There are two kinds of people in this world. Normal people and runners. 😛
I mention the disparity because as I’ve been coming back from this bout of injury I’ve been thinking a lot about being smart. I mean I like to think I’m smart. I feel like I have a fantastic educational background, a lot of fitness and running knowledge and a whole heck of a lot of resources from which to pull to find answers to questions when I don’t know the answers.
But let’s take a scenario. You are out running ___ miles (fill in the blank with common mileage for yourself). You feel a twinge in your calf (or knee, or hip, or foot, or fill in the blank with something else that has ever bothered you). You gut it out right? You keep going and when you get home, you address the twinge. Advil, ice, maybe massage? So then the next run, you feel it again. What do you do? What does common sense say to do???? But what do 99% of us do? I don’t even have to answer the questions.
In talking about this I’m not expecting anyone to have a light bulb moment of “oh, ok I’m going to be better about listening to my body,” though that would be great. But I am pointing out something a lot of us runners don’t see. Three months (or more or less) down the road when an injury happens and we are like “I have no idea where it came from!” Or “I was doing everything my coach said,” or “I wasn’t even running that much,” the point is, it doesn’t matter!!! When you’re body begins to give you signals of protest early on, it’s like smoke before a fire. So many of us, me included, just choose to ignore the cues. We would rather the instant gratification of the training (and possibly the fear that our bodies our quitting on us), rather than the long term reward of attending to the signs. Then by race day, we end up unable to race the way we want to or perform subpar to our training. Sound familiar?
So perhaps the next time you feel a tweak or a twinge (more than once), you just consider this blog post and think about what you want? To finish that training run? Or to finish the race(s) you still have yet in front of you???