when your run doesn’t go as planned


I was supposed to run 8 miles Tuesday morning.


I started my run on the treadmill since the sun wasn’t up yet and I do not run in the dark.


Early morning no makeup barely brushed my hair smiles, not realizing things were about to not go as planned.

I normally handle the treadmill just fine but something inside, around the half mile mark, told me no, just no.

My calves had been extremely tight after Sunday’s American Heart Walk. I never have tight calves.

It was more the left than the right and I didn’t feel any discomfort when running but after one mile, I got off the treadmill because I just didn’t feel my running self and switched to the elliptical machine.

I figured that once I was more warmed up and it was light out, I would head outside for a few miles.

A few miles turned into only one mile because an average pace of 10:42 when I was already warmed up and due for a speed session was my sign to call it a day.


Instead of running as planned, I relaxed and stretched my way through the Yoga For Runners – Injury Prevention.

I am not usually a yoga person but when I need yoga, it feels AMAZING. It was just what I needed instead of running.

So what went wrong?

Why did I not feel up for running?

Why were my calves so uncomfortably tight earlier this week?


Saturday’s long run was much faster than usual. In fact, running 13.1 miles in 1:48 was faster than some of my half marathons. Knowing this, shouldn’t I expect my body to need to recover from Saturday’s long run similar to the way I recover from half marathons?

I know I have grown over the years as a runner and increased my fitness but still, I can’t expect to feel completely recovered and ready to jump back into my normal running routine after that long run.

Do not underestimate the power of walking. I treated Sunday’s American Heart Walk like it was a rest day.

American Heart Walk

Walking is no big deal, right? I don’t need water if I am not working up a sweat right?

Wrong. I didn’t drink during the walk which I am starting to think is maybe part of why my calves tightened up (dehydration) which I first noticed after driving home and stepping out of the car.

I probably shouldn’t have worn heels Saturday night after my long run either.

And, I should have worn my Pro Compression socks for the walk.

Know when to push yourself and when to back off. I am pretty good at this believe it or not. Some say I am dedicated to my running on a super strict level but I think of it differently.

I run and workout because I enjoy it.

It’s not a chore on my list or something I do because I feel like I have to do it.

Running is not my job or a burden. It’s a welcomed part of my day.

I like keeping to a routine but if something doesn’t feel right in my heart or body, I know when to skip, modify or lighten up a workout. Pushing through something when you don’t feel right is not a good idea.

It’s hard for me to tell you how to recognize what feeling right and not feeling right feels like for you. We have runs which are difficult and require that mental push to stay the course and runs where difficult means we must stop. It’s a personal difference you need to learn for yourself since no one knows your body like you do.

While my pace is often a good indicator of how I am feeling, overall in life, I have always been good at naturally just knowing what’s right and wrong for me which is a trait I am banking on when I begin the search for the special dress I will wear to my son’s Bar Mitzvah.

I realize that I just segwayed to something totally random but today is Thursday so I am allowed to do that.

When your run doesn't go as planned #thinkingoutloud #running #fitfluential #yoga #procompression @runwithspoons Click To Tweet

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is thinking about today 🙂


When was the last time you had to change/skip/modify your original workout plan because it didn’t feel right?

Do you prefer long dresses or short dresses?

Are you currently dealing with an injury/nagging aches or pains?

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  1. says

    I’m glad you listened to your body! I’ve switched workout days and recovery days a few times in my current training cycle, especially after an active weekend. Our bodies let us know when we need a rest and rest is just as important as the workouts in training!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

  2. says

    This post is so timely as we are getting into great running weather and peak training time for the NYC marathon. When we start out and feel a problem part into the run, it is so difficult mentally to stop. When we don’t though it usually leads to pain and injury for days. I have learned better to go light then have weeks not able to run because of unnecessary pain that could have been prevented. Those heels will do it every time after a long run. Flats are a must needed rest afterwards for the night and you of all people know to wear those compression socks. I wear them more now thanks to you and Michele. Btw, made your spaghetti squash/veggie dish it was yum!!!

  3. says

    This is so important but can really be so tough. I think especially when we are training it is normal to have some niggles or tightness or things like that, and part of the plan involves running on tired legs. It can be difficult to tell when its more than just that, and requires a modified workout or rest. I feel like all summer I was hyper-aware of everything because I was just coming back from injury, so now I need to figure out the right balance of pushing hard enough but backing off when needed!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Weddings, Long Runs, Pinterest, and SunrisesMy Profile

  4. says

    I think it’s tough for runners to modify plans, but it’s the smart thing to do in the long run when your gut feeling tells you things are not right, or that you’re not recovered from another tough run. I’ve learned this over the years and I’m much better now at modifying so I don’t wind up hurting myself! And I agree walking is no joke, it often makes me more tired than running.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…What My Kids Really Think About PaleoMy Profile

  5. says

    I am currently dealing with a calf issue. Just one and it has been bothering me for a while now, but I keep running. I feel like since I am getting older (44) I am going to have aches and pains. Short dresses because it shows off all your hard work. I hope you have a great day. You should take pics of the dress and we can help pick it!!!

  6. says

    Good move to stop your run when it didn’t feel right! And I feel you on not running in the dark. I like to run before work and it’s been getting darker and darker out. Now I have to run with a reflective vest and headlamp! I also always carry a little can of mace just in case. I’ve never had any problems, but I live in a city so there’s always tons of people out running and driving!

    I love that yoga video that you did..I do that a lot and it’s fantastic. Feels so good..I think I’ll do some today!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Happy Fall Survey!My Profile

  7. says

    The Type A in me knows how difficult it can be to modify a training plan, but I also like to think that I’ve gotten better at listening to my body and knowing when it really needs some time off. So big props to you for knowing when you need to take a step back — it can be hard sometimes to differentiate between when we’re mentally exhausted vs. physically.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #149 .My Profile

  8. says

    I always underestimate walking but I’m generally MORE sore after a walk than after a run which is crazy. It can be a really great recovery or cross-training tool, but it isn’t always like that. I generally wear compression socks under maxi skirts/dresses after a long run. It helps my calves recover faster. The key to staying injury-free is knowing when to call it quits. It can be tough to say “today I’m not feeling it. Maybe I should take the day off” but it’s so so so important.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…TOL: Cupcakes and ConcertsMy Profile

  9. says

    I definitely prefer short dresses cause I’m short, and well, long dresses make me look shorter. But maybe that’s kind of vain? 🙂

    I understand when a workout doesn’t go as planned or maybe sometimes it doesn’t happen. I always have to remind myself that I don’t have a perfect body, so I won’t never have an injury or nagging soreness. But when I do, I want to be able to listen to it and care for it in the proper way. I think that’s great that you listened to your body, even though it was a tough decision.

    And I used to underestimate walking too, but after being in London a few years ago and walking everywhere, I realized that walking is a stupendous workout!

  10. says

    I’ve definitely had to learn to listen to my body even when it means not completing the workout I set out to do. It’s not always easy to do!

    • says

      It’s not always easy to do but sometimes, if we can remember it will only make us feel even better the next time we go to workout, it’s a little easier to skip the planned workout and listen to our bodies. Worked for me last week since now my calves are totally fine and back to normal 🙂

  11. says

    I call knowing when to keeping going or knowing when to stop listening to your instincts or woman’s intuition. Listening to yourself is always the best decision and I love that you not only can tell when to stop, but that you do it as well.

    I went for a four and half mile brisk walk yesterday. No big deal right? I am sore as hell today. I didn’t bring any water. Interesting? I think so.