February Recap: Over-training & An Injury

I haven’t posted much the past week because well, I haven’t been running.  I ended February and have started March with a case of Achilles Tendonitis…and to be honest, I’ve been a little blue about it.  I’m officially out of the first race I had planned for the year, the Publix Georgia Half Marathon, and it’s still questionable whether or not I will be able to run the Nike Women’s Half next month (though my doctor is optimistic I should be able to at least “mostly” run it).  I’ve been reflecting on how I got here, and I think it’s time to blog about it.

First let’s start with a recap of February running:

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I made so much progress in February–but I did it all the wrong way.  I’d like to take a second to point out that the February numbers are just for 3 weeks, since I was out the final week.  I got into a cycle of over-training which is so easy to do.  I kept seeing improvements in my times and got so enthusiastic that I just kept running and kept pushing myself harder.  I took rest days but in retrospect, not enough.

In addition, I switched to new shoes (the Saucony Cortana) at the beginning of the month, which moved me from a 12mm heel drop to a 4mm heel drop and switched from heel striking to mid/fore foot striking.  My lower calves were tight/sore most of the month as a result, but instead of taking proper rest, I just stretched and foam rolled more.  In retrospect, this was a sign that my body needed more rest, but I just kept pushing.  I’m so mad at myself for this!

This all culminated with a very ambitious, VERY hilly 11.5 mile training run which ultimately led to my tendontitis.  The week immediately after my injury had me blue–I couldn’t do anything, barely even the bike, without pain.  I was walking with a limp and bought a brace of Amazon to help keep everything in place.  After 4 or so days, I knew that it was nearly certain that I wouldn’t be running my race this month.

At the beginning of this week, I went to the podiatrist because let’s be honest, I’m impatient and my foot wasn’t making the progress I would have liked on my own.  Going into the appointment, I was pretty confident he was going to tell me I had Achilles Tendonitis, which he did.  Luckily, he told me it is a very mild case, but he wanted to use an “aggressive” treatment to knock it out so it doesn’t linger.  This means–foot in a boot for 2 weeks, then a check up and hopefully rehab after that.

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You guys, this thing sucks.  It’s heavy and it hurts my back and my knee on my good leg from lugging it around.  HOWEVER…it is working.  After just one day in the boot I noticed a huge difference at the end of the day.  I’m now able to lightly stretch my calves without pain.  I still have 9 days left in this thing, but I’m feeling optimistic based on the progress I’ve already seen.   I have a very good PT who is going to help me rehab and get back out there without injuring myself.  In addition, I have a bitty boot he gave me so that I can use the stationary bike, and I’ve also been cleared to do water aerobics.  I’m taking this time to try to keep up cardio, but also work on strengthening my core, which will make me a better runner anyways.  I actually tried Aqua Zumba at my gym and really enjoyed it–I’m going to start doing it as weekly cross-training!

The other good thing–I’ve learned an important lesson and I really don’t think I’ll make this mistake again.  No more over-training for me.  I really wish I hadn’t made any improvements in my time and was still able to run!  However, I’ll be back out there soon, and I have a great support system of friends to keep me in good spirits.

So, race #1 is officially off the books.  I’ve decided to volunteer on race day so that I can still be involved, which I’m really excited about!  I have a lot of friends running the race in 2 weeks, and hopefully I’ll be on my way to some light running by then.

Until then–have you entered my giveaway?

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Jess

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