Some times (most times?) runners learn a lesson the hard way. We often work right to the edge of the line of injury and flirt with it. We don’t know exactly where it is until we cross it, which happens to most of us at least once.
Personally, I’ve found the time I’m most injury prone is immediately after a big race. My body is busy recovery and healing all those micro tears and I feel recovered before my body actually IS recovered.
I’ll never forget my first marathon. I was so proud of myself for finishing, and within just minutes of a Boston qualifying time. I felt great through the whole training cycle. I felt great afterwards (after the first few days of sore quads).
We moved to Houston just a few weeks later and I was still running, and jumped back into double digit long runs almost immediately. After that first 13+ long run, I came home and knew I was in trouble. My left shin was so sore it hurt to walk! Sure enough, I had finally crossed the line my body had set for me and I was forced to take off a few months to heal.
This fall after the Maine half marathon, I felt great! I backed off a little and then ran the 4 races at the Runner’s World Festival and was amazed at how good I felt. I took it really easy that next week in preparation for the Perfect ten mile race, and had a new pr. And again thought, I’m feeling so good!!
And then I jumped back into a busy week with a mix of spin, strength training and a little running. I thought because I was running so little I’d be fine, but a week ago my shin (yep- the same one!) began to feel a little achy. It’s no where near “injury status” but my body let me know that if I continue pushing it, it will be.
So I’m taking this week easy in the running department, and possibly next week too. It’s a beautiful time of year to be out running but I’ve learned my lesson and really don’t want to repeat it.
Hopefully by playing it smart now, I’ll prevent a longer recovery time or forced time off.
Have you learned where “the line” is for your body?
How much recovery time do you take post race? How does your body let you know when it’s time to back off?