A funny thing happened when I started tracking my runs with Strava: I started pushing myself harder. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
I finally saw the full consequence of that little bit of extra push on my run this morning.
This run. It’s another interval practice on my 10K trainer: run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat two more times for a total of 48 minutes. I cried uncle on my first attempt. I was successful in my second attempt, but I was running on a treadmill in the hotel. (Which was not awesome, I do not like treadmills.)
This morning was looking like it would be even worse than that first attempt, honestly. My left hip has been bothering me for most of the season, and all the walking I did in Milwaukee really aggravated it.
By the end of my second 15, I was having a conversation with my hip that went something like this, “What do you want from me? I’ve been doing all that nice yoga for you and this is how you’re gonna act?”, etc. Note the emphasis there, I’ll be writing another post about that next week.
I started to plan on taking at least a week off to try to more actively rehab that hip. What else could I do, right?
I wasn’t ready to give up entirely on that third 15 minute run. I figured I would do as much as I could, but I knew my form was already suffering.
Then, right at the beginning, I remembered that I had more options than to just suffer through it until my form completely collapsed and I gave up. I could slow down a little.
What?? What would all my Strava followers think of me if I slowed down my run? (absolutely nothing, no one cares) What would this do to my stats? (again, who cares?) Fortunately, I had reached the point where I was willing to say frak* it and just go with it.
Problem solved! My form was back to normal, and I felt really happy to be doing this run again. Suddenly, finishing a 10K before eternal winter strikes again seemed possible. That week off? Forget it, I’m good.
I have internalized so many messages along the lines of
No pain, no gain
over the years. While I know there’s a time and place for that thinking, it can be so damaging for someone like me. Someone whose first instinct is still to push myself until there’s nothing left (whether physically or emotionally, I had to teach myself to have an off switch). If I had tried to keep pushing myself to keep pace, I would be in trouble right now.
There’s a goofy twist to the end of this story, by the way.
As I started my cool down walk, I ended the recording of my run. My grand total: 4.1 miles. What the frak?* Oh, the feelings I had about that. So. Many. Feelings. I really struggled to accept that I had slowed down so much that I was around a mile short of where I expected to be.
I just kept breathing, and telling myself I’d get it next time (because there is going to be a next time on Sunday). I managed to fist bump and sing “Eye of the Tiger” to myself despite my disappointment, because I had already decided what to title this post.
Then I got home and actually looked at the map of my run. Some glitch in either my GPS or the app caused it to not record the first 1.1 miles of my run. I had done 5.2 miles this morning. Ultimate victory!
*For those of you who didn’t watch Battlestar Galactica, Veronica Mars explains all!