Last weekend I ran my third half marathon of the year (13.1 miles) and, while it was really tough, I felt awesome after it! It’s the farthest I’ve run. I felt confident going into my 11th week of marathon training since I had already run 13.1 miles 2 other times this year. However, when I started out on my 6 mile run on Tuesday, I was immediately stalled. My calves were on fire, my hips were achy and there was this strange strain on the outside of my shin. It was happening – the word I had always feared: burnout.
(Shudders) I didn’t want to believe it. So I tried again on Wednesday and on Thursday but by .5 miles into both run I was absolutely wrecked. I kept trying to tell myself that I would pull it together the next day but, I knew I was going to have to take the whole week off. It took me till late into Thursday night to fully realize it. By then we were halfway through the week.
Taking time off from running is a pain in the ass. It sucks. Especially when you’re training for a race. Not only did I feel I would lose momentum, but I was scared of what it would do to me mentally. I’ve always used running to reduce my anxiety and wade off stress. How much more anxiety was I going to have this week because I couldn’t run?
Then I realized I was already anxious. Worrying myself about not being able to run due to injury was inducing more anxiety. And thats the thing friends. That’s how you know you truly need a break. When your mind won’t connect with your body any more.
So, I took the rest of the week off. Over the weekend I slept in, had some delicious bagels, watched some good movies and had some good quality relaxation time. I went to the gym twice and spent the whole 50 minutes rehabbing my legs.
I thought – hey, on Monday, I’ll be good as new. HA. I sure do make myself laugh sometimes. No, of course I’m not good as new. I went for a run today and I was sore from the lack of moving, my endurance has definitely suffered a little and I don’t feel “as fit” as I did the week before. But, one thing I did feel is better. Not 100%, not 0% but so much better than I did when I was in pain. I listened to my body and it did reward me in the end.
The point is – rest is part of the journey. Injury is part of the journey. It was one of my biggest fears when I started training – knowing I was probably going to get hurt. I’d probably have some strains, bruised feet and maybe even break something (hopefully that never happens.) But you can’t not try because you’re scared and you can’t not rest because you’re scared.
Especially in times like these, we have to do what feels good and right.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Self care, self flare.