Friday, September 2, 2011

A Week Off? Are You High?

I would venture to say there is nothing more sad than a runner who has a brand new spanking pair of shoes, but who cannot/should not run. Okay, yes, there are sadder things, but play along.

P1100784

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 from Zappos

For whatever reason I am still feeling a major pull in my ass/hamstring when I push off during runs. I did 5 miles the other day and felt it. If I have learned one thing from injuries, it is that running while in pain never ends well. So, I am desperately trying not to do it.

Sometimes I break into a run just for the hell of it to remind myself what it feels like. Usually I do this in the pet food aisle of the grocery store because it is the most boring. Then I stop after a few steps and move onto the cereal.

Here’s the thing: I am a runner, I love to run, but sometimes it can’t happen and I need to be okay with that. I plan to have a very long life of running, hopefully 40 more years, so I need to see the big picture and keep my “temple” healthy.

Instead of running, I am wearing my shoes around the house and stroking them. I am also wearing running skirts and drinking chocolate milk. Sometimes I wear my Garmin when I clean just to see how far I’ve gone and how fast. I’ve got my Road ID on my wrist in case I get lost in the basement and I always carry an extra GU to the backyard because I might bonk or hit a wall. You can take the running out of the girl for a moment but not the girl out of running.

I know so many of us can relate, but I long for the days of just taking a run and not worrying about pain or injury. I have had several of those types of runs in the past few months, but not enough.

Today I had a sport’s massage and my massage therapist asked me if I ever just take a week off. My mouth dropped open and I couldn’t speak. Finally, I mustered, “You mean a week off of running or a week off of any kind of exercise?” She replied, “Yeah, just a week to rest. Like you do some yoga, but no swimming, biking or running.” Again, I was speechless. “Well, no. Never. I mean when I take two days off it is a HUGE deal. Exercising is like kissing my kids good night. It’s just what I do.” She laughed really hard and looked at me funny as if to say, “You have a major problem.” But instead she said, “You know it’s about balance. Maybe you need to rest.”

And maybe you need to not remind me of this fact because I know you are probably right and I just don’t really want to hear it.

Mind you, this entire time I was clenching, trying not to fart as she worked out my glutes. She kept telling me to “relax” but relaxing would have meant a strong release of air that probably would have propelled her into her soothing fountain and myriad of essential oil scented lotions.

So a teensy eensy part of me thinks she might be right and part of me thinks it is enough to just not run, but to do all the other stuff like biking, yoga and swimming. Those things by no stretch make up for not running because that is my most favorite thing in the world. But doing other exercise take the edge off.

Last night at dinner Emma said, “Let’s say what everyone is obsessed with. For instance, I am obsessed with Taylor Swift and mom is obsessed with running and her blog.”

Okay smarty pants. I’ll give you that. At least I admit it. Speaking of being obsessed, check out my article in the “This Mother Can Run” magazine HERE. I get bossy and talk about not making excuses. Click on “download current issue.”

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What are you obsessed with?

Would you ever consider taking a week off from complete and total exercise? (not including if you were injured and had to).

Ever farted during a massage on purpose or by mistake?

Nope, I’m not taking a week off. Maybe from running, but not from ALL of it.

SUAR

47 comments:

  1. I think you should have farted during your massage. Just warn the therapist. It would have been for the health of your massage!

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  2. I can't believe I'm first!!!!
    I had a stress fracture since April and have the Chicago Marathon coming up in Oct!!!! My friends are all running their little hearts out and I had to change my 'lofty' goals several times, because the healing just did not go as planned. So here I am at this point I will have to WALK the marathon!!!!!!! Never in a million years would I have thought that I would walk it!!
    Through this injury I found your blog and I sooooooo love it. I also found that it was not all that bad not to run alllllll the time. But then sometimes, yes, I just want to run like old times and not be so scared about getting hurt. Ahhhhhh!!!!

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  3. The only time that I "take off" is due to injury - which was fairly a major one.

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  4. "Ever farted during a massage on purpose or by mistake?"

    This is my greatest fear since I get a massage once a month.

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  5. a week? Not a chance. Not happening. As a matter of fact let's pretend this question was never asked.

    I have farted in the massage therapists room but it was silent and after the flip so the odor was trapped and was not going to be released until she left the room and I changed back into clothes (yes I go nude.)

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  6. My gf's need to peel me off the floor after taking 2 days off. So a WHOLE week.. oh hell no.
    Sneakers are cheaper than therapy.

    When I become a massage therapist I want find the stretch that makes people fart and do that first so people can be comfy. And then I want to learn to duck fast cos hot air rises.

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  7. On a massage day I time it so I relieve all pressures, so to speak, before the therapist comes over.

    I am taking time off running right now. Well, up till last night. Just because my legs were feeling cranky. Rest and recovery is exactly as important as the workouts.

    It's nice doing the swim bike run and other stuff because you want to, not because you feel you have to.

    What am I obsessed with? You mean aside from chocolate, wine, and blogging? And good food, and doing what my wife wants me to? You mean there's OTHER stuff?

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  8. Hey, I have those same shoes! There's something wonderful about looking down in the middle of an awful run and seeing bright purple on your feet... the same effect can also be achieved with nipple tassels or frilly underwear on the outside (only one of which I've tried.)

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  9. I've only ever had one massage... and I didn't fart lol...

    I've taken a few weeks off before but I didn't like it and I felt like crap trying to get back into the groove...

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  10. Mother Runner: I am totally getting the tassles. I will wear them when I run.

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  11. I take time off. I run 4 days a week. Rarely more than that and sometimes less then that (depending on life). I also will periodically take an entire week off. Everyone is different, but I have never been injured and this kind of low key schedule works for me. Overuse and hardcore speed training always seems to cause injury in my other running friends.

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  12. I laughed LOUDLY at this post. Stroking the shoes, and the skirt, Garmin, Road ID-BAHAHAHA!!!! You are one funny lady. Love those shoes BTW.

    Well, I just did take a week off, more than a week but I was injured. I once went to St. Maarten for my anniversary for a week and my husband told me I was only allowed only one type of "exercise".....Hmmmm-this was a good week for him. NO, I would likely not be able to take a week off right now completely without injury. Truly hoping your A$$ cooperates here. Going to read your article now!

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  13. I took some time after Ironman but not a full week.

    Don't ya hate when people says shit like, "It is all about balance." It that a question? Is it a proclamation? Is it a truth written in stone someplace that we all SHOULD know about? You know what statements like that are? Bullshit.

    Balance to me is splitting time to swim, bike, run and telling the massage person to screw off!

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  14. That sucks! I always feelout of sorts on days that I don't run.

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  15. The only time I take "rest" days is when I'm forced to. Like right now. Pelvic belts suck. Looking at 6-12 weeks with my new BFF. So much for all the fall bike races and marathons I had planned. Getting old sucks.

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  16. Hmmmm, I go on and off with obsessions. Running, blogging, e-mail, shoes...the list goes on. But I usually snap out of it and take a rest. Thank GOD or I'd drive my family insane. I know several people with pains in the butt or hammy right now and they are resting or have been. I have taken a week or two of rest. By the end of it, I am ready be active and my family is most definitely ready for me to exercise again. I've asked you before but have you read WAlter the Farting Dog? You really should. Totally your kids book if you had a book that connected to you. Ha maybe that will be my next post...What Children's LIterature Are YOU?

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  17. Hey there! First of all, have you considered myofascial work? Yeah, you probably need the rest. I'm a massage therapist and can't tell you how many times I've had clients fart on the table! Some say "excuse me" some don't......

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  18. I think I took a full week off once after a marathon. I have to admit, I kind of liked it.

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  19. My obsessions vary, right now it's my half Ironman training plan, trying to start my blog and I am loving this new ice cream place that puts booze in their ice cream, Jack Daniels chocolate ice cream, amazing.
    Yes, I would take a week off completely from exercise and I have. I try to find something new I have wanted to do or a book I have wanted to read and try to focus my energy on something new. When my week is up, I am dying to get back out there. I always return refreshed and ready to go, with a new appreciation for what my body does for me on a regular basis.

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  20. I have taken a full week off because of nagging tweak/pain & also just because... I think it is very important & it doesn't affect my fitness level (the first day back may feel funky, but it gets better). If anything, the time off has helped my running/racing. Schedule the break into your training, it's worth it especially after a huge goal race!

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  21. I am on week two of no strenuous exercise and I am about to kick someone...but it is because I didn't take enough rest...enjoy your rest, and take some time to have other types of fun :)

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  22. I'm a bit obsessed with my Brooks running shoes, actually! I probably give way too much thought to how to do my shoe rotation.

    Tomorrow's race though is a no-brainer: Racer ST-5's all the way!

    Love the Adrenalines in that color!

    Only the boldest take weeks off-I applaud you:)

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  23. When we head out for our annual two week vacation this fall there will be lots of walking involved every day, but no Garmins, running shoes,... I'll have my running clothes with me, but won't make it out more than twice. And I'll take my stretchy bands, but they will likely stay in the luggage.

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  24. I took a full week off last week, but it was entirely by accident. I got so busy with school and work that there literally wasn't anymore time. Result? I was even MORE cranky and my back started to hurt from LACK of exercise. That can't be healthy.

    For the record, someone farted in my yoga class the other day. I seriously fell over laughing and almost had to be escorted from the gym.

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  25. Would have in the past, not in recent years unless injured, sick, recovering from surgery. I suppose if I thought or someone convinced me that I was really overtrained and pure rest was the only way back, I'd consider. The very thought kinda scares me. I get twitchy enough when I do a cutback week or (like last Sun) switch a recovery run to a light bike session.

    LOVE those shoes! Wonder if I can justify having them for knockarounds, probably not....I run in the Ariels plus orthotics, no way the Adrenalines would be enough. Wish mfrs would make the MC shoes cooler looking, but at 10 EE I'm just happy I can find something that works!

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  26. Jeff: how do you REALLY feel? No, I totally agree. Balance is very subjective. For me I am very balanced when doing the swim/bike/run/yoga thing. Balance for me does not have to mean a huge chunk of time off.

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  27. They're right about taking yoga and Pilates though. Taking those clases along with my normal workout have definitely helped me to prevent injuries- i feel more balanced and flexible.

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  28. Balance to me is being okay with sucking at some stuff while excelling at others and just being 'ehhh' at the rest.

    I took the whole time we were in Paris (two weeks) off right before Bay to Breakers. It was kind of nice, actually. I think that the hardest thing to do is the thing we 'should' do. Since taking time off is super duper hard for you... guess what? ;-) Maybe you should not make excuses about why you won't take a rest week :D... a sort of 'shut up and rest' kind of thing... lol

    And yes, I have farted in just about every situation you can imagine. Usually on accident.

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  29. yes, I regularly take a full week off, usually every couple of months or so. No weights/running/biking etc. Just walking around and stuff. I used to hate rest, then I realized it aint so bad, now I love it. I spend more time with my doggy, try out some new recipes, read more etc.

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  30. You post is timely in that, last weekend I hit a sort of breaking point. I've spent the last six months busting my ass, hitting the gym as much as possible and especially during the times when I wasn't allowed to do any kind of xtraining at all (currently, again). Last weekend I finally had enough, I'm burnt out, from trying so hard, from working my ass off only to suffer setback after setback... I needed a mental break. So I just haven't worked out at all this week. It's been liberating.

    I remember when I moved here to Michigan from Florida and stressed the eff out every day I didn't have a job and then once I got one I regretted never making the most of those days without one. I never once let myself relax and enjoy a day. I think that's where I'm at with the injury, it's not getting any better and instead of forcing myself to get my sweat on someway, somehow and beating myself up over it, I just let myself have a break this week. It's been great. I've read a ton, watched some movies, went to be bed early, etc... My next doc appointment is next week and I'm thinking I might just continue this streak until then... we'll see.

    The way I see it, especially in your case, some time off can't hurt, only heal, whatever is plaguing you. You know just as much as I do that having to take off time for injury sucks big fat monkey balls so maybe a self imposed few days will prevent another visit to the sidelines down the road.

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  31. I just have to say ... I AM IN LOVE WITH THOSE SHOES! :)

    And I probably would have farted at her. And then recited a line or 2 from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. lol

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  32. I dont think that I could ever take a week off. I would be to worried that I would lose some of the miles I have worked so hard to log. Also, i would be terrified to step on the scale. I feel like all the weight Ive lost (23lbs.) would sneak back onto me and never leave. The longest I could take off would be two days. I am obsessed with strawberry low fat creme cheese on triple health Thomas muffins.I cant function/run without eating that first thing in the am. Everyone in my house knows to stay away from my stash!******* I also thought of you/farts the other day while running in the park..I farted (people all around me) ,laughed out loud, thought of you,went on my merry way feeling a lil more pep in my step. Hope you take this as a compliment.

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  33. Ok, I guess I won't ask if you want to go for a run or a ride next week....let's shoot for the week after :).

    We all know how much time I took off, but it was injury related. I was combing my brain for the last time I took any length of time off and I had to go back to the time I was pregnant with the twins ... 16 1/2 years ago and had some complications during the pregnancy and forced on bedrest. I actually subscribed to People magazine, I was that bored!!

    Fingers crossed a week off is the magic glute cure!!!!
    xo

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  34. Okay, I never said I was taking a week off. I'm not. I just said it was recommended to me...I will take at least a week off of RUNNING but not everything.

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  35. Taking a week off of one thing or another depending on various bodily aches seems like a pretty good idea. That is the best think about weight training, yoga, running, biking, and swimming... one of them has to work.

    I am obsessed with checking my email... although I think it is a "forced" obsession that I have procured just by being in grad school.

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  36. When I was in massage school we were actually taught that if someone farts on our table we should be complimented because it means they were relaxed enough to let go. No joke.

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  37. My mom bought those exact shoes. She's not a runner, she's a walker. I am jealous because my PT told me no more Adrenalines. The Asics Gel Foundations just aren't as cute.

    I usually take an entire week off at least once a summer for vacation. But typically that vacations starts with a race....

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  38. I think I'm pretty obsessed with running, swimming and biking. I know this from the eye rolls I get from friends and family. I learned the hard way about taking time off. You just gotta bite the bullet for the sake of long term goals. A week feels like AN ETERNITY.

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  39. The only time i take time off is when I'm sick or injured! Being sick right now I've been forced to rest. :(

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  40. We have a lot in common:
    I am obsessed with running & my blog (just started it: http://halfcrazedrunner.blogspot.com) & I have a hard time backing off on my runs - even when I don't feel great. I just read in the September 2011 RW that 70% of you weekly mileage s/b easy running! That one was a real eye opener! Committing to my 60-80%HRR numbers is a real skill! Oh and...I have Crohn's Disease - love to/have to fart - it is a good thing - sharding on the other hand - not so good!

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  41. I am trying to look at the resting/recovering as JUST AS IMPORTANT as the training. But it is so so hard. I do look at my injured friends though and that motivates me to do the right thing and REST when necessary.

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  42. I'm almost cringing as I write this. Have you tried to rejoin the Pussy Posse and see if water running hurts the same way?

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  43. Look into Active Release Techniques (ART)Muscular Therapy for your injury. Runners in my area have had great success with this treatment.

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  44. i just accidentally farted in front of my 17 year old nephew ...and i thought of you

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  45. I hear ya. I had new shoes delivered from Zappos after feeling pain in my foot. I've been staring at them for 9 days now and about to lose my mind! I keep telling myself I'm doing the smart thing, but its driving me nuts!

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