Is it an Injury?

A runner in motion |

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw me mention that Tuesday was my first run in four days.

I purposely took some time off because I was questioning…Is it an injury?

Let’s back up. Two Saturday’s ago, I ran 16 miles. I felt pretty good through all of it. Mariette and I did stop a couple of times to stretch. I’m not sure if it was during one of those times or after Sunday’s easy run, I began to feel like I pulled or strained something in my right upper calf/inside of my knee. A downside of being super flexible – you can get way too deep into a stretch! It didn’t hurt to the touch. It never swelled. Never bruised. I didn’t even feel it all the time. I could run on it for the most part. It was at certain times when my heel dropped lower than my toes, I felt it. Marathon training leaves you sore and stiff but this was different.

Like the stubborn runner that I am, I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday even though my calf was feeling like this. Part of me was thinking I shouldn’t run at all. It was a cut back week in training after all. But then my irrational fear of NOT running takes over. I’m going to lose everything I’ve gained! I knew I wouldn’t lose all of my running fitness in four days but when it comes to injuries, I have a tendency to exaggerate and think the worse. We have a history after all.

Plus I like to live in the land of Denial…if I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not there.

Since this pulled/strained feeling wasn’t any better by Saturday, I told myself I needed to take some time off from running in hopes that it would clear up. I reasoned that it’s better to do it now rather than have it exacerbate into something bigger later in training which might jeopardize marathon #1 entirely.

Even though I’ve had to take time off from running before and have not had to wake up early for a long run on the weekend, it was the strangest feeling. Even Ron commented on it. The day seemed so long! I felt restless all day. What do I do with myself?

I’m very proud to say I stuck with my plan of not running for four whole days. I did some yoga, rode my bike and iced like it was my job. No problems. Tuesday morning rolled around and I was ready to run. Ironically, just as I was stretching out my legs before getting out of bed, I got a wicked big cramp in my left calf. I jumped out of bed and worked it out but it left a knot for some time. Seriously? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

The run went well. I didn’t feel the same strain/pull as last week. I took it at an easy pace and just ran for fun. It felt wonderful to be back to doing what I love. I’m not sure if what I was feeling was really an injury but I’m glad I took the time off. Lesson learned – you can take some time off from a training plan and get right back into it without any problems! Fingers crossed that this was just a fluke and I won’t be dealing with this issue anymore.

Oh and the knot in my right calf went away too.

Thank you universe!

Have you ever taken time off from a training plan because of fear of an injury?

Are you a stubborn runner?

34 comments on “Is it an Injury?

  1. Good job, Angela! It’s crazy how hard it is to pull back and take time off, but that’s how you stop an injury in its tracks. If you hadn’t done it and it had turned into one, you would have regretted not having taken the time off. Come marathon day, you will not be missing those four days–it’s all good.

    I did the same two weeks ago. My achilles started aching higher up than where it ever had before. Remembering back to last year when I ignored achilles pain and turned it into a monster, I took a few days off. I seem to be in the clear, so even though it was tough, it was worth it!
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  2. Great job listening to your body!! I have to watch my back very closely since it gets injured very easily and often times from something small. I have to listen closely to the warning signs before it just screams!! Sounds like taking the time off was just what your body needed!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Almost Wordless Wednesday…Getting AwayMy Profile

  3. It is always smart to take a few days off instead of risking an injury that can curtail race plans. I just deferred my fall marathon in part because of the chance of injury. Taking chances when I have the biggest race of my life next April (Boston Marathon) even six months prior did not seem like a smart idea.
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  4. Angela, I am SO proud of you!!!! That truly shows you learned your lesson!!! SO much better t take a few days now, than a few months later. You listened to your gut, and stuck with it….and it paid off! Yes, I have done that multiple times, I have learned to listen to that gut feeling….the little voice that tells you something is wrong. It takes a strong person to go against that other side that tells you it will go away, or like you mentioned, that you will loose everything you built up. Way to go lady!
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  5. “Plus I like to live in the land of Denial…if I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not there.” <<< Yes. I guess you probably already know I'm a stubborn runner. And you KNOW you really should stop when you're out there thinking you should. I mean, if you even suspect it, you really know the truth. What the heck …. sigh. Good for you for being the smart runner!!
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  6. Good job taking the time off you needed! I imagine that was a crazy four days! Haha. I’m actually not a stubborn runner at all. If I don’t feel right I won’t run. I often think that means I’m just not passionate enough or don’t love running enough. But I also remind myself that my goal is to be able to keep running when I’m in my 60’s and 70’s so there’s no rush to beat up my body now. You may be “stubborn” but at least you are careful to do the body maintenance you need too! I know some…erm….stubborn runners who are too stubborn to take care of themselves and they wrangle with injuries all.the.time.
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  7. I hope that injury does not strike! You definitely did the best thing by listening to your body. I hope the miles treat you well and don’t be afraid to throw in cross training every now and then. I have found that mixing things up has totally given my body a break and my body feels new strength and energy. Happy running!
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  8. Yes, I often take a break from my training to avoid any sort of injury. If you are prone to injuries, it is better if you avoid pushing your body beyond its limit.

  9. I am a stubborn runner ! I keep running desire lingering foot pain that has been going on for 8 months now ! No matter what I do or how long I rest it, its the minor nagging pain. So annoying and prevents me from doing anything longer than 10K… I have found other ways to keep myself active.
    Hang in there !
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  10. I have been a stubborn runner in the past but it’s always led me to injuries. I’m being very cautious with training right now and if I’m unsure if it’s an injury I take the break. It can be sooo hard because I don’t want to lose my fitness but I figure I’ll have to take a lot more time off if I get injured.

  11. I’m glad the calf problem worked itself out! Have you thought about seeing a massage therapist? I know whenever I’m having major aches or pains mine is able to figure out what’s going on for me. I’ve definitely had to take time off from training to help and injury recover. It’s a bummer, but it’s better than getting really injured!
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Getting Back into the GrooveMy Profile

  12. It’s such a battle within, isn’t it? I should run because if I don’t, everything that I’ve worked for will go to waste, versus, I shouldn’t run, because if I do, everything that I’ve worked for will go to waste. Awesome job listening to your body and resting when you needed to. I’m so glad you had a pain-free run after rest!
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted..The Run Report – In Which I Provoke an Unplanned Intervals WorkoutMy Profile

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