I Have Royally Screwed Up

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.

The Change

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.

The Moral

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.
Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 11

  • Ruth Nasrullah : Jan 30th

    Hope you’re pain-free and back on a “tolerable” exercise plan soon!

    • Robin Sorenson : Jan 30th

      Me, too! I’m making myself a couch potato for the next few days, for sure.

      • Gary Stell : Jan 31st

        All things in moderation!

  • Raymond Butler : Jan 30th

    Hi Robin, I hope you heal quickly and can continue with your plans. I’m not particularly experienced and probably haven’t amped it up as much as I should but when I do go out, I want to push myself. But i have to remind myself not to overdo it. I’ll save it for the trail and since I am starting early, I have time to ease into it. Well, that and at my age I have to ration the amount of wear and tear I have left on my body.

    Good luck on your rehab. Save some of that energy for the trail.

    • Jennie : Jan 30th

      Same thing happened to me in December. I’ve been rehabbing after ACL surgery and was determined to get my surgeon to “pass” me on my tests. I trained so hard at the gym that I met my 9 month benchmarks at 7 months. Then I got a stress fracture in my tibia and had a solid 3 weeks of nothing and now 6 weeks of no jumping or running. My PT told me no running if I want to do the PCT. Find other ways to train that no require so much impact. But, you probably need a real medical opinion… and then 6-8 weeks of no running.

      • Robin Sorenson : Jan 30th

        Hey, at least you’ve been doing your PT! I should probably move to a lower impact machine, for sure.

  • Janel Healy : Jan 30th

    Thanks for the reminder! Running is not a good way to train for a through-hike. You don’t use the same muscles, really. In my experience, walking/hiking with weight is the only way. But you gotta ease into it, like you said. Good luck with your recovery!

    • Robin Sorenson : Jan 30th

      I’ve mainly been doing it for the cardiovascular training. Thanks for the well-wishes!

  • Notebook : Jan 31st

    Hey! I feel for you–how exasperating to feel like you’re doing everything right and then get punched in the–well, in the everything. If you haven’t yet, please do see a doctor; it sounds pretty serious. You probably have enough time to heal before your start date, but what you do in the next few months will be critical. REST. HEAL.

    And don’t be so hard on yourself! Cardio is pretty freakin’ addictive! 🙂


  • Dick Sorensen : Jan 31st

    Like your writing style And your name

  • Nelson Shivel : Jan 31st

    I can totally relate to your experience! I basically did the same thing last year with running, but had severe knee pain. I was unable to hike last year because of it. I have spent the past year rehabbing and ready to hit the trail this may. Hope you can rest and recover enough to hike this season!


Leave a Reply to Gary Stell Cancel reply