It feels like for the past couple weeks I have been a walking target for illness and injury, and well that frustrates me to no end. I guess you could categorize me as “type A”. I like to plan for a scenario and then ramp-up until that scenario has come to fruition and I get kind of annoyed and frustrated when there are unexpected obstacles and challenges that I have no real control over. ( I think most people can sympathize with this feeling).
First it was my heel (plantars fasciitis), then it was a stomach thing, which left me unable to eat properly or exercise and this week I was lucky enough to roll my ankle. The ankle is healing up fine, and this tapping job actually helped considerably, but it is still slowing me down.
Now I understand that life comes with obstacles and I am always game for a good challenge, heck eating can be a challenge with my allergies. I have no issue with obstacles such as it being too hot or raining out because these obstacles, along with my allergies, have tangible work-it-out solutions. It is often as simple as modifying my training schedule, putting on a rain jacket, wearing a hat and a tank top, bringing extra water, and reading the ingredient list for food or just making it myself. Each of these solutions helps to fix a problem/challenge. But when the fix is rest, it seems that my brain has a bit of a struggle with figuring that one out and accepting it as a solution instead of a white flag.
So what do I do? What a great question. I am learning to start listening to my body and respecting it when I am injured, sick or fatigued. Instead of constantly pushing my body to perform at its maximum I am starting to learn that it too may at times require a bit of a break in order to continue to perform at its full potential.
I am starting to wrap my head around the fact that rest is infact a solution to an obstacle and not throwing in the towel, however much I may not like the solution. Currently it is a pretty large struggle because I will be participating in the Ottawa Race weekend at the end of this month, so I feel the need to train and to avoid resting too much. But I also need my ankles, stomach, knees and feet to start cooperating with my brain and that means listening to what my body is telling me instead of powering through at all times.
So you might now be thinking “how is she listening to her body if she is still training for a race?” and what an excellent question that is indeed. At this point I am kind of just making deals with my body, sort of bribing it to let it know that after it does an awesome job in the Ottawa Race Weekend, I will give it a solid 1-2 weeks off with nothing but foam rolling and yoga. So yes, I am still training but I have drastically cut back on the amounts of and distance of my runs in order to be a bit more gentle with my body. I am also trying to go to gentle and yin style yoga classes so they are more about stretching than they are about strength and power. So although I am still training I am being much easier on myself than I would normally be, so that’s how I am compromising with my body at the moment.
I am still struggling with listening and respecting my body and its injuries on a regular basis I am getting much better at it, and much more accepting of the need to rest and do nothing sometimes. I hope that over time I will get better at this and it will just become second nature to me instead of something I have to force myself to remember.
How do you know if your body needs a break? Do you tend to listen to it or do you push the thought out of your mind and lace up anyways?
*just a little side note. I am writing my intention to “rest” and “relax” after the race here to make sure that I follow through. Sometimes you need an extra push to make sure you slow down.
I hope everyone has a great Thursday and I hope no one has forgotten that it is Mother’s day this weekend!