let that race be a snap decision. See how you feel in the morning; don’t overthink it. Decided like an hour before if you really want to do it. Otherwise, I’d take the night off.

    This is a great post – as I’m in the middle of marathon training, I was thinking this morning that I’m going to plot out some major downtime in November to get myself recharged for 2013.

    • Thanks David – The race is not until 6:00 PM, so I have the whole day to figure it out, which is nice.

      Like you I have a feeling that I will be taking some time off again between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not enough to loose too much – there is a balance and winter around here for me is a time of reduced mileage any way, just due to road conditions – no shoulders make for dangerous vehicle runner encounters which I don’t want :-).

  3. I think you are being really, really smart. And you are 100% correct–we can all afford a week off if our bodies are asking for it. You’ll come back stronger for it.

    • Amanda – I believe you are right, but it is so damn hard, I can still run, just not without a little discomfort – not even really pain, but I know that I could go out right now and run 5 miles without hurting too bad and I really, really want to :-). But I won’t, but tomorrow night, well we will see ;-).

  4. Could you invite along a friend who has been wanting to run, but is afraid? Maybe someone who is much slower than you . . so you can enjoy that slower pace, socially, introducing them to the sport? Maybe wear a tutu 🙂

  5. Glad you are resting Harold, I say skip the race because even though it is a short distance races put wear on your body because you usually put more effort into it. I know from experience that even when I say I am going to race a “leisurely” race I don’t…..

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