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Dec 22, 2012

I"m sorry to inform you......

Nobody likes getting a letter that starts with that, do they?

Rest day on the schedule today.  Actually 10 miles was on the schedule but I'm skipping my long run.  Yes, you read that correctly --- I'm.  Skipping.  My.  Long.  Run.  It's hard for me to even write it here.  I have not missed a long run since I started training for my first half marathon a little over two years ago.  Yes, that's right, if it was a Saturday or a Sunday in the last couple years, you could find me at one of four places

  1. Running a race that I used to substitute for my long run
  2. Running at Stony Creek Metro park
  3. Running on the Paint Creek Trail
  4. Running on the Macomb/Orchard Trail
That was typically my Saturday or Sunday morning anywhere from 1-3.5 hours.  It's became a staple in my lifestyle.  What's even harder though is that I've decided to take off 1-2 weeks from running or biking.  I will do some strength training(bow flex and body weight) and will so some light stretching and foam rolling but that's about it.

For those of you that don't know it, I've been struggling with my running pretty much since the end of October.  I ran to a great marathon time(for me) in Grand Rapids and would not be surprised if it goes down as my best ever.

But----first it was my hips which actually were sore about a month before the marathon.  I've been running with compression shorts since then which really helps and the hips do feel better.  Second was my knee which started about 5-6 weeks ago.  I should have taken off time then.  It's only been sore with the long runs(past 8 miles).  Then yesterday I was running my normal five miler and my groin muscle started to hurt after four miles.  And it hurt all day yesterday.  Now I'm sure that I could take a day or two off and get right back into it but I'm not taking a chance this time.  Three strikes and you're out!  I need a rest.  I need an extended rest and since I also have the week between Christmas and New Year's off for work too, what better time to rest when you can also sleep in?

If I'm feeling up to it, I'll start again a week from today.  If not, I'll take an extra week or even two if I need it.  I really want to be sure that I'm feeling better and don't want to rush it again.  To clarify - I'm not hurt but the signs are there and if I continue like I have, I will be hurt.  This is exactly why I need to take this time to give my body the rest that it so desperately needs.

I've also made another significant decision.  Well, at least it's more significant that just resting for a week or two.  I've changed my mind on running the Lansing Marathon in April.  I'm already signed up for the half which I'm still excited to run.  Furthermore, I've decided I'm not going to run a marathon next year at all.  Yes, #5 is going to have to wait until 2014.  I do still plan to run next year, and run lots, but I have not changed any of the races that I still want to do next year except for the marathon(Click HERE for my tentative schedule) and I feel it's the best decision for me.   
I might need to get one of these for my car - Ha!
As some of you know, the marathon and the marathon training is extremely hard on the body.  It needs time to recover from it and I've never given mine a chance to recover in the last two years.  I found my breaking point - four marathons in two years, 3,600+ miles and no rest.  I do, however, still LOVE running the half marathon - it's still my favorite distance - so it will be my enjoyment for next season, although I won't be looking to set any new PR's.  I just want to get back to the time when I ran and felt great and I know that if I run another marathon next season, it will just give me a better chance at getting hurt where I'll be out for the season.

I'd much rather run shorter distances than not run at all.

So that's the plan.  Am I disappointed?  Yes and No but I know I'm doing the right thing and in the long run, I'll be happy with these decisions.

On a positive note, I've still got some great posts coming up for some gear reviews and I'm sure I'll still have plenty to talk about in regards to running.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. Good for you, Jeff! You deserve a break and what better time to take it - when it's cold and windy out and you have a week off work :) Enjoy and you'll be refreshed in no time!

  2. Jeff I think you're making a wise decision. Hope you enjoy your rest and give your body a chance to heal! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Your listening to your body and mind. Nothing wrong with that ! I took this week off and just got back from a run . Work ( UPS ) driver way to busy to do both . Looking forward to your next post .

  4. It does wonders. I think we all need this time to heal on a deeper level that a day or two just doesn't do. It's hard, I know. Resist the urge to cut it short.

  5. Good call. I will be running what will be my last marathon for quite some time (maybe ever) in January. I love to run, but have learned that my body has a preferred distance and that distance is not 26.2.

  6. If only the majority of us runners (cough cough me) listened to our bodies before we did real damage....
    I'm concentrating on strengthening and that's helping me lose weight again and feel better when I do run. A break from running isn't so bad!

  7. Felt exactly the way you describe right before Freep full (2012).I too pushed for a couple of years without taking my usual "run just for the fun of it" period after Freep 2010. So, I completely pressed the reset button after this year (my 10th marathon) and am just building my base again very slowly with no weekend runs for a while.

    Sometimes it's hard to listen to our bodies, but that's the key to staying healthy long term, so power to you!

  8. Good call on listening to your body and taking a break from running. And I fully understand not running a marathon in 2013. I ran my first 2 fulls this year and will do my third in April. But I'm not doing a fall marathon. I do so enjoy the marathon, but my body will need a break from training/running marathons for what will be 16 months pretty much non-stop.

    Who knows? After this rest and break from the marathon, you could come back an even stronger runner. God speed to you.

  9. Slacker! Get your butt out there and hurt yourself! How do you think I did all this damage to my body, not by taking rest periods! Jeff, I am so disappointed in you, I thought you were part of the brotherhood of Dumbasses! Oh well, I guess we'll have to hold onto your membership card a little longer..... Get weel my friend.

  10. Jeff, I think you are being a really smart runner and making great decisions regarding this. Give yourself some time and it will all fall back into place. I hope you enjoy sleeping in and hanging out with your family!

  11. I think one of the hardest things about running is knowing when to take a break. Hope you enjoy sleeping in and your vacation! Take care of yourself and enjoy 2013!

    Happy Holidays!

  12. Thanks everyone for the comments. I will be back full steam in 2013!

  13. Enjoy your rest. Sleep in a day or two. We know you'll be up and back at it, better than ever in no time!

  14. Hey Jeff,

    Time off is a great idea..

    May I also recommend a 90 minute full body massage as well? (Somebody that other
    runners recommend is best) T

    hey can make sure you don't have any core muscles that are locked up or very deep trigger
    points, etc. Just resting won't fix them....(guess how I know this 8/)

    Seriously, treat your body to it after doing so well by you this year!

    Have a great 2013!