Too much, too soon

I enjoyed the 10k on Sunday so much that I thought I’d gotten away with the lack of running I’d done in preparation. I got home, had lunch, went shopping, had a nap, pottered about for a bit and at the end of the day I went to bed with slightly achey legs – totally standard.

My body got me back on Monday.

I woke up with ridiculously stiff and sore quads. Mistake number one: I didn’t stretch OR foam roll when I got home. D’oh. I hobbled to work, but even though I took the train instead of cycling in, there’s a 2-mile downhill walk to the office on that end. And downhills are NOT your friend when you have sore quads.

I must have walked funny to compensate, because by the time I got home on Monday evening my quads AND shins were extremely painful. My quads were tight and aching (clearly overworked them), and my shins felt inflamed. Mistake number two: don’t race off-road when you haven’t run outside for nearly 6 weeks. It’s hard work at the best of times, but 2 gentle treadmill sessions just won’t cut it as ‘training’!

I worked from home yesterday, as I didn’t want to aggravate things with that steep 2-mile downhill walk. I rested, I stretched, and I applied anti-inflammatory gel. By the time I went to bed, I felt achy but better.

This morning, my quads were almost back to normal, but my shins still hurt when walking. Every time I moved my foot upwards (as during a calf stretch) I felt a sharp, shooting pain along my shins. It was worse on the bottom of my left shin, and the top of my right. I slowly made my way to the office, trying to take it easy, but the pain continued throughout the day.

The thing is, I skipped my 4 miler yesterday, and I had an ‘easy 3 miles’ on the plan for today. My brain was like ‘it’s only 3 miles – and an EASY 3! The quickest, easiest workout you’ll have all week!’ And I’ll admit, I took my gym stuff to the office with me with the intention of stopping at the gym on the way home.

I know, the worst thing to do when injured is to run – but I reeeally wanted to. And I figured that if I had my gym stuff with me, I at least had the choice – if I felt better I could go, and if I felt worse I could head straight home for some more RICE action.

Well, I went to the gym. My shins still hurt on the way there, but it was more of a dull throbbing pain. Perfectly manageable ignore-able. I got on the treadmill, and slowly began to jog.

Here’s the shocker – for the entire time that I was running, there was NO PAIN. Absolutely none. My lungs, on the other hand, weren’t happy – the gym was SO hot and stuffy, and I found it really hard to catch my breath. I also made the mistake of leaving my water in the changing room. I figured that I didn’t need water for a little 3 miler – but it turns out that in a hot stuffy gym I could do with some water for anything over a mile! Whoops!

But despite hating every single second, and sweating ten times my body weight, I finished my 3 miles. It wasn’t as easy as it was supposed to be, but it felt great afterwards – and my legs feel ten times better now that I’ve warmed down and stretched properly.

Recovery run was a total win 😀

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