Knowing When Enough is Enough

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I still cannot believe that I ran my second marathon – and in such good time – just two weeks ago. 


Originally, when I decided to run another marathon, I signed up for a local Charlotte race called Thunder Road, which will be on December 11.  Then, I had my doubts about the course and weather and decided to do Spinx in October. 


My options for Thunder Road were: to run a third marathon, to drop down the the half marathon, or to drop down to the 5K.


I quickly decided that I didn’t have the physical or mental drive to do the Thunder Road Marathon and figured I would just do the half.


But then – recovery happened.  I ran 7.75 miles the week following the marathon, topping out at a 3.0-miler.  This week, I managed to squeeze out 14.0 but knew I needed a long run today to make the Half Marathon happen.


Unfortunately, an old foe flared up.


I’ve struggled with knee issues in the past (which is why I wear knee sleeves), and although my knees did not bother me at all during the marathon or during any of my shorter runs in the past two weeks, my right knee totally flared up today.


I was about 4.0 miles into a 5.1 miler with Nicole when we tried to climb this huge hill.


We took a walking break and when we tried to start back up, my knee totally seized up.  It warmed up enough to allow me to run the rest of the way home, but when I stopped for a water break before continuing on my 8.0 miler, it began to ache again.


Right then and there, I decided a Half Marathon is not in my future on December 11.  I’m more than OK with that.  I’ve been around the block enough times to know that one race is not the end-all-be-all, and I’d rather just keep my mileage low and allow my body to heal following 26.2 miles of hell then push myself – and for what?  There will always be more Half Marathons!


Here’s my guide to telling whether pain is ‘normal’ or not.  Today’s pain definitely fell into the not normal category, and I’m NOT going to push it!  I’d rather be active at lower levels than totally laid up on the couch.


Pre-run breakfast was PB toast:


I drank coconut water on my run for electrolytes!

IMG_5483 IMG_5484

And when I got back, I just had a simple bowl of cereal and banana with rice milk.



Fun day planned – I’m testing another vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe and cleaning the house!



  • Kaci November 13, 2010, 11:39 am

    Bummer!! Hope your knee feels better soon! 🙁

  • Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) November 13, 2010, 11:43 am

    Yuck I hate running injuries! I had a hip problem that trashed my marathon training program 🙁 But hopefully a day in the kitchen whipping up a veggie Thanksgiving recipe will help you heal, I am a firm believer good food can heal anything 🙂 Can’t wait for the recipe!

  • Jaya November 13, 2010, 11:48 am

    Good for you, Caitlin. Here is my philosophy on discipline (borrowed from Charles Eisenstein): “Discipline is a crucial part of the spiritual path, but it arises out of a compassionate desire to prevent future suffering, not a hostile crusade to punish, correct or improve oneself. It is a remembering, a gentle reminding. It is the same discipline you might impose on a sweet and trusting chid. Your body is like a child, not a stranger-child, but the one that tells you its every need, if only in a very quiet voice. Be kind to yourself.”

  • Nicole @ yuppie yogini November 13, 2010, 11:58 am

    Fat Free Vegan has awesome Thanksgiving recipes.
    Hope your knee feels better 🙁 Stupid hill!

    • HTP Dad November 13, 2010, 12:00 pm

      That was weird – we were reading and commenting simultaneously!

  • HTP Dad November 13, 2010, 11:59 am

    No hike tomorrow! Movie time!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) November 13, 2010, 11:59 am

    I’m sorry that the old injury flared up! I’ve had my fair share of knee and ankle injuries to say that they SUCK! I hope that you feel better soon!

    I’m looking forward to see what your next recipe is! I’m probably going to use some of your dishes for my Thanksgiving! 🙂

  • michelle November 13, 2010, 12:02 pm

    That’s smart to know when enough is enough. I was stupid and ran through a back injury and it ended up putting me out for 6 weeks when I know if I had listened to my body I could have prevented it in the first place.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 13, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Good plan!!! I have SO MUCH TROUBLE admitting when something is wrong and it’s resulted in me taking the last SIX weeks off running (I get to try again on Monday! Yay!) So I really commend you for stopping before it gets to that point 🙂

  • Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun November 13, 2010, 12:06 pm

    Awww bummer! It’s great that you honor your body though – hope your knee feels better! 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) November 13, 2010, 12:07 pm

    Sorry about your knee pain and the run! That stinks. Why don’t our bodies do what we want with them to do all the time? So frustrating!!! Enjoy your day Caitlin! I am hoping to be outside a little and in the kitchen a little too!

  • Jennifer@ knackfornutrition November 13, 2010, 12:07 pm

    It is such a good thing that you are able to mentally be okay with not running that race. I tend to lean toward pushing through pain which is not always a good thing.

    I used to have serious IT band issues, which forced me to re-evaluate how I looked at pushing the limits of pain. It really is better to just take it easy so that you are not completely out of the game rather then blow it on one race.

    Good luck with your thanksgiving recipe!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 13, 2010, 12:12 pm

    This is such an important post (as was the post you referenced to from last spring). It’s important for you first of all. But also for others to see an example of a totally healthy attitude toward the whole race thing… of course there will be other half marathons if that’s what you decide to do.

    So hats off to you for hearing your body and not over-riding it out of stubborn pushing toward a goal.

  • Amber K November 13, 2010, 12:15 pm

    You have such a healthy outlook! I think it’s definitely a good idea to rest a bit.

  • Jen November 13, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Good for you for making a decision and being confident in it. It sounds smart to me – plus, you still need to ride the high of the Marathon!

  • Jennifer November 13, 2010, 12:17 pm

    I was worried about how quickly you got back into the running after the marathon…even with the half plan in the future.

    Many people I know, including me, really take week off with no running after marathons, instead just swimming and biking. Pounding pavement at speed really messes you up and letting the pressure off is good.

    Hope your knee heals up so you can do what you want with no pain! Good luck!

  • Aimee November 13, 2010, 12:21 pm

    Caitlin I hope your knee feels better. I’ve learned so much about running from your blog and others like yours and I think the most important lesson that I’ve taken away is to listen to my body.

    I’ve been voting for Operation Beautiful to win in support of Girls on the Run. Awesome work you are doing with the girls! I’m sure that they love having you as a coach.

    It’s gorgeous here but I’m stuck inside doing a much needed cleaning. Happy cleaning!! Enjoy your day.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 13, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Hope your knee feels better! It’s good you didn’t try pushing it this morning.

  • grocery goddess jen November 13, 2010, 12:30 pm

    I’m so glad you’re not pushing yourself. You have learned SO much over the years! I hope it feels better soon, though.

  • Camille November 13, 2010, 12:37 pm

    I think that’s a smart decision!
    After my marathon about 5 weeks ago I developed Illiotibial Band Syndrome which is essential an irritation of the band in my knee, caused by overuse. I had a project 3-6 week recovery time and though it is feeling better, I still can’t run! It sucks and you definitely don’t want anything like that to happen to you!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 13, 2010, 12:43 pm

    Oh no, so sorry about your knee! 🙁 It sounds like it’s a good idea not to run the half in December. There will be plenty of more races in your future, I’m sure!

  • Teresa @ Teresa Tastes & Travels November 13, 2010, 12:59 pm

    You made the right choice! Will you do the 5k?

  • Marci November 13, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Good for you for making tough decisions. Do you think it was too much too soon, or just your knee saying enough is enough? Now you have more time to be a good spectator and blog cheerleader for December races, like my first half marathon on December 5!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 13, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Sorry about your knee! But I love that you are rocking the leuko tape in the “Normal Pain” post. I live and die by the stuff. 🙂

    Do you think it is better to build mileage before speed or vice versa? I’m feeling the need to improve one or the other.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now November 13, 2010, 1:14 pm

    Definitely a smart choice. I’ve been riddled with injuries all year because of stupid choices. Better safe, than sorry. I’d drop to 5K. You already sunk your money into the race and it’s local.

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) November 13, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Bummer about the knee injury. My knee starting acting up right before my 1/2, so I know how you feel. Better to play it safe, though. We only have 2 knees!

  • Val @ Balancing Val November 13, 2010, 1:31 pm

    You are a smart women . . . Go with your gut and take care of your body! 🙂

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life November 13, 2010, 2:10 pm

    That’s a shame about your knee! But it is GO smart of you to listen to your body. Make sure you get plenty of rest so your knee can heal quickly!

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life November 13, 2010, 2:10 pm

    That’s a shame about your knee! But it is SO smart of you to listen to your body. Make sure you get plenty of rest so your knee can heal quickly!

  • monicanelsonfitness November 13, 2010, 2:26 pm

    bummer about your knee. 🙁 R.I.C.E.!

    It happnes to the best of us. 🙂

    Have fun with the Vegetarian Meal today! Look forward to what you come up with!

  • Brooke November 13, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I’m sorry about your knee! At least you’re taking the right steps before it gets any worse! Hope it gets better! I currently have a pulled groin, I know…not a big deal or anything, but it’s still bothering me and preventing me from enjoying my runs.

    Ugh I miss my O.N.E. Coconut Water! The place that has it down the street from me is just too expensive for my current financial situation. I found some REALLY cheap ones at a grocery store (89 cents per “can”!) but it was way too sweet and had chunks of coconut in it. I feel like that would be more of a dessert or snack drink, but not right after my workouts…I guess I just got spoiled with the O.N.E. brand!

  • Kristen November 13, 2010, 3:03 pm

    To Brook, Caitlin, and anyone else… What brand of coconut water should I buy? I’ve only tried it once (forgot the brand) and really didn’t like it. I LOVE coconut so I am hoping I just had a miss with the brand I chose!


  • sarah November 13, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Good idea to take care of the knee. I really like coconut water, too but I haven’t tried drinking it while running 😛 Thanks for the idea!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal November 13, 2010, 3:28 pm

    Oh noo 🙁 Sorry the knee pain flared up. Sounds like you def made a good decision though.

  • Lisa November 13, 2010, 3:52 pm

    I’ve had aches, pains, twinges, weird feelings when running….but I KNEW I was injured when I ran in after Hood to Coast and had pain in my knee. I just knew in my heart it wasn’t something I could shake off after a few miles. 🙁

  • Dana November 13, 2010, 4:47 pm

    Hey Caitlin,
    Have you tried glutamine for your knee? I take it for the same problem and find it really helps. Omega 3 oil for me also makes a big difference, but not sure if you do fish!

  • Keri November 13, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Ughh I have been suffering with runner’s knee as well 🙁 I haven’t been able to run in weeks and its killing me! Good decision not to push it.

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing November 13, 2010, 6:39 pm

    Sorry you’re having problems! I was training for a 10 miler on Dec. 4th, but I’ve done something to my left calf and now I don’t think I’m going to have enough time to get to where I wanted to be. 🙁

  • Tab - Just Weighing In November 13, 2010, 6:51 pm

    I don’t know much about running, but I think it’s wise for you to take it easy on your body and it’s great that you’re so in tune with it.

  • Shanna, like Banana November 13, 2010, 9:08 pm

    You have fabulous legs!

    • Caitlin November 14, 2010, 8:38 pm

      thanks 🙂

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 13, 2010, 9:54 pm

    Good for you on listening to your body!

  • Heather November 14, 2010, 10:17 am

    so sorry about your knee. I ahve been struggling with IT band issues for over a month and am not really sure what to do. so frustrating! I hope your knee gets better.

  • Sana November 14, 2010, 3:45 pm

    I think having an injury is so humbling. Our body lets us know what we can handle. It’s frustrating. But amazing.

  • Dee November 15, 2010, 1:34 pm

    I hope your knee gets better soon! I think it’s so inspiring that you listen to your body. It’s such a healthy outlook! 🙂

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