Several weeks ago I put out a post entitled “What I’m Doing to Prepare.” In that post, I talked about how I was going about physically preparing for the trail. Well, let me tell you, I have majorly screwed the pooch.
So, I had stated that my workout routine consisted of lifting, yoga, and cardio. I commented on how I had utterly despised cardio, and was doing other things to keep me from going crazy. Well. It turns out that after doing it consistently, I really like cardio. Sure you feel like shit while running for an hour straight, but you feel magnificent afterward. The inconceivable happened. I dropped everything else and started doing cardio every day. It ended up that I would often run a 10k every day. I even started getting up early to go to the gym before work so I would have more free time and feel more accomplished. I even contemplated running twice a day. Who am I and what has happened to me?
I Done F**ked Up
I ran every day for nearly 30 days straight. I skipped maybe two or three days of going to the gym. And now, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus.
It all started when one day my ankles started to ache. Just a little, and it was totally something I could deal with. I chalked it up to pushing it a little harder than usual at the gym earlier. Then my heels started to get that bruised, pre-plantar fasciitis feeling that I am rather familiar with. Then something insane started happening.
Bruises started to pop up all over my shins. My right shin looks like someone hit me repeatedly with a baseball bat. It feels like I have golf balls embedded under my skin. Did you know that you can get shin splints so badly that your shins can bruise? Because I definitely didn’t until now. Top that all off with extreme, uncharacteristic exhaustion, and I feel like a semi slammed into me, threw it in reverse, ran over me again, only to put it back in drive and hit me a third time just for good measure.
I have often said to my husband after a long day that “literally everything hurts.” Now, I know how gross of an overstatement that was, because now literally everything hurts. It hurts to lie down. It hurts to drive. It hurts to sit doing nothing. It hurts to sleep. Standing and walking are nearly out of the question. I’m not really a crier when it comes to pain, but several times this has nearly brought me to tears. What have I done?
The Reality of My Situation
I’m in a tough spot. I am quietly hoping that I haven’t messed up too badly, and this is just the extreme end of overuse syndrome. In the back of my head, however, a little voice keeps telling me that I could have developed a stress fracture, and I may have royally screwed up my whole hike. We are now on day three of this glorious hit-by-a-semi feeling. If this goes on any longer, I will definitely need to seek a medical professional for help. Yay. The really absurd thing is that I am just itching to get back to the gym. Who am I and what has happened to me?
I am pretty upset with myself. Mainly because of the irony that I am trying to prepare for this awesome journey, only to get an overuse injury and jeopardize it before I even leave. I’m also upset at myself because I know better. I know that these things happen, I have read horror stories of such things, and never once did it occur to me that it could happen to me. Overuse never even popped into my head. The final gem on this whole debacle is that I’ve now had to miss work because it hurts so much to just exist, and I hate missing out on my hours. Ugh.
One thing for sure. I am definitely dropping the gym until my body feels completely back to normal.
If you are planning on starting an exercise regimen, for any reason, please, please, ease into it. Please don’t be like me and forget that this can happen to you. Be nice to your body, lest it rebel in awful, usually super painful ways. Take rest days. Make sure you eat enough food, get enough sleep, and ice your aching body. If you end up messing up like I have (I tried to warn you!), just suck it up and go to a doctor.
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