Learning running lessons from the past

Running is the ultimate teacher.

If you want to do your best, then you have to learn from your friends, the help of other runners and your past mistakes.

I have run several hard races in the past.  After my first half marathon, I started having some hip problems.  After my marathon, I was out 3 months, off and on, with hip and foot issues.  I also got injured after running a 5K earlier this year.

Honestly, I don’t think it was the races that hurt me.  Looking back, I realize that I’ve pushed too hard AFTER the races to get back to training.  A few weeks after my marathon, I not only ran 10 days in a row, but also did a hard trail run a few weeks later.  That was the icing on the cake, that is my hip.  It was almost 6 months before I got back to a 100 mile month.

My last half marathon was last Saturday.  It was awesome.  I ran well and on a tough course.  I will look back and be excited for months about that race.

HOWEVER…

Tuesday, I decided to run my first run after the race.  It went well.  I ran 4 miles at an 8:21 pace.  Tuesday night I was in a lot of pain. My shoulder hurt and my hip was killing me.  Wednesday I concentrated on my shoulder as I was concerned that I pinched a nerve running.  That wasn’t the issue, it was just the way I slept.  I did however, ignore my hip pain.  It was in such pain I had to take medication to sleep.

Wednesday was the 30th of April and I was at 118 miles for the month.  I decided to run an easy 2 miles and walk the rest.  I didn’t.  I ran a fast two miles at my half marathon pace, but I did walk after that.

Yesterday I walked.  No running.

My hip is better.  No real pain.  Just a little pain while I drive which isn’t abnormal.  In fact I could have run yesterday.  I could run today.  I could run tomorrow.  I won’t.

I am going to learn from my mistakes in the past and come back slowly.  I have plenty of time until my next race.  I have a lot of mountains to run.  In fact my mountain running has been the one thing to help my hip more then anything else.  After several weeks of running my mountain on the weekend, I really had no pain left.  I think that strengthening my quads and all the muscles in my legs has taken the pressure off my hip.

So next Sunday will be my first run since my 2 miles on Wednesday.  I’ll run my mountain slowly and enjoy the run and take it easy.  I’ll play it by feel over the next few weeks as to how much I run.

I need to learn from my past.  Learn from friends.  Learn from other runners.  Learn from my mistakes.

If I don’t learn, I’ll never make my goal of qualifying for Boston.  I’ll run hurt, slow and probably have to stop.  I’d rather learn now and take it easy, then live with the pain of being stupid.

’nuff said.

Tom

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9 thoughts on “Learning running lessons from the past

  1. Oh this is perfect for me to be reading right now. Last night I taught a running lesson and afterwards my heel was feeling a bit funny. I knew right away it was the onset of plantar fasciitis. I woke up with my foot feeling tight and sore. The runner in me wanted to push through it. But I know it is better to take some time off an heal it. Bummed because I have my first race tomorrow in 9 months. But there is a half coming up that I would rather do and marathon training in around the corner. Rest….ugh! Hope your hip is feeling 100% soon!

    • Thanks! I hope your foot is better quickly. It must be so much more difficult to hold back on a your first race in 9 months then me with my recovery after a race. Still, being smart is half the run! Good luck with with the half! I love long runs!

  2. I’ve been trying to learn from my injuries too. Both times, I got hurt just before races, the first time for ramping up mileage too fast (and that injury took a long time to be 100%, but I was at least able to run on it! albeit much slower) and the second because of an over zealous personal trainer. The latter injury healed quickly, but it showed me how dangerous it is to overtrain.

    I’m really impressed with what your mountain runs have done for you. I’m not surprised because it is a little like crosstraining (but in a way that you like since I think I remember that you’re not a fan of doing strength exercises). I’m sure you’ll make your BQ dream come true, and when you train for Boston, you’ll get to practice running DOWN the hill too 🙂

    • You are so right in your comment about crosstraining. I run, but hate to do all the other “things” that are needed to really become the runner I need to be to qualify. I guess mountains are my crosstraing. I’ve never thought of it that way. 🙂 Thanks!!!

  3. I think this is a great realization and good that you’ve pinpointed some mistakes. I am pretty strict about eating into running after a race. I generally do not go back to hard running until after the same number of days as miles that I raced. So for example, I raced 16 miles last weekend. So I’m not running at all for about 1 week, and then just doing easy runs for 1 week after that. I have realized that I have the tendency to injure. And even though I desperately wanted to run after my races, I got incredibly sore 2 days after the race, and quickly realized that taking time off was a good choice. The body needs time to repair itself! Have you ever looked at Jenny had fields training plans? She actually extends her training plans into after the race, so that might be a good place to get some ideas about how much running is too much after a race.

    • Yuck. Autocorrect. I’m careful about not running after racing. I have no idea why it inserted something about eating! I should read these things before I press send!

      • Ha. I know. Who knows what we post and autocorrect “corrects”. 🙂

        That is a great way to figure out recovery. Miles to days off. I hadn’t thought about that before. I’ll check out that book too. It really sounds like a great idea. Thanks!

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