I went running today, like I have every day this week. But I shouldn’t have because my body told me not to.
I woke up, climbed out of bed and walked into my home office where I store my running gear. I pulled on my shorts and pushed my feet in to my socks and trainers.
I tied my laces and heard the message:
It was clear. But I still pulled on my running vest and headed downstairs.
I could feel the ache in my legs. And my head was fuzzy with tiredness. I felt crap, if I was honest. But honesty wasn’t the thing this morning. My trainers were on my feet so I was going.
I didn’t refine the plan, either. Off I set to run a 14-miler.
Everything hurt straight away. My legs were sore, my upper body ached and my mind was saying:
Don’t go, this is not going to end well
I figured the suffering would pass. I ran a hard 7.5 miler the day before. It was a good session. My running week was intense, too. So feeling weary wasn’t a shock.
I ran on. My body kept complaining. I knew this was not a good combination of situations.
I made it to 10.5 miles and had to stop. The pain in my right quad (that had been bothering me all week) was intense and I felt horrible, too.
I had to make it the rest of the way home so I walked/jogged — it was all I had left.
As I sit typing this, I have an ice pack on my thigh and my legs are elevated. I’m trying to get life back into them.
As I cast my mind back over the past few weeks I see that I’ve been pushing hard. My data confirms it. I’ve been covering 60+ miles per week.
Here I am with a series case of overtraining. I let myself get carried away because my running was going well.
Now I find myself in need of a rest. The problem is: it will now be an enforced rest. I should not have run today. And in doing so, I’ve made a niggling injury worse.
The annoying thing is: it’s not like my body didn’t tell me. It did.
The trouble is, when you are running well it’s easy to fall into the trap of continuing to push without allowing recovery.
There’s no mistaking it, that’s what has happened here. And now I can’t run for a while. And I hate not running. I’m going to suffer now, both mentally and physically. I’m an idiot for not listening.
The moral of this story is: listen to your body, or else. Yes, there is such a thing as mental toughness. But when it comes to pushing yourself, common sense must prevail. If your body says no, you are advised to listen. Bad things will happen if you don’t.