12 weeks to a half: listen to your bod [week 3]

alrighty, my fellow lifting loving runners, the winner of the RunnerBox from last week’s post is [drumroll, please!]:  elyse f. i love your goal to run a 5k without stopping and that you also have BIG goals to run a half and maybe a full marathon! thanks for sharing your fave running gear [nike fitsole sneakers, arm band, ipod, under armour power in pink heatgear hat]. and finally: you are in my thoughts + prayers as you battle lymphoma – you (and my momma) are why we run with team in training! please email info@getfitbook.com your address with the subject “RunnerBox winner!” and we’ll get that right out to you! thanks again to the sweet peeps at RunnerBox for sponsoring a giveaway and generously donating to my team in training efforts as i #run4momma.

now, speaking of RunnerBox, it’s time for me to get on my (running) soap box and give a little lecture about listening to your body. ok, admittedly i’m lecturing on something that i previously have not been very good at. til now. you are going to have days when you hit the pavement, adrenaline pumpin’, legs as light as a feather, and away you go! and then, if you haven’t already, you will break from the gate in a slow trot with legs that feel as clunky as clydesdales. you’ll gaze longingly at your gps watch wondering if it’s accurate because the pace is painfully slow. those days happen!  and this is what happened to me this weekend. note: i’m not on the same mileage plan as you since i’ve been training for about 15 weeks already with team in training so my mileage is a bit ahead of your 12-week training plan.

this past saturday, i was set to run 10 miles and hit my first double-digit run on my training plan. and this was after 3 LONG days on my feet at our 5th IDEA world expo which ended saturday at 6pm. so being the flexible creature that i am (not), i knew the only way to get my run in was to schedule with my running buddy for sunday morning.  so at 7:30am, completely exhausted, i headed out for a 10-miler with sore legs and very little sleep. now, no matter how much i love my running buddies, when you’re running with me, it’s always a competition. i’m always racing, either you, the guy in front of me, or myself. but this was not the day, so you can imagine my relief when i learned that my sweet pavement-pounding partner (a med-school student currently doing rotations) had been doing the night shift all week and her bod wasn’t lovin’ her either. usually running 8:30-9:00 pace on short runs, we were happy to pull a 9:30-10:00 on this darn double-digiter. now, usually i stop about 1-mile in to stretch, but other than that i’m too proud, even if i’m in major pain, to stop and walk. but if there were any day to listen to my body, this was it. and thankfully my running buddy was on the same page. not ones to usually slow our roll, we started setting little goals along the way to get through: “just 2 more miles and we’ll walk for a minute”…”let’s push this hill and then recover with a slow jog at the top”.  here’s the thing: had she not wanted to take it easy, my normal competitive self would have rared its ugly lil’ head and probably pushed myself too hard.  the perfectionist that i am, i usually would have been bummed at our 9:45 pace. but for the first time in my life (seriously) i accepted that done was better than perfect. i was proud of us for finishing (or even starting, for that matter) given how utterly exhausted our bods were.

then after the run, what shocked me more than anything was how this stressed-out, type-A, gotta be productive all the time, little creature (as my momma used to call me) hit the couch and slept for 5 hours straight (after breakfast of course). and then didn’t budge much after that.  so not like me, i actually took a day to let my body recover from a long week on my feet followed by a long run. i’m learning that if i don’t listen to my body, it won’t be as likely to be responsive when i need to perform. hence the importance of those rest days!  for me those are almost always sundays (you too!), but i had to adjust accordingly to that thing called life and fit in my long run for the week.  so before i step off my (running) soap box, remember to always pay attention to your aches & pains and adjust.  knees hurt? slow your pace a bit or swap today’s run with tomorrow’s lifting so you can lift today and rest your limbs and run tomorrow. need to skip a run altogether to rest up? do so. it’s not the end of the world to miss one run. if you do push through the pain you’re more likely to get injured and be out for good.  to run or not to run: what’s your rule-of-thumb on determining whether to give it a go or give it a rest? comment below!


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