What’s it like to rest for two weeks?

Two laid up family members can lead to some tense moments!

Two laid up family members can lead to some tense moments!

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since my PRP injections and therefore two weeks of complete and total rest. Since taking up endurance sports, I have never done this. I thought it was going to be absolute hell, honestly, but I did ok. In fact, my doctor and PT cleared me a few days early to get back to some swimming and light cycling and I didn’t do it.

What kind of insanity is that? Well, the kind I decided might be best for me. For one, the original plan was two weeks, and so I felt like there must be a good reason for that number. For two, my red cell count is still in the tank, which the Sock Doc has suggested contributed to injury and also prevents full healing–his fix is also two weeks rest and then continued reduced volume. And third–I just wanted to see if I could make it two full weeks, as odd as that seems.

When I talk about my slight alarm at the high number of people out there constantly running marathons and ultras, and the impact that might have long-term, part of that stems from my own low blood counts. I didn’t get there without 16 years of endurance training, folks. And I have never run much more than 60 miles in a  given week on only a few occasions, at my absolute highest. It never occurred to me that low red counts could contribute to injury, but I suppose it is logical. So two weeks of downtime after all these years and miles seems like it might be justified. Just some food for thought.

Back to my two weeks off. Sleeping in every day actually felt pretty good. I also stayed up a bit later than usual a couple of times (got wild and crazy at book club last week–look out!), and just lived life from “the other side,” for a change. I think it was good mentally as well as physically.

But now the old jeans are feeling a bit tight and I’m starting to feel some excess energy build up, so it’s game on and time to move forward. I’m still not sure how quickly I’ll be running, but I’m hoping sooner rather than later. I think the biggest blessing in all this is that for the first time ever in an injury layoff I am totally and completely not worried in the least about how slow the return to previous fitness will be. I just. don’t. care.

I’ve had company in my layoff, by the way. My son has recently been diagnosed with Sever’s Disease, which is a growth plate/achilles issue. His heels have bothered him for several months, so the doctor thought it was time he let them settle down. He is half way through a four-week layoff from soccer and basketball and he’s climbing the walls. But he feels much, much better, so hopefully this will be all the break he needs. Two peas in a pod over here!

Could you make it two weeks of complete rest? 


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  1. says

    Rest, what a swear word!!! I know it’s a good thing and I wish I could do it a couple of times a year… But run I must, so day in and day out I run… But like you I find 60 miles is more than enough, and I do drop down to 25-30 miles on rest weeks…
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  2. says

    Oh I know the feeling all too well! I took a little over a week off from not exercising entirely back in November. Part of it was sickness induced. It felt good to just chill but I definitely was more than ready to move and sweat again. I was a ball of pent up energy! I couldn’t imagine there being two of us like that. Good luck to both you and your son!
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  3. says

    I am very fortunate that in 25 years of running I’ve never had an injury or surgery or other reason to force an extended break – that just means any breaks were of my own doing. But at this point, no … couldn’t imagine it.

    But I COULD see me wife doing battle with me as I try to get back too early rather than sticking to the 2 week off time …
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  4. says

    At this point, I think it might actually bother me to take that much time off, even though I say I don’t care if I get injured. I find that I still manage to find time to be lazy and over-indulge while still running, though.
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    • says

      I wonder if keeping my diet pretty dense and varied helps. I mean, I take in a lot of calories sometimes, and often really fatty stuff–braunschweiger, cheese, pie (gluten-free crust, of course) etc. Nothing is off limits. I wonder if too many people try eating too healthy when they run and work out a lot. Could that affect blood cell count?
      bob recently posted..Easy approach to postureMy Profile

      • MissZippy says

        I’ve been in an anemic state for some time now, and trust me, have done all the research and work w/ docs to try to figure it out. Wish their was an easy dietary fix!

          • MissZippy says

            B/c I’m old and come from a paper-based proofreading background, it always helps me to read my stuff in the preview window (somehow more paper like) to find errors before hitting publish. Maybe try that?

  5. Terzah says

    I’m really impressed! I’d hate it ( I’m on week four of the Boot, but I’m allowed to bike and swim, and I barely tolerate that), but what you’ve done is what it takes to do what we love for life. I’d do it too if I had to.

  6. says

    I think the sleeping in might be worth it :)
    Good for you for taking two weeks completely off and feeling good about the whole break. I hope both you and your son can get back to it injury-free.
    I don’t think I’ve ever gone two whole weeks. I don’t mind the getting back into it part; in fact, I kind of like the challenge. It’s just the eating better/less part that is tough for me!
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  7. says

    I could make it two weeks off with complete rest, I’m a lazy trainer to be honest and really look forward to my rest days/weeks. I’m glad you made it through though and hope you are rejuvinated going forward! All the best to your son as well…Tough having to sit out when you are a child that’s for sure.
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  8. Sue Garman says

    As I see it there are two ways to approach two weeks off: stress over the fact that you won’t be working out for two weeks or look at it as a true break, an opportunity to rest and reinvigorate. You chose the harder of the two. Congrats. I hope AL recovers well, too.

  9. mara @BHF says

    I have 4 days off (for gum surgery) this weekend, and my first full marathon coming up 3/30. Four days off will be all I can take right now!

  10. says

    I love your positive attitude about time off. I used to DREAD rest days and absolutely hated it if I had to take an unplanned day off. I am much more lax now that I’m a mother and have two little ones pulling me in opposite directions. Chasing after them totally counts as a workout! My workout routine has been pretty light since Richmond, thanks to a wicked case of crud that lasted most of December and some other circumstances. To be honest, taking it easy hasn’t been bad at all, and it’s probably just what my body needed!
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  11. says

    Way to go on the 2 weeks of rest!! I hope that between the shots and the rest your body feels much better!!
    And, I hope that the rest is helping your son – I’ve never heard of Sever’s Disease (gonna read up on it in a bit).
    I’ve gone more than 2 weeks several times and it has been rough every time – now I try to just back off the high impact but keep some form of activity and it has been working pretty well for me so far.
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    • MissZippy says

      Kim–I’ve learned that Sever’s is super common in kids this age. Thankfully, their bodies rebound really fast. I’m kind of jealous!

  12. says

    I saw someone that looked a lot like you running the other day and had to do a double take. I thought “Did she make the full two weeks?” I’m glad that you did and that you’re slowly getting back into the swing of things.
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  13. says

    This post is making me feel a lot better. I’ve been sick for three days and I’m going nuts thinking about how far “behind” I’m getting in my training. Three. Days. If you can make it for two weeks then I can certainly lay low for a few days, right?
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  14. says

    Oh wow I’ve never heard of Sever’s disease. What are the chances you’re both laying off at the same time? Meant to be, I think! Glad to hear you are not climbing the walls too much and have a healthy outlook on all of it. Could not agree with you more that extreme endurance takes a toll and is not right for everyone.
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  15. says

    I’d be bouncing off walls. I can’t even sit through a movie at the theater without have to get up and walk a bit. But congrats to you on making it through those two weeks.

    It was really interesting to learn your training rarely put you over 60 miles per week. I would have thought you were up there at peak training, 70 – 75.
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  16. says

    I had to do 3 full weeks when I was diagnosed with my blood clot. I was going absolutely stir-crazy. I think my husband wanted to move out LOL. So much energy and also I was struggling mentally. Working out has always been my “me” time to just decompress. Glad you’re hanging in there!

  17. says

    Cute picture! I think you’re being very smart to stick to the plan. It is so hard to do! The last time I had forced time off was when I had my hysterectomy six years ago. After the first couple weeks, I just wanted to get going again. I’ve always hated walking (as an alternative to running) but I started walking miles just so I could do something!

    I think the hardest thing was, that I tried to tell myself that the time off would be a good rest for my body, and that when I started back I’d be fresh and ready to go. What really happened was that I’d lost all my fitness, and it was like starting over again at the age of 50! Of course, I was off six weeks, not two, so that’s a huge difference.
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  18. says

    I am glad the rest was so good for you! I know you have had your share of running ups and downs so hopefully the injections and hiatus did the trick to get you back to happier, pain-free movement. I have never been a “do or die” runner (the only time I break 40mph is when I don’t work or spin) so laying off running would not be too bad. But if I could not exercise AT ALL I would go insane. So kudos to you for sticking to it and making it enjoyable!

  19. says

    Good for you sticking with the full 2 weeks of rest! I think that’s very smart. I’ve taken many extended breaks due to injuries. They are certainly frustrating, but they also make me appreciate getting back into a fitness routine once I’m able to. That way when I’m back at it, I appreciate it much more.
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  20. says

    Glad to hear you are taking the safe route and went for the two weeks off. As much as I’m sad for you that your off from running its been fun reading all about the former/other side of miss zippy! Your a mom on the go having your son injured too…I bet the doc’s know you all pretty well by now. Hope he heals soon and you both can be back to activeville…:)
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  21. says

    Wow. Sorry to hear about the down time in the zippy household, but happy to hear it can lead to some much needed health improvements.

    If I had to yes… but I can completely relate. I have not run in the last 3 days and I’m getting anxious. Keep up the good work.
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  22. says

    I’ve definitely been able to make two weeks of rest – mostly because I was too exhausted to do anything else.

    I’m glad you got through the time without any bloodshed. Hopefully the rehab phase will go equally as smooth.
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  23. says

    yes! made it several months. Don’t know how I survived it looking back, but it really does give you great perspective on things. Hoping you are feeling better now and rehab will begin soon.

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