Isn’t it a little odd how sometimes when you aren’t running much or training hard, little aches and pains start to pop-up out of nowhere? I have read at least two posts about this lately and talked to some friends who were also experiencing post-training niggles. While it seems counter-intuitive, after understanding what’s going on with my body, it makes a little more sense.
As I mentioned, after the marathon I took it SUPER easy for the first two weeks with very little running and lots of yoga. I was feeling really good and my body seemed to be bouncing back faster than ever.
Then two weeks to the day after the marathon, I was making beds in my house and I bent over and felt a sharp pain in my lower back. It hurt to stand up or bend over and I was on the couch for the rest of the day. The next day I saw a chiropractor for the first time in my life. Dr Jen came highly recommended by Jenny and after only one session I understood why. Not only did I feel almost immediately better after she adjusted me, I also had a huge ‘a-ha’ moment when she explained what was happening with my lower back/hip/glute/hamstring. It made so much sense in context with what I had experienced in those areas for at least two years. In short, tight piriformis = pressure on joints/nerves = pain & misalignment. With reduced running + yoga, my quads relaxed and all of that tightness/misalignment pulled on my lower back causing more pain. With some daily stretching and core work, I was 100% after less than a week and was able to keep running through the whole ordeal. No big.
THEN I went to Miami. And I wore heels. And I walked. Alot. Within the first hour, I started to feel intense, sharp pain in the ball of my right foot. I could barely stand on it at the cocktail party, but was stuck in heels all night. The next morning I didn’t think much of it and went for a run. I felt it a little, but could easily run through it. Afterward and the rest of the day the ball of my foot was really sore and walking in heels was excruciating.
I switched to flats for dancing and it felt fine and I kept running on it all week. It was annoying at times, but not so much that I thought I should stop running.
When I started to noticed that after my runs it hurt pretty bad and didn’t improve after a week, I consulted Dr. Google. I diagnosed myself with metatarsalgia, which can be caused by running but also by wearing heels where all of the weight is in the ball of your foot. It appears to be not a big deal and is resolved by rest. So…that’s what I decided to do. Hrmph.
I am now on day 5 of no running and it seems to be better. I notice a little soreness at the end of the day after walking around on it, but generally it doesn’t hurt. I would go crazy without ANY sweat so I did yoga Sunday and a spin class on Monday. After talking with Molly, I decided swimming was the best way to really stay off of it but still get a solid workout. It’s been good to force me back into the water for the first time since the outdoor pool closed in August. It also feels good to be able to push myself and work really hard in a workout, which I haven’t done since the marathon. I’ll probably try a test run tomorrow or Saturday and then try to still get in a decent long-ish run (~8M) if it feels good.
On one hand, I am grateful when little niggles that keep me from running pop-up during non-training periods rather than during a dedicated training block. But on the other hand, it’s really annoying to have to take time off of running ANY time. Not only because I want to be able to build on the fitness I have gained, but also because, well, sanity. And because honestly, I just would rather be running than doing anything else. But I am trying to practice what I judge others on (not being stupid) and let myself get 100% healthy so that I can run all the miles very soon.
Who else has off-season niggles? Do you take advantage of the time off and REST or are you crazy like me and keep trying to find a way to sweat?