Three(ish) Weeks of REST

>> Monday, October 19, 2015

It's been just over 2 weeks since the "Loony Challenge" that ended with the TC 10 Mile on Oct 4th. I did an easy spin on the bike 4 days later, followed by an easy-easy/moderate outdoor ride 2 days after that. The rest of that week, I did lots of stretching, foam rolling, core work, and some old "physical therapy" exercises for my legs. But nothing intense.

Then, 1 week post-race, I tried an easy run. I was just going to do 4 miles (after doing 20 over 2 days the weekend before as part of the Loony Challenge). Shortly after turning around (somewhere around mile 2.5), my left calf started to get a LITTLE tight again. Remember, BOTH calves started screaming at me near the end of the TC 10 Mile 7 days earlier (and finally started to feel normal after about 4-5 days rest). On this easy run, it wasn't bad. I just had hoped there'd be no issue at all.

That slight tightness / pain sealed my decision to take some time OFF. The next day after that run, I posted where I was at with my training and racing on Facebook, and asked what to do:

... [Should I] Completely lay off from running for 2-3 weeks more? Even longer? Keep rolling and stretching? Keep biking (which doesn't hurt it)? Should I run a BIT a few times a week to give it a little stress but stop before any pain? Or just TOTAL rest? Any thoughts are appreciated!! Thanks!!

Lots of people chimed in, including pro triathlete Heather L who turned me onto the sweet recovery tool that I mentioned in my last post. I was awaiting Coach Jen's 2 cents. (If you've been around for a while, you remember that she was the one who coached me for 8 weeks leading up to my 59:05 TC 10 Mile in 2010.) Here's what Jen said:

A few days later, I messaged her for a bit more advice. Basically, I didn't know if it was still considered good "rest" to do core work and some PT exercises for my legs (and some slow, eccentric, low-weight, high-rep work for my legs in the gym). I told her what I'd like to still be doing, and asked "CAN/SHOULD I STILL BE DOING THAT STUFF DURING THIS 'REST?'"

She said what I wanted to hear, and what I believed to be true: "Absolutely! Since you're injured, you need to rehab...strength, core, PT work is totally fine. You need it to heal all those ailments you have."

So, I've had an easy 2 weeks so far, but I'm only counting my rest as starting a week ago (after those 2 bike rides and that 1 run on last Sunday). So this is day 8 of rest. Six years ago, I tagged a series of posts with "14 Days of Nothing" where I did almost NOTHING for 2 weeks. (I looked back in my training log: over those 14 days, I did 6 days of about 10-20 minutes of core or light leg work, and some stretching a few days in there.) This year, I'll be doing 14-21 days of rest (AFTER having a pretty easy 7 days post-race), and I'll be keeping up on stretching, foam/PVC rolling, core work, and some light leg work, but there'll be NO swimming, NO running, and maybe an easy bike ride near the end of the rest. And hopefully this fella will fall off shortly:

Next time you're eating dinner at my house, remember
that my nasty feet were on my kitchen counters.

Alright, gotta go. I've got a busy schedule "resting."


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