CIM Week Nine–Committing to Recovery

CIM Training – Week #9

Su – 13.2mi Long Beach Half – the “controversial” 4+min PR

M – Rest/travel.

T – 5 easy/shakeout, few hills. Good, SLOW, pain-free 5 miler in before the conference.

photo 1

photo 2

altitude also makes me crazy but is good for pain-free running!

W – Rest/travel. Drove to yoga pretty excited about it, found out they changed the schedule and I missed it. Dicks didn’t even call me.

Th – 6mi (3-3-1 Tempo attempt) 3mi warmup felt good, and I kept reminding myself that last week I told a friend “I’d punch a baby to run a tempo.” Hit a 7:16 and 7:12 before pulling up and surrendering to the returned pain. Turns out running fast = tib stressor. Back to square one.

F – Rest, pity party.

Sa – 7.5mi, 2.5mi walk (hindsight : 10mi loop route not good idea) Figured since running fast seemed to be causing the problem, I could run a lot of miles really slowly (~9min pace) and it’d be fine. That theory worked for about 6 miles, and eventually I told K to go on without me and I walked/hobbled back to the car. Long Run & Recovery FAIL.

= 32 miles, still injured

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I officially put myself on the DL yesterday. While I don’t feel my tibialis issue getting any WORSE, it’s definitely not getting any better. Just when I feel progress is being made, I go out and test it, push a little too far, and wind up right where I was before and all bent out of shape about it.

Patience what?

I don’t want to deal with a nagging “minor” injury the rest of training, so I’m shutting down and going zero miles this week.

I’ll crosstrain on whatever torture device allows me to sweat pain-free and spend lots of time with my yoga mat, taking advantage of this low-impact time to heal up and “reset” my whole body, not just my aching leg. The Compex machine is going to be permanently attached to my body and I’ll probably wind up with the ProCompression logo embedded on my leg.


compression socks healing my muscles while beer heals my heart

I know the “hay” I’ve put in the barn won’t spontaneously combust taking time off. Yes, a week of no running gives me anxiety out my ears, but I have to trust this is the right thing to do.

“I know showing up not 100% healthy will be even more detrimental than stepping back now. Let the body heal… you’ve still got this. Period end of story”


(from my Believe I Am journal)

* Any past-injured’s want to tell me happy tales of coming back faster and stronger than ever after taking some time off? Or send me some magical healing potion so I don’t really have to go to my sweatbox nasty gym this week?

Sarah OUaL


41 thoughts on “CIM Week Nine–Committing to Recovery

  1. You’re saying that my IT band injury to Eugene 5K glory wasn’t the first thing that popped into your mind?!?

    You still gotta bunch of weeks til CIM. Maybe this little “mid-training cycle” break will be good — after a week off, you will be refreshed and ready to put in a few more hard weeks. I ended up not running the two weeks before NYC last year and still finished — I had to stop racing around the half-way point, but that was ok with me at the time, because I couldn’t quite bend my leg :)

    I found that as long as I cross trained, my fitness when I returned to running was actually better than I thought. I suggest spinning. Hop up on the 405 to SoulCycle one day. Its like a spinning exorcism and maybe you’d catch a glimpse of GaGa.

    And, for the ultimate of all injured to racing, see Lauren in 5K prelims at OT this year. I think she swam a lot but I last about 10 min swimming so no personal experience on that one.

    Good luck! I think this break is far enough out from CIM that you will be just fine. Just keep your head in the game. Read “Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect.”


  2. “controversial”? Omg you are being si damn dramatic. It’s running. You’re not curing cancer. Your job is not to run. All u do is bitch about hating running. Take some time off. Heal. Quit whining. That’s what ur journal is for. Also that stim machine isn’t going to heal anything. It’s a tens unit…for pain . No research to show any healing. Get yourself some orthotics usually over pronation and combo of weak gluts cause medial collapse .


  3. “Any past-injured’s want to tell me happy tales of coming back faster and stronger than ever after taking some time off?”

    Um, have you met Miss “I broke my foot and then came back to win some ultramarathons and run a 3:08 marathon and shit” Halnon? Hang in there. A week off won’t be so bad. You can work on perfecting your Downward Dog…or your drinking skillz. (But for real, take care of yourself and heal up.)


  4. I’ve had recurrent tibialis anterior tendonitis for probably…3-4 years? Until recently, I did the compression sock thing, thinking that it could only help. This summer I finally saw a PT, who told me that for tendonitis, the compression actually does the opposite of what you need. The tendon swells due to inflammation, and by compressing that area, it actually causes the tendon to irritate the nerves in that area even more, leading to…more pain. Also, KT tape is a MIRACLE. I hobbled home from a 7 miler on wednesday and taped immediately; by the next morning, no pain! You really might want to try it. Looks goofy but I swear by it.

    Good luck and I hope it feels better soon!


    • That’s really intersting – thank you for sharing. I tried the KT tape but must not have put it on right? If this rest week doesn’t cure it I’m hitting my nearest sports med doc.


  5. Hi Sarah, I popped my calf during practice over two months ago. I kept pushing through the soreness for months and in the middle of a great tempo run, pop. I tore my soleus. Very bad grade II strain. It was horrific in my mind as I was staring down my big A race in November. Fast forward 8 weeks. I just started running again and all of a sudden I am running in the form I’ve tried to have for two years. My legs move the way they’re supposed to, I feel beautiful, I feel like I’m flying. My endurance is significantly less, but this enforced rest has allowed my tired muscles and joints to take a break and things are just working as they’ve never worked before. I know many folks who have had to take an unintended race period, and came back much stornger. Embrace the rest of you getting stronger, you’ll come back better than ever.


    • Just reading “popped my calf” puts me in pain. Sorry it was such a rough road for you but really glad to hear it’s worked out for the best and you’re back better than ever now!


  6. ahh i can totally relate! i’m having calf issues and i am ONE WEEK away from the columbus marathon. i am hoping that resting (and thus making myself completely insane) will be worth it on race day! :/ i hope you get better soon!


  7. I had a stress fracture in my pelvis in 2010 (when I was so close to running my first marathon), took off 5 months from running…then came back and ran a 3:30 later that winter and then a 3:26 the next spring. Way faster than I ever was pre-injury.

    I think that my hip injury made me faster because all the non-running time gave me time to think about how much I really loved running. I am a firm believer in taking time off to heal up fully and then starting up again with a fresh body.


  8. After being injured for 6 months, a year ago, I’m convinced that taking a week off here and there is a really good thing. I don’t feel like I lose fitness and it definitely gives my body time to recover. I don’t even worry too much about cross training during a week off. I do some, but I don’t stress about it. Better to take a week off now than more time later! I think you are doing the right thing. It’s hard to do, but try to enjoy your week off!


  9. Have you tried massage therapy? I had a lot of inflammation and pain in my posterior tibialis earlier this summer. I took a week and a half off from running, RICE’d , and started an aggressive massage therapy program (every few days). If it isn’t a bone injury, the massage therapy should help with the tightness, inflammation, etc. I was able to run my marathon (pain-free) three weeks after the onset of the pain. I’ve also been using kinesio tape on the problem area – i think the KT pro tape sticks better.


  10. The dreaded time off…..It’s crazy making!
    I kind of sort of took a week off last week. I got all panicky…I prob acted like a jerk all week
    A week off is a great thing….for your body…
    Just drink a lot..that’s my recommend.
    In all seriousness though….I hope the week off helps that issue!


  11. It is unfortunate to see how an injury effects us as runners (mentally mainly)! However, it is equally as nice to read this comment stream and see the comeback stories. I fractured my foot a little over 2 months ago and did nothing but cross train for 5 weeks (I didn’t even run to catch a train when I was late, my boss was thrilled). In the 4 weeks after coming back I ran the NYRR 18 mi tune up, an Ultra Ragnar, 20 miles, and just PR’d a half marathon by 4 minutes. I am now positive I came back stronger and faster. I bitched and complained (and drank too much) the entire 5 weeks and no one wanted to be around me but my body was obviously screaming for the rest time and now i couldn’t be happier. You are an amazing runner and the rest will only make you stronger!


  12. Now I really think you have the same issue I am having. Running fast just makes it more angry – thus why I haven’t run a tempo or a fartlek, etc, in like two months. But I still pulled off a pretty good marathon given only 2 weeks of taper and only an 18 miler in 8 weeks (thanks to the 6 days I took off freaking out that I had a stress fracture, I missed my 50K which was to be one of my base runs). If I were you, I would just run easy miles for a couple weeks. No fast runs. See how it goes. I also cross trained with spin class since that is an ass-kicker workout, didn’t seem to bug my shin at all.

    KT tape – I used this one:

    It says to check out the updated one. I’ve tried that application and I didn’t like it. But the y-strip one, for whatever reason, sort of calms it down.


  13. Last spring I was training for a full and my tendonitis in my foot got so bad I actually decided to not just rest it for a week, but booted it as well (eek!). I came back slow the first few runs, but by 2 weeks out I was busting out speed work like it was no one’s business. In some ways I think the extended rest period gave my body the perfect time to recover EVERYWHERE and give me that last burst of energy for final training. I ended up running my race 5 minutes faster than I had trained for. Bam! You’ll be golden. You’re going to OWN CIM. theend.


  14. Uuuugh! Injuries SUCK!!! I’m with you right now. Just trying to remind myself to let my body heal, trust in ny training thus far, and that Id much rather run long term than to run some stupid 5-miler today. So hard to resist though!!! Good luck recovering!!!!


  15. holy mean readers. don’t f-ing read if you don’t like it. you’re injured. it sucks. your blog. write whatever the F you want. and whine if you want to. YOUR BLOG. and, i personally want the journal-don’t care what anyone else says-it’s a great way to keep up with training. okay, off my soapbox. you know i can relate-this injury SUCKS. take a week off from running-hit the dreaded elliptical (trashy magazines help), see a sports massage therapist. hopefully that will help.


  16. I’ve had hip problems from time to time and the key for me to stay sound is weight lifting. If I can do a fully body routine a couple of times a week at least, I feel great. I think a lot of runners forget about weights or are afraid of bulking up. But like the aforementioned poster said, a lot of injuries do result from a weaker muscle in the problem area, for me its my weak hips. Seriously though, when you weight train its like somebody put zippers all of your skin and tightened you up! Good luck! I hope you stay sound and heal!


  17. It’s so stereotypical, but an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure…and it sounds like you’re obeying that theory. It sucks, I’ve been there, but trust your training and trust that less running WILL get you to the start line and more running would only get you further away.

    For what it’s worth, I got really hurt (like limping while walking hurt) one month before Chicago. I took two weeks OFF from running, ran no higher than 12 miles before the marathon, and ended up PR’ing. Not only that, but I felt GREAT the whole race primarily because of how well rested my legs were.

    I know it’s always easier in hindsight. I still have great faith in all the “hay” you’ve built up!


  18. I’ve cracked my hip twice–femoral neck stress fracture in 2011 and femoral neck stress reaction in 2012. It has SUCKED having to be on crutches for weeks, and off running for months, and retraining twice to get back to being able to do my little 12ks and half marathons. But, I ran a 12k Saturday with my best time ever (slow, but fast for me). I’m taking it all VERY carefully this time. During training, I did about half my miles on the treadmill. I did lots of cross training and foam rolling. And I have a team of people who keep me out there: chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, rolfer. I’m taking this entire week off before starting half training. There is light at the end of the tunnel but if you don’t do the rest, you don’t get there.


  19. I tore my calf last spring and spent lots of time in spin class and in the elliptical. I found some elliptical interval work outs online that were pretty tough. I think I did come back faster, it took a little longer to get lr endurance back. I think spin and elliptical help with getting my legs turning over faster, without the impact, as long as you push yourself on those machines.


  20. Pingback: Get Your Lucky Undies Ready… | Once Upon a (L)ime


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