After 52 days and 238 miles, my running streak has come to an end. I'm incredibly amazed and proud that I made it 52 days, but sad to end it.
On Sunday, my knee started to hurt while I was on my run. I wanted to run 13 miles, but only made it 5.3. It was the first time ever on a run where I worried about not making it back home. For the rest of the day, I took Advil and kept ice on my knee. Monday I did a short one mile run to test it out and it started to hurt toward the end of the mile. I switched to the elliptical after and it was fine on that. Yesterday, I ran 4.5 miles and my knee was fine until the end of the run. However, later that day I paid for that run. My knee hurt walking, sitting, bending, going down stairs was brutal (incredibly awesome that I live in a townhome with lots of stairs!). More ice, Advil and even tried some heat through the afternoon to lessen the pain.
This morning I woke up feeling awful. Everything hurt - my head, my back, my sides and definitely my knee. I felt as if my body was screaming at me to rest. So I am, and therefore ending my 52 day running streak.
I know that resting my body is important. I have pushed myself so much these last 52 days, barely even taking one mile "rest days." One mile days just seemed like I was failing somehow. I didn't want to put on my workout clothes, go to the gym for just a quick mile. I usually would do at least two, plus cross training and weights. Yeah, that's not a rest day!
I have felt so exhausted lately. I'm ready for bed by 9:30pm and feel like I could continue to sleep for hours even after my usual 8 or 9 hours of sleep. I look in the mirror and just see someone who looks tired and pale. Which isn't surprising since that's kind of how I feel. I miss that healthy glow running was giving me over the summer and fall.
Also, I'm not someone who likes to rely on pain killers. I think most pains are a sign that something is wrong; your body is trying to tell you something. Since Sunday, I've taken way more Advil than I like. And I need to realize that my body IS telling me something - slow down, rest, give the body time to heal.
Next week I officially start my marathon training and I want to be ready for it. That means feeling energized, excited, happy and healthy. Ending my running streak and taking a full rest day (or two!) is how I plan to get there. I'm so looking forward to being able to run a marathon, and I need my body to stay healthy and injury free to get there. I want to be able to run as long as possible, and that is more important to me than continuing on with this running streak.
I will admit, that it's hard not seeing the high mileage on my training log this week and missing my planned runs. However, rest days are important; they're part of the program. I need to get back to focusing on the quality of my runs, not the quantity. I've really enjoyed the Runner's World Run Streak, and will definitely join in again next holiday season. But for now, I'm going to enjoy putting rest days back into my schedule and having a day off during the week to let my body rest and become stronger!
Until next time~