So this coming Sunday will mark my fourth consecutive year competing in the VA Beach half marathon….and since that first race…..the one that really catapulted my interest in endurance sports…and maybe helped inspire a handful of others :)…..I’ve learned a thing or two about distance running, appropriate training…and myself. And although there is WAY more to learn…..I’m putting one of these important lessons to work as I type.
You see, like most amateurs – when I started training seriously for endurance events, I researched a training plan, got it on my calendar and followed it to a “t”….no matter how I felt. If it said run 7 miles….I ran 7 miles, as hard as I could…..if it said run hills….I ran hills, as hard as I could…..if it said run laps on the track…I ran laps on the track, as hard as I could…..if it would have said run down main street on my hands wearing a speedo…..watch out world….I’d be rocking that thing like the hairy European trapped on an American beach….ok….that’s definitely a disgusting lie….I even made myself cringe a little at the thought. But you get the idea
By the end of the training plan, I was definitely fit….but feeling less (a)live then maybe I should. My body ached, feet sore, hips tight, knee a little painful…(can you say classic over-training)..and if it weren’t for an amazing race experience (stay tuned to next week where I’ll tell my VA Beach history and what has and continues to inspire me to pursue these events), I probably would have quit while I was (sorta) ahead.
But fast forward 4 years, a handful of overuse related pains / injuries…and plenty of useful advice from knowledgeable colleagues and friends, and I’m finally hearing my body…and when it tells me you need a night off….I’m actually listening.
But, I’d bet most of us “hear” our body talking….it starts feeling achy, maybe it presents itself as a little scratchy throat or runny nose….maybe it’s a headache here or a cranky attitude (no jokes here from the peanut gallery…”cranky” is just my charm)….but I’m not sure all of us know when to listen, take some time to reflect, rest, and recover.
So tonight (actually last night by the time I post this)…even though I was “scheduled” to do a short, hard tempo run…and Sunday is race day….instead, I’m sitting here, taking some time off, with my feet propped…and writing a blog…and if my body starts talking again tomorrow….I’ll be listening again…..the trick friends, is to speak it’s language and know if it’s saying “Get Moving” or “Take the Day”.
Stay tuned…..me and 30 of my closest friends and family are going to ROCK VA Beach again! Next year, you’re in! Join the “MOVEment”!