I want to be clear, these “10 Days of Rest” are far from passive. Recovery comes in many forms other than laying around (though I’ve done a bit of that, too).
While I remain cautious about over-reacting to how I feel during this stretch, I tend to pay attention to the subtle indicators. Here are three things that I’ve noticed since I’ve replaced intense activity with leg stretches, strengthening exercises, and mobility drills. Along with yoga and meditation.
1. I hear the music
I am notorious for falling into the trap of talk radio, especially sports. Yesterday I spent a ton of time driving and eventually noticed that I was listening to music most of the day. During one commercial break I flipped to sports talk . They were in the middle of some concocted argument about something insignificant and it literally made me feel dirty. I really believe music does heal and is fuel for the soul. Maybe next I’ll start noticing trees and flowers . . . nah.
2. A huge impulse to run
As I was leaving work yesterday, it was a beautiful night and I had a bounce in my step. That’s when I made the solid decision that I would run when I got home. I felt reinvigorated by the thought of a nice sweat and some good hills. I was pumped to wave at the neighbors! But then I remembered I’m resting and resisted. It’s been a while since I’ve been so eager to workout. Is youthful exuberance on the horizon?
3. Plantar Fasciitis
My heel has basically been sore since I ran Ironman Wisconsin last September. I’ve had my moments, but getting out of bed or a chair (not to mention running) has been met with consistent pain. It comes and goes, but has more or less been a constant in my life. I’ve screwed around with foot massagers and icing until my foot turned blue, but nothing gave much relief.
On Day 2 of this experiment, I noticed I wasn’t feeling that stab as much, and on Day 3, the pain was virtually gone, even in the morning. I even tested it by forcing my heel into the ground and jumping up and down. There was a very, very slight remnant, but nothing like I would have felt a few days before.
I have been doing a ton of light, prolonged stretching, and while I’m not fully convinced I’m “healed,” I do believe the heel pain was merely a symptom of something else. Losing this pain in my foot will make these 10 days well worth any sacrifice in aerobic fitness.