I was running on the treadmill this evening – a little off schedule, mind you (as Sundays are typically reserved for my 5+ mile run whilst enjoying America’s Next Great Restaurant) but as I kicked into high gear despite the clubhouse’s haywire thermostat (86 degrees, what?!) a thought crossed my mind.
Where do you draw the line between listening to your body and pushing your limits?
When I run races, there is this indescribable adrenaline that pumps through my veins. I mean, what else can explain the way I ran 13.1 miles this past January when my previous long run was at least three miles short of that distance!? And the recent ten-miler – yup, wow – had never run that up and down hilly course before, but the cheers from the sidelines and the great weather made it easy to PUSH further!
But when it comes to training, it can be a bit of a different story!
While most of my training runs are shorter in distance (3-4 miles, 3-4X on weekdays, then 5-10ish on Sundays) and therefore, somewhat predictable…once in a while, my mind wanders and countless thoughts flood my psyche…
Should I be running faster? Or slower?
Should I throw in one more mile today?
Does my knee hurt? No…or…wait, does it?
Should I put my hands in fists? Or put my palms out?
I know that if I ever have an ache or pain, I will tell myself to take it easy, as to avoid an injury. But, conversely, it can be difficult to “give up” during a workout – after all, those endorphins are screaming, “go BIG or go HOME!”
But really, this all has a point…really.
You see, this evening, I headed to the gym at 9:15 PM. Since the clubhouse closes at 10, I was roughly thinking, 45 min…well, that’s 5 miles I can kick out tonight…and a 2-3 minute cooldown. Natch.
But then –
86 degrees + poor Pandora mix* + sugar consumption caught up with me = 5 miles bumped down to 3.
I can tell that I am maturing as an athlete (and as an adult, hah) because you know what? I FELT FINE about it! When I first started running, I felt like every moment was regimented – structured – no deviating from the plan. Sure, some might call that discipline….but you know what I learned? Running is a metaphor for life – and only YOU know what’s best for you!
What has your sport taught you?
* Pandora Failz:
Listening to the Britney Spears radio station, Josh Groban, Matt Nathanson, Ana Nalik songs all came on. Okay, I like those songs when I’m driving to work, or watching the rain outside my window…but not when I’m slamming my feet into a treadmill at blazing speeds of 7 MPH! 😉