I don’t condone giving up. Ever. Even if it’s the one thing I want the most in the world at a particular moment – it really makes completing whatever you’re trying to accomplish so much sweeter.
I do, however, believe in listening to your body. And, sometimes, your body is trying to tell you that what you’re doing isn’t working today. That’s when it’s ok to
say ‘F it’ find an alternative solution or try something different.
I’ve been training for the Grand Canyon Half Marathon, which is coming up on May 9 (I can’t believe it’s almost here already!). I’ve been doing a combination of treadmill running and outdoor running thanks to the unpredictable, crazy, bipolar Colorado weather that we’ve come to accept as normal (24 inches of snow last Thursday, mostly melted by today). It seems that I’ve been having a tougher time training for this race than previous ones – running just seems harder for whatever reason. Anyway, on Thursday morning I busted out 7 miles on the treadmill before work, and planned to do an easy-paced 4-5 miles on Friday. After work on Friday I laced up my shoes, grabbed the pup and headed out the door (the sun was shining by this point) for my run. No kidding – not even a mile into the run I felt like my legs were going to fall off. I tried to push through it but it just wasn’t happening. Not anywhere near to happening. I’m pretty sure both my legs weighed at least 100lbs each that afternoon – either that or I somehow managed to tie cinder blocks to the bottom of my shoes without realizing it.
‘You just need to warm up,’ I told myself. After that I knew I’d be fine. So I started running again. For about 5 minutes. I kid you not it took all the will-power in me to not just turn around, go back home, and wallow in my failure as a runner. ‘Just warm up,’ she said. ‘It’ll be fine,’ she said. I was not enjoying myself in the slightest, despite it being a beautiful afternoon. I did this internal fight with myself for the next mile and a half – attempting to run, and my body simply giving me the middle finger and saying ‘absolutely not.’
Finally, I gave in: I walked. And walked. But I did not turn around. I begrudgingly finished my 4-5 miles (I think it turned out to be about 4.6). It took less than an hour, but I could have sworn I was out for at least 4.
I think my body was trying to tell me it needed a break (which I happily gave it yesterday).
I don’t consider what I did ‘giving up’: I still completed my mileage, albeit in a different manner than I was hoping for.
If you’ve got to walk, walk. If you need to choose lighter weights today, do so. If you need to modify your workout, have at it. If your body needs a break, give it one. For some, that can be hard to do, myself included – I’m a constant go-go-go person, but the importance and the benefits of a rest day far outweigh a potential injury.
I’m supposed to run 9 miles this morning. And I’ll get it done one way or the other. All it takes is putting one *rested* foot in front of the other.
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