Wanted to stop in today and explain an Instagram post I posted last week. As many of you know, if you follow me on the insta, I had been training for about 5 weeks for a local half marathon. I ramped up my running miles and was doing strength training on top of it all. The first 2 weeks my mileage stayed under 6 miles per run. This was a good sweet spot for me. I felt strong, my back wasn’t acting up, and I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed. Then, I started adding in my long runs. I was nervous but excited to do long runs again. I love the feeling of pushing myself past my limits and feeling drenched at the end of a solid, 2-hr run. I’m not going to lie, I also love how many calories I burn and look forward to the treats of the day ;P
My first long run was 10 miles. I felt good throughout the run and paced myself well. I stretched well afterwards and felt good throughout the day. The next day, however, when I woke up, I could hardly move. Every single joint felt crunchy, my back was in so much pain, I couldn’t stand up straight. It took me about half an hour before I could move properly, and I stayed in pain the entire day. I stretched throughout the day and foam rolled in hopes that that would help. However, my back was still in so much pain, I was limping throughout that Sunday and into Monday. I chalked it up to being my first long run. My body was just getting used to the pounding, right? So I tried again the next weekend. I ran 11 miles. Again, felt pretty good throughout the run with slight back pain, but nothing serious. I continued to feel great the rest of the day, however, when the next morning came around, I was in so much pain again. Could not stand up straight for a while, and was limping for 2 days afterwards. I was continuing to see my chiropractor for deep tissue work throughout these weeks and it seemed like every week there was more mobility (good) but also more pain (bad, duh).
I did one more long run and had the exact same results. My body just couldn’t handle the pounding and impact. I took a week off of running, hoping that a break would help my body recover enough to still run this half marathon. It was goal I needed to achieve! How could I give up on that?! I went out on this final Saturday morning, determined to do at least 8 miles. 4 miles in, I was done. My knees, hips, ankles, and back were all telling me to stop. And I listened. It was crushing. That was the moment I knew that I needed to take a break from running. I came home and cried to my husband. I was so disappointed in myself and my body. I desperately wanted to run this half marathon to prove to myself that I could be that runner I was before I had my sweet baby girl. But you know what? I’m not the same runner I was before I had her, because my body has had a baby. Ladies, it is a HUGE deal to have a baby. Duh! It has taken almost 18 months to get that through my brain. I won’t be able to run the same pre-baby distances for a long time, and that’s ok.
Since I’ve stopped running, I’ve felt really, really good. I’ve been focusing on strength training and HIIT workouts and I am LOVING it. I still feel like that runner is inside me, but for now she’s taking a little break and focusing on other types of workouts. I feel stronger, I can see my muscles starting to pop more and I’m not waking up on Sunday and Monday mornings feeling crunchy and in pain. This is a new journey for me, as I haven’t ever solely lifted without having running be my main focus. It’s fun! I like learning new movements and working to improve my form on certain exercises.
All in all, it was a very good decision to give running a break. I’ll definitely pick it back up, but for now, I’ll let my body heal and focus on lifting. I hope this post is encouraging to anyone who is currently dealing with an injury. Sometimes, we have to listen to our bodies and know when they’re telling us to slow down. When we actually listen to them and focus on healing, some amazing things can happen.
ps- If you want a look at my workouts that I’m now doing, follow me on Instagram! Would love to connect with you! @coconutpersonalfitness