Thursday, January 5, 2012

To Run or Not to Run

Have you ever had the following internal debate with yourself?

Scene:  Alarm sounds, you look over at the clock and groan
Self 1:  Get up you have to run.
Self 2:  Take a rest day, you don't have to run
Self 1:  You have to run it is on your training schedule
Self 2: You never skip a run. It is ok, you know this is not going to be pretty. Be gentle, you are exhausted. It is ok to skip it
Self 1: That is what you think.

Deep in thought

Proceed to get up, have a crappy run,  feel bad about it, and then feel exhausted for the remainder of the day.

That was me this morning.  I went to bed and woke up exhausted.  I knew I did not have much in me, but I also knew I had 3 miles on the calendar surrounded by some elliptical workouts.  I wanted to blow it off.  I felt run down and not ready to do anything that resembled speed.  But instead I convinced myself that I should run and off I went.  23:19 minutes later I did not regret my decision but I was not proud of it either.  Yes, I got my workout in and that is good and all, but would I have probably benefited more from a few more minutes of sleep or even just some time in front of the TV?  Yup.

I am running, I am happy - right?

When I talked this over with Robin, she mentioned how not every run should be fast and that I probably could have done a recovery run today.   My counter was that I had not run since pacing Aaron on Sunday, so I had not even had my one day of speed for the week (the other days were all cross training).  You see, I will let you in on a little secret - I don't train like most runners.  I don't do recovery runs, I don't run 4-5 days a week, and I don't have specific time targets for each run minus - fast, medium, and slow.  Instead, the PT has me doing recovery, speed, and endurance elliptical workouts as well as PT/weight training along with 2-3 runs per week and all of this generally seems to work well for me and my body type.

Yet, today's run and subsequent conversation still made me think about the importance of listening to my body and slowing down and resting even when it is not scheduled!! I am the first person to take a rest day when it is on the schedule.  But when runs are supposed to happen and when I am supposed to push, I try to push as hard as possible. Today, however, taught me something I already knew, if I am being honest -

Your body knows you best

I need to trust my body and listen to what it is telling me. My body loves to tell me to slow down with a cold.  Case in point, I am always sick during or after big exams and I was sick right before MCM.  This morning, I woke up feeling kind of off.  I had hardly energy.  My body was telling me something and  I did not listen.

But did I truly learn my lesson?  Only time will tell.  Sunday I have 8 miles on tap before Wellness Day fesitives begin.  I know I am supposed to run these at a pace that is a little slower than race pace - maybe 8:10ish.  But I am resolving now to listen to my body.  If I have to skip this run, I NEED to skip this run. If I have to make a slow recovery run, I will make it a slow recovery run.  I WILL listen to my body.  Blog accountability here, right?

Happy Friday!  How do you listen to or honor your body?

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