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Taking a Month Off

It all started January 9th. 

I was in the second week of my plan for theCarmel Marathon and had a speed workout on the schedule.  9 miles total with 5 X 1 mile repeats @ 5:30 pace, a tough workout but nothing outside of my ability and pace range.

I completed the workout with no problem and went back to work. Later in the day the problems started. My butt was extremely sore like I had a giant knot in it. That was strange but I didn’t think anything of it. I ran two more times, once on Friday and a semi-long run with Lindsey on Saturday. I knew by midway through Saturday’s run that something was wrong.  It was my hamstring. The pain was not going away and running was only making it worse.

I decided to take a week off and see if it would get better. I still had illusions of racing in the spring and thought that the week would do the trick. Nope. The week came and went and the leg was still hurting.
I needed a new plan. Let’s give it a couple more days and reevaluate. After my 3rd test run since the injury I knew that I needed help.

I went to a see a Sport’s Medicine Dr. and get lined up for the some PT. At this point, I was still holding on the hope of racing Carmel and nailing my 2:45 goal. I thought it was still possible.

Once I started PT he told me that running was still out of the question for another two weeks and I would have to agree with him. The PT was helping but I was in no shape to run anytime soon. I was beginning to think that I need to adjust my goals and plans for the spring. Train and racing a marathon is hard work and there is no need to push it.

I settled on not running Carmel and set my sights on a new goal race, Chicago. We ran the Chicago Marathon back in 2010 relatively unprepared and one week after riding our bikes 800 miles to NYC for Love 146

October 2010, Indianapolis to NYC on our bikes for Love146

I’ve always wanted to give Chicago a proper try and what better place then The Windy City to tkae my run at 2:45. I was sold. Run Chicago in the fall and just get back into running over the next couple of weeks and just go on my way.

I started the run/walk game about two weeks ago and was slowly getting better adding in more running and slowly, very slowly picking up the speed. The fastest and most I ran at one time was 9 minutes continuous at 8:30 or so. But every time I would run I would still kind of feel my hamstring being just not fully 100% and I started thinking what is the point? What am I doing here? Am I adding any value? Am I just running to run?

The answers to those questions where: no point, nothing, no value, yes. At this point in the game, nothing can really be gained from running and that is why I have decided to take the month of March completely off from running. I do not plan on running a single step.

The previous iterations of me might of struggled with this but not now. I am confident in my decision and know that this is the right decision, at the right time that will still allow me to fully realize my 2013 running goals.
I am going to use the month of March to focus on recovery of my leg and jump start my triathlon activity once again. Following Ironman Wisconsin, I have been focused on running only and have neglected my other training to be honest. I am going ride and swim a ton and come back ready to tackle the Chicago marathon and be better off to do some summer tri’s in the process.
Sure the first couple of weeks back to running might be a little tough but in the end everything will be fine in the end.
Just remember: Be patient, have a plan, work that plan, and great things will happen.
Be confident in your mind to walk away when it makes sense.
Running I’ll see you in April.

Have you ever taken an extended break from running? Do you struggle with knowing when to shut it down? Anyone running Chicago?


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