Running Hiatus Recap

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Good afternoon!  I am really struggling to stay awake… and unfortunately, today is the day I start a night-time part-time job position.  More on that tomorrow!


But first, let’s recap the Running Hiatus.  When I started the Running Hiatus on April 12, I wrote that the purpose of the hiatus was to heal my knee injury, give myself a break from training, and ease up on exercising to accommodate a busier schedule.   Taking a break was a huge challenge for me, since I use running as a way to cope with stress and relax.   The hiatus also initially cause me to have a minor freak-out about gaining weight, because I was still so hungry but burning less calories.  Plus, I suffered from severe running jealously when I saw strangers running! 🙂


All in all, I think the hiatus was a great thing to do once I got over the initial shock of not running.  My metabolism slowed down in the second week, and I was able to adjust my eating accordingly.  When combined with my new cardio workouts and doing more strength training, I actually ended up losing a few pounds! 


Plus, my knees feel significantly better.  On April 26, I noticed that I was not "planning" how I was going to stand up or sit down like I used to do when my knees were really bad (I had to literally plan the best way to lower/raise my body to minimize pain).  My knees still making a funny popping noise, but its a lot less severe.  I didn’t expect my condition to be "cured," but the improvement I’ve experienced is great!


I never realized how HARD running is on my body.  I think I just adjusted to being sore all the time and accepted it as part of my normal lie.  It felt GREAT not to wake up in the morning with stiff legs! :) 


The best part about the hiatus was learning to love bicycling and swimming.  I’m really excited for the Metric Century and Triathlon that I’m currently training for.  After putting myself into the "runner box" for so long, its fun and challenging to try something new!


Don’t get me wrong — I missed running more than you could ever imagine!  I missed the sweaty satisfaction of a long run.  I missed the convenience of being about to just lace up my sneakers and go.  I missed listening to music while pounding out some speedwork.  Running is truly my exercise love!


I’m going to try to re-integrate running back into my schedule, but at a much lower weekly mileage than before.  There is no reason that I need to run 20 – 25 miles a week.   I’m going to start off by running a maximum of 3 miles a week and see if I can work up to 10 or less.   I do plan to run another 15K and Half Marathon in the Fall, but I don’t need to be "race ready" all the time.


All in all, the hiatus was an awesome learning experience, and I’m glad I forced myself to do it.  Now… bring on the Metric Century and Triathlon! I can’t wait to COMPETE again! 🙂

On to lunch….


Sorry that baked tofu, brown rice, and broc has made a lunchtime appearance about 20 times in the last month!  I can’t help it; baked tofu is my favorite (plus, the broc and tofu were about to go off).


Con cashews! Mmmmm!


In terms of diet and exercise, what has been your biggest learning moment?  I think the running hiatus has definitely transformed the way I look at fitness!



  • Help Meghan Run May 11, 2009, 9:03 am

    Man that tofu looks tasty! And congrats on finishing and learning from the running hiatus. As for me, I am hoping my current half marathon training is my best training learning experience. 🙂

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) May 11, 2009, 9:04 am

    My involuntary “hiatus” has also shown me how hard running is on my body. Those rest days are there for a reason, and I also think people should take a full week or so off after a big event like a half or full marathon.

    So I’m curious to see when you’ll run again (today, I’m sure) and how you feel afterwards!

  • Moran May 11, 2009, 9:08 am

    Wow, I think there were quite a few moments! Just this weekend I have eaten a BIG breakfast (about 500 calories as opposed to my daily 300) and I really FELT A HUGE difference!

  • Brandi May 11, 2009, 9:09 am

    i’m glad the hiatus has been good, even though you miss running. that’s great!

  • Kailey (SnackFace) May 11, 2009, 9:12 am

    Oh cashews are divine! Love ’em. I think it’s amazing you’ve completed your running haitus and you’ve learned so much from it! I used to be afraid that if I took off a week of working out that my body would instantly change and I’d gain weight. Turns out that’s not so! Working out three days a week for me is all I need on top of the miles of walking I do on campus. Good luck getting through the rest of your day! Caffeinate well! 😉

  • happinessawaits May 11, 2009, 9:19 am

    Mine is VERY similar to yours.

    I blew out my knee in February 2007. 3 months before my wedding. I went from being a 25-30+ mile a week runner to being in an immobilizer and/or fiberglass cast for the next 12 months.

    I didn’t know how addicted to running I was and how much of cruch it was for me. The time off made me learn to cope with life and stress in a healthier way. The hiatus (over 2 years) made me addressing working out and eating in a new way. And I am not nearly as extreme or obsessed as I was. I now work out for enjoyment, not because I HAVE to otherwise I will gain weight….which is where I had gotten to.

    Happiness Awaits

  • amy. May 11, 2009, 9:22 am

    Im so proud of you, Caitlin! You are such an inspiration, and definitely combated "all or nothing" thinking about exercise–running didn't have to be your only form of cardio. Im so happy you've learned to love swimming & biking too! Thats amazing.


  • runnerskitchen May 11, 2009, 9:23 am

    I know how tough it can be to take time off of running…I’ve been battling IT band/butt/leg pain since January and didn’t want to take time off until after the Boston marathon. I was more freaked out about taking time off before the hiatus than I was during the hiatus. After a few weeks of no running, I actually started to enjoy other activities (and not being in pain!). I tried running again this week and my leg still hurt, so it looks like I’ll need to rest for a few more weeks. I’m actually thinking about purchasing a bike…Your metric 100training is inspiring!

    and p.s. i was also worried about weight gain from not running (i love to eat dessert!), but that hasn’t been the case at all. i think our bodies and metabolisms will make the necessary adjustments 🙂

  • Dayna (HopefulRunner) May 11, 2009, 9:29 am

    Well, just like you I had a knee injury that forced me to take a break from running for about 3 months. It was one of the toughest things that I have ever had to do because running serves as my stress relief and a way to calm my nerves. I am also an all or nothing person and this taught me very quickly that it’s okay to take a rest every now and then. I quickly learned that I had to find a new outlet for my stress, and decided to start lifting 5 days a week again so that I wouldn’t loose my fitness. I really started to enjoy it, and learned that it’s okay to slow down every now and then and listen to my body. I’m back to running again, but am taking it slow now and being a lot easier on my body. It’s the only one I have so it’s not necessary for me to beat it up all the time.

  • Ali May 11, 2009, 9:33 am

    My biggest learning moment was this winter when I burned out, had 6 weeks of complete inactivity, and put on 15 pounds. I realized my mentality is always all in or all out when it comes to running and diet. I’m working on sitting pleasantly in the middle with both now. I’ve committed myself to losing the weight slowly and enjoying the simply act of running each day.

  • Peanuts & Crackerjacks May 11, 2009, 9:42 am

    When I cut back my running from 9 miles a day to 4-6 miles a day I stopped giving myself permission to overeat. As a tiny person I only burn 400 cals max per run, so I did NOT deserved 1000 cals of M&M's! Food is delicious fuel to me now and I dropped 12 lbs of flub (read: M&Ms) but but gained beautiful insight and peace with exercise and food! It's been a few years and I couldn't be more content!

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina May 11, 2009, 9:46 am

    i am also running on little sleep. i feel like crap on days like this, so i guess i have learned that if i don’t sleep well i will inevitably eat crap and skip my workout, so i should make sleep a priority.

  • redheadedjournal May 11, 2009, 9:53 am

    Tofu is always good!

  • Kelly May 11, 2009, 9:54 am

    Yay, I am doing a triathlon too! It’s certainly hard to get used to biking and swimming, but I think in the end it’s better for my body, I hope!

  • K from ksgoodeats May 11, 2009, 9:58 am

    The cashews with the tofu – heavenly!! Your lunch looks perfect!

    I loved reading your reflection on your hiatus. My biggest learning moment was when I was more or less forces into retirement from my sport – it took some time to adjust!

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 11, 2009, 10:01 am

    Congrats on completing the hiatus! I would find it very tough as well!!

    What do the doctors recommend with regard to your knees? You are still really young and it would be awful to see you have more pain later in life!
    Good for you for re-introducing it slowly back into your life! Smart one!

    Great looking tofu dish! I actually have tofu in the fridge waiting to be cooked! Can’t wait!

  • Erin May 11, 2009, 10:01 am

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the hiatus. It seemed like exactly what you needed.
    I think I might be in the middle of some fitness and diet awakenings, so we’ll have to see!

  • Jessica May 11, 2009, 10:02 am

    In terms of exercise, my biggest learning moment was that I do not have to “go all out” all the time. Before I only considered working out to be when I became sweaty and exhausted. Now I view walking, cleaning, and other forms of active living okay a couple days a week as a replacement for my “exercise”

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous May 11, 2009, 10:09 am

    Thanks so much for your thoughts on the hiatus. I loved reading them!

    Ps- I love your status in google mail… freaking hilarious.

  • iowagirleats May 11, 2009, 10:27 am

    Wow – I can’t believe it’s been a month already!! You must be so pumped to get back out there!!

  • Zesty Cook May 11, 2009, 10:42 am

    That looks very tasty Caitlin. I could eat a pound of cashews 🙂 would that be too many?

  • Meganerd May 11, 2009, 10:52 am

    It was great reading your running hiatus recap. I haven’t ever had to take a break from running but what you are going through made me think how I would deal if I had to stop running for a while. I have decided to cut out some of the junk miles and focus on doing more cross training instead. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with the tri-training!! 🙂


    Ps- Don’t be sorry about your lunch- it looks delish!

  • Runeatrepeat May 11, 2009, 11:12 am

    I am obsessed with baked tofu too! I wish I could get some of the pre-cut kind that you have though.

  • Tami May 11, 2009, 11:15 am

    stretching, i make time for it and yoga….i know account for that time when i working out. at least 10 minutes of stretching….

  • Lindsay May 11, 2009, 11:45 am

    I think my biggest learning moment has been my long distance runs…I’ve gotten so much better at pace and endurance. Congrats on your month completed!

  • Emily May 11, 2009, 11:56 am

    i recently had to take a little break from my beloved running too, which prompted me to try some different workouts and really learn to listen to my body a bit better. i’m running again now, but i’m still trying to incorporate a more well-rounded training program, rather than get into another running rut. variety is good!

  • Amanda May 11, 2009, 12:09 pm

    Hooray for a successfully completed hiatus – I think it was really important for you to see that your body/weight can remain pretty stable without running. It will probably help to lessen any “exercise guilt” now that you have experienced it first hand!!

    I think my biggest learning moment was after I finished my first half-marathon in November. I loved training for it the entire time, I loved racing, but when it was over … it was winter in PA and I was ready for a break. I felt guilty for not running at first because I had improved my mileage so much, but in the end I knew it wouldn’t be something I loved if I forced it! Now that it’s warm again, I get those legs itching to run and I’m so glad I didn’t get to the point of resenting it!!

  • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health May 11, 2009, 12:13 pm

    I learned that I can’t bust out 20 miles like other bloggers. I am way new to running and I need to take it slow, one day at a time. I also learned to listen to my body about how I feel after eating certain foods, even though it taste amazing, my body feels like crap after eating some things!

  • BethAnn Caputo May 11, 2009, 1:29 pm

    I think my biggest learning moment has been that if I don’t feel well or am really tired and I already took a day off from the gym…that it’s okay to do it again. I think it’s so important to listen to your body, which is what you did with the running hiatus. Some days…or weeks…or months you just need a break, and there’s no reason to beat yourself up for it!

  • Justine May 11, 2009, 2:21 pm

    I’ve taken a hiatus from running as well…however I didn’t really opt to do it. I pulled my hamstring and adductor just a week after my half marathon. Note to self: rest more after a long distance race. I’ve been out for about 5 weeks but have been able to keep up the fitness aspect of things by biking, ellipticaling, weights, etc. As much as they aren’t the same as running, I’ve learned that it’s okay to go with the flow and try to not be so rigid. However, I’m hoping to start running this week…I think my leg is almost up for it!

  • Thinspired May 11, 2009, 2:31 pm

    I enjoyed reading this, Caitlin. I’m so glad that the hiatus served its purpose for you. I do miss your running adventures though, and I can’t wait to hear about the biking ones, too now!

  • Susan May 11, 2009, 3:29 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a month already!! I’m laying off the running too. I’m training for a tri anyways, and it’s about time I started taking the biking and swimming training seriously!

    My biggest learning moment was when I started taking weight training seriously. Lifting heavy has improved my fitness and confidence more than cardio ever has.

  • Lauren May 11, 2009, 6:11 pm

    Baked tofu is one of my favorites too and is definitely on my menu for tomorrow’s dinner.

    Wow, the biggest thing I have learned about fitness and exercise is that you absolutely can not base your personal plan by others. It’s so easy to become envious of people who can go so much longer, give so much more, and make you look like everything you do is just not enough. But, what I’ve learned (or rather try to remind myself everyday) is that my body will only perform to the point where it works best. Anything more or anything less will just cause more damange than good.
    We were not designed to be working out 24 hours a days and the key to any healthy fitness regime is balance!

    You did such an amazing job on your hiatus and I truly admire you and your strength. It’s so wonderful that you learned to listen to your body and not give in. Way to go girl!

  • Christina May 11, 2009, 7:27 pm

    I’m glad some good things came out of the running hiatus – Congrats on finishing successfully!

  • Sandy May 15, 2009, 4:44 pm

    I gave up running during my second pregnancy and have walked at least 4 miles almost every day since. Now this has been 21 years! and just recently went out and felt like running again – surprise I did 4 miles without any trouble. But then I began to feel guilty because I really didn’t want to run, I really wanted to walk. I have discovered that my walking pace is considered a jog by my Garmin and my half marathon time was 10 minutes faster than a friend who “ran” a half recently. So I gave up feeling guilty and I just keep pushing myself to have a faster “walking” time. I also have made it a goal to do at least 10 minutes of Yoga every day in May and I am loving it, getting stronger, leaner and firmer and my walking time is getting faster.

    At 54 I have decided that I want to be doing what I am doing now in another 25 years so I am going to take care of my joints and not feel the need to push myself into being a “runner”.

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