Weekly recap: recovery and the return to running

Hello there, long lost blog friends! I’m here to report that things are finally turning around for me and I’m so excited to back writing a weekly recap. I’ll be the first to admit that after the marathon I was in a pretty dark place and I chose to stay away from the running world (both online and IRL for a few weeks). It didn’t help that I was in a fair amount of pain–for the couple of weeks after the marathon even walking around was painful, in a sharp, uncomfortable way, not in a “hurts so good” way. Here’s the quick and dirty on what’s been going down in terms of recovery:

So… what the heck happened? It’s still a little bit of a mystery, but after lots of conversations with my amazing PT (more on that below), we think it was a bit of a perfect storm (pun very much intended). The weather conditions had me leaning a bit more than usual into some bad habits, namely over-relying on my quads and underutilizing my posterior chain muscles (glutes and hamstrings). Basically, a lurking injury that I has been doing a really good job avoiding flared up, likely due to the fact that I was running with terrible form on unsteady footing with cold muscles for 2+ hours. Bam, tendinitis in both knees. Fun, right?

Yikes. What are you doing about it? Oh man, this was a journey. After a LOT of time on the phone fighting with my doctor’s office (and being told by an awful orthopedist that there was nothing I could do except take 3-4 weeks completely off, no PT necessary), I argued my way into getting a PT referral. Thank goodness! I ended up at Joint Ventures PT, and my new bestie Garrett and I took an in-depth look at my stance and mechanics to determine best next steps. We’ve been working hard twice a week to strengthen and activate my glutes and hammies, and I’m graduating to just once a week pretty soon.

What about running? Obviously, the questions of the month! Basically, the first thing on the docket was to get the inflammation in my knees to calm the heck down–so nothing super impactful, lots of ibuprofen and ice and rest as needed. And lots of PT exercises, strength work, and cross training (hello elliptical…) My first run back was some very timid walk/run intervals on May 5, almost 3 weeks after the marathon. It went pretty well, so I’ve graduated to 2 minutes on/1 minute off run/walk intervals and today’s run was pretty much pain-free! I’ve found that letting myself run at the paces that feel natural to me works better than forcing myself to go extra slow, since it keeps my stride more natural.

With that, here’s this week’s recap! You’ll see there’s a mix of running and cross-training with lots of PT in there. I’m trying to be patient and do this right, but suffice it to say I am JAZZED to be back at it. Injuries and DNFs are really, really hard, but I’m hoping I’ll come out of this a stronger runner.

Weekly totals: 10.6 miles

  • Monday: 1 minute walk/1 minute run intervals for 2.5 miles
  • Tuesday: AM–40 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes lifting and PT exercises, PM–75 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Wednesday: PT (lots of hips)
  • Thursday: 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for 3.3 miles
  • Friday: PT (lots of core)
  • Saturday: 75 minute hot yoga class
  • Sunday: 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals at a push pace for 4.7 miles total

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

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