Have you ever felt like you might have peaked in your running at the very beginning and then everything after that has just been mediocre?
Well that is how I used to feel. Within just over a year of running I was running 5ks with an average pace under an 8 minute mile, I ran my first two half marathons in 1:51:33 and 1:56:33. At the same time I was never running under 5 miles at a time, sometimes I ran twice a day to total 10 miles; in addition to that I was running 6 days a week and burning myself out and developing plantar fasciitis. I even got to the point where after a race in September 2007 I had to stop running and stick to biking and strength training from October to sometime in the spring/summer of 2008. When I started running again I still was not better and I remember going out for a 6 mile run on a route that I know and love and was in so much pain and I just couldn’t get out of my head with the negative self talk. Later that month I attempted running 8 miles out the same way, I don’t remember the run actually being that bad, but I remember getting to one of the hills at the end and just thinking I was giving up because I walked up it. I wish I could go back in time to that girl that “It is 100% ok to walk up a hill if you are tired, maybe you should have taken a walk break earlier to avoid feeling defeated at the end of your run.”
Looking back on my Buckeye Outdoors training log I have realized that I was trying to keep up with the running I was doing before I was injured. I thought that I could still do the same milage and not feel pain or aggravate my injury. Who was I trying to impress? By the end of July 2008 I was back to biking, using the elliptical and doing strength training. I was not letting myself heal fully, silly me!
I started running again at the end of September 2008, but I wouldn’t let myself just stick to running I had to promise myself that I would bike and strength train and stretch more than run. That worked because I think I was just happy to be running, even if it was just once or twice a week. Since then everything has been going great with my running (*knock on wood*).
So why did I tell you all of this?
I did so to fill you guys in on some things before I told you about yesterday’s 6 mile run. I was sitting around just waiting for my tea to settle so I could head out for a run and I got this idea in my head to run the route that had defeated me in the past. I made a plan, I checked out where the 2 mile marker was so if I wanted to turn around make it a 4 mile run I could. Of course I know where there 3 mile mark is and it was my goal to run out to that point and turn around and finish the 6 mile run.
My boyfriend isn’t the biggest fan of this route because the whole way out is slightly uphill, just so so that you can tell. Oddly enough this is not what gets to me because once I get to the turn around point I am so happy to be going back the other way that I forget what it was like on the way out.
I listened to The Power of Madonna by the Glee cast both out and back, and it rocked! I was just zooming along and when I got to the first hill on the way back, the one that had made me feel so defeated in the past, I just booked my butt up it, until one of those little May flies flew in my mouth, then I had to stop and cough a little. At that point I just laughed and started running again. There is one more hill after that and I just turned up the music and booked it up the sucker! I felt so strong and I really felt like I had overcome the feelings from almost 2 years ago. When I got to the point where I know it’s 0.4 miles to my house I started to pick up the pace and when I was just 2 blocks from home I started to sprint! I must say I felt so powerful, like I could do anything.
I ran happy!
Over these past few months I have really started to see myself improve in my running again. I have also been listening to my body and if it wants to go slow we go slow and if it wants to go fast we go fast. Also if it wants a rest day from all kinds of exercise it gets it. I now know the importance of listening to my body. I think if I had listened to my body back in 2007 and 2008 I would have been happier and I might have never hurt myself.
So what is the moral of my story? Always listen to your body! I am never ignoring what my body is trying to tell me ever again!
Question: Have you ever pushed yourself just a little too much only to find yourself injured after? Clearly I have…but it will never happen again!