Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Overtraining is a B

After my failed season this spring I was feeling more anxious than ever to get back into hard training and get into the groove toward running the time I failed to run at the Aquarium Run. I started looking at summer half-marathons and was getting excited to go after it again. But I was also having some serious shin pain mostly just in my left shin. It hurt or was uncomfortable while running, but not too bad. But after I finished a run it would throb, especially when I sat down. I was a little worried about it along with the tightness/pain I've been having in my left glute since December. My glute pain eased up with foam rolling but has never completely gone away. Ty and I discussed different options, I love him for always listening to me obsess over my running, and finally decided that what I wanted and what I needed were most likely two completely different things. Typically after a season of hard training I'm excited for the couple weeks of easy running that come after a goal race. This fall was the exception, I just kept plugging along and then transitioned into training for a spring half in December. We both agreed that was not the best choice and even though I really wanted to, I knew it was not the right thing to do this spring either. While I knew what was best, it was so hard to hold back. After lots of talks we decided I needed to seek some outside help. The awesome running expert, Justin, at the running store who helped me out when I was having terrible recurring blisters and then again when I had knee pain to where it hurt to walk is also a coach. He is the head of the running team I am a part of and is the one who invited me to join. Ty and I decided I needed to meet with him to discuss where to go from here and what is best for my body. I think often times I know what is best but I just want to push and without someone to tell me no, my wants trump my body's needs.
The race team after my first race with the team, the St. Patrick's Day 5k.

I met with Justin and he was very adamant that we clear up this semi-injury before I resume any hard training. While my goal half at the end of November is a long way away, I am so ready to be training hard again and going after my goals. He told me to just run every other day until my shin pain went away and to wear compression socks at all times except for when I'm sleeping. He also told me not to run any faster than 9 minute per mile pace which is really hard for me. I have to constantly check my Garmin to make sure I'm not running any faster than that because I just naturally want to dip down into the 8's. It was interesting when he looked over my training logs and told me I was running a lot of what he'd call junk miles. I was running miles at a pace that wasn't slow enough to be recovery but also wasn't fast enough to benefit me. I could totally see that and I think that is even more true with the "recovery miles" I had been running with the single or double stroller. They just weren't allowing me to recover enough to come back harder the next day so then the next day was slower than it should have been because I wasn't fully recovered after my "recovery runs". Although it has been hard to follow his advice and hold back, it is working. My shin pain is getting so much better and I'm hopeful it will be gone within the next week or so. I had to get creative with wearing compression socks at all times without looking like a goofball so I got a pair of compression sleeves, that way I could wear them under leggings without them showing. I also made sure to foam roll every day and to ice my shin after every run and anytime I had been up and walking around for a long time. I've never had a running related injury that kept me from running. I think in part because my body is pretty resilient and can handle most of what I throw at it, I even ran some 80 mile weeks in college, and partly because I listen to my body and back off when things get rough. I just have a tendency of not backing off enough to fully heal, just enough to keep from getting full on injured. Justin was so helpful with this semi-injury issue and I was so appreciative of all his advice. 
If you look closely you can see my leggings slid up exposing the bottom of my compression sleeve.
Ty and I decided that if I want to do this and do it right, it would be a good idea to hire Justin as my coach. I thought it over and I was still feeling a bit stubborn that I could go back to what I'd done in the fall, tweak things a bit, and get where I want to be on my own. At the same time I realized that I'd like to reach my potential with running much more than I would like any material item so we decided my birthday and Christmas gifts from Ty would be a few months of coaching. My parents were on board to pay for a couple months of coaching as my Christmas present too. So this summer I will start my training with Justin as my coach, making my training plans, and helping me navigate toward a half-marathon PR. After making that decision I am feeling so excited. Now I won't have to worry about my drive, passion, and enjoyment of pain overriding what is best for my body and what will deliver the results I want. Now I just have to follow my coach's plan and work my booty off to get where I want to be! Justin said with the times I've already run especially based off the training I was doing, he has no doubt he can get me under 1:30 even at the Route 66 which isn't a difficult course but is a bit challenging with almost 400 feet of elevation gain throughout. I am excited for the fall although a bit impatient. The biggest lesson I've learned through all this is patience is key and pushing through pain or fatigue won't benefit in the long run. It has taken me 2 weeks of sleeping in until the kids wake up to catch my body back up on sleep enough to make it through the day without feeling fatigued. I can thank overtraining for that! My friend Sara said it best when she said something along the lines of, you can't bully your body into doing what you want. I definitely learned that the hard way this spring. Now it's on to bigger and better things in the fall!


  1. I'm updating my quote to, "You can't bully your body into running faster, but every runner has tried!" I can't wait to see the amazing things you do working with a coach -- and I agree with him that breaking 1:30 will be no problem. Now is definitely the time to get rested and 100% healthy, and you can then take on the next training cycle with a vengeance.

    1. I couldn't remember the exact quote but that was my take away. The moment you said it, I realized it was so true. I was trying to bully my body!

      Thanks! I'm really excited to the point where it's hard to hold back. But since I have someone telling me what to do, I'm actually doing it!

    2. I can't remember the exact quote either, but you had the main idea for sure! I just realized that every runner has tried to do it so wanted to add that disclaimer. :-)

      It's also hilarious and awesome that so many runners have to hire coaches to hold us back, as opposed to push us to do more! I totally understand, but I laugh at that about myself. You'll be back to 100% in no time!

    3. I think I remembered the quote while I was driving today! Was it -- "You can't bully your body into recovering faster"? But all of the above are true as well, haha!

    4. Maybe, it's hard to remember now, haha!