We study the transient responses of linear and nonlinear semi-infinite periodic media on linear elastic foundations under suddenly applied, high-frequency harmonic excitations. We show that “dynamic overshoot” phenomena are realized whereby, due to the high-rate of application of the high-frequency excitations, coherent traveling responses are propagating to the far fields of these media; and this, despite the fact that the high frequencies of the suddenly applied excitations lie well within the stop bands of these systems. For the case of a linear one-dimensional (1D) spring-mass lattice, a leading-order asymptotic approximation in the high frequency limit of the suddenly applied harmonic excitation shows that the transient dynamic overshoot is expressed in terms of the Green's function at its free end. Then, a two-dimensional (2D) strongly nonlinear granular network is considered, composed of two semi-infinite, ordered homogeneous granular lattices mounted on linear elastic foundations and coupled by weak linear coupling terms. A high-frequency harmonic excitation is applied to one of the granular lattices—designated as the “excited lattice”, with the other lattice designated as the “absorbing” one. The resulting dynamic overshoot phenomenon consists of a “pure” traveling breather, i.e., of a single propagating oscillatory wavepacket with a localized envelope, resulting from the balance of discreteness, dispersion, and strong nonlinearity. The pure breather is asymptotically studied by a complexification/averaging technique, showing nearly complete but reversible energy exchanges between the excited and absorbing lattices as the breather propagates to the far field. Verification of the analytical approximations with direct numerical simulations is performed.