The weather in my neck of the woods has turned winter-like for today (although not as bad as some of you further north), but for a few glorious days we got a taste of spring! On Monday, I laced up my running shoes for the first time since October and hit the sidewalk for a run/walk combo. It was sunny, warm and worms were wiggling their way across my path. I was really enjoying being outside, soaking up some sunshine and getting my heart pumping! It felt good, even therapeutic, to be running again.
Until later in the evening, when my shins were stiff and achy and it reminded me of a time when I had pushed too hard and injured myself. I usually get muscle soreness at least 24 hours after exercising, so this ache felt different.
I think I tried to run too much for my first outing. I should know better. I’m the one preaching the small changes and progress not perfection. I guess it’s sometimes hard to practice what we preach.
I jumped into Week 3 of my running program. I use an app called Ease into 5K that has eight weeks of run/walk combinations until you can run for 30 minutes straight. The first two weeks are pretty easy, at the most you run 60 seconds or 90 seconds at a time. Quite honestly, it feels a little silly sometimes to only run for one minute. I wrote last week how I fell off the wagon a bit in March, but I’ve been working out enough lately that I thought I was up for the challenge of Week 3, which has a max run of three minutes. And, my heart was up to the challenge, but apparently my legs were not.
Now, I expected some soreness, but the shin pain was different. My hip flexors were sore the following day, and it was the muscle soreness I expected. My shins are still a little tight today, although better. My workouts have included lots of squats, lunges and the like, (I use EA Sports Active 2) which work the let muscles differently than running. It was October when I last ran. My legs need time to adjust to running, even if the rest of me is ready to push harder.
Lesson learned: What was I thinking? 😉 ha ha! Getting back on the wagon too quickly could set me back even more by causing injury. I think it’s normal to want to start out strong and gung-ho, but this was another lesson for me that I need to push myself, but at a pace that won’t cause injury.
I took Tuesday off to rest my legs. Yesterday, I did a workout from EA Sports Active to see how my muscles, particularly my shins, responded. Today, I rested again. My next step will be to return back to Week 1 of my running plan. I might even start by walking only for a few days. I just read an article about how walking can help improve your running, so it’s not all bad to slow down and walk.
How about you? Have you ever gotten too gung-ho about exercise and hurt yourself?
Cori is a wife, mom of three and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change.