for my husband and my children. :(
I'm dressed, my head is ready...now
if only my body would cooperate!
1. Plan, plan, plan. Just like each of my workouts are meticulously planned, my meals and sleep need to be just as well planned or else I tend to skimp on one or both, mostly due to being busy. As I get closer to classes starting again I worry I won't be able to keep up the dedication to training. But, I also know from experience that when you want it bad enough you'll find a way. (Hey, I made it through my first year of grad school while my husband was deployed with an infant and a toddler; I CAN and WILL plan meals and get up early to train!)
2. Eat well, rest well. My training runs have run the gamut when it comes to how good I felt during and after each one. Some were great, some I wondered why I had even bothered. Looking back on the bad runs I notice that most were prefaced by a day or multiple days of poor nutrition and/or poor sleep. I'm still experimenting with sleep habits and nutrition combinations that will work best for me. (I can tell you, Mint Chocolate Gu is pretty darn tasty!)
3. Be careful when trying new activities. Both injuries have resulted from jumping into new activities without consideration for how my body will tolerate the stress of new/different muscles being worked. Trail running is one of my new loves, yet parts of my body are not accustomed to the demands it makes of me because I don't do it all the time. Boxing was so much fun, but because I wasn't properly trained in how to work the heavy bag without hurting myself I caused a small injury to my knee. Lesson learned: Try new things. But, be careful and know when to back down a little.
4. Negative self talk will be turned to positive as soon as it's recognized. I've read a lot about running lately. Hey, what can I say? When I get involved in something I like to know as much as I can about it and I'm in grad school - research is part of life right now. ;) One of the things that has stuck with me is "Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to a friend." Easier said than done, let me tell you. I am my own harshest critic and terrible about praising myself or recognizing my accomplishments. Given the chance, I will always downplay what I did do as not good enough in comparison to others. In my own mind, it's never good enough. Part of this, I'm told, is part of a runner's mental make-up. However, I also know that part of it is me being a jerk to myself because no one tells me to stop. The longer my runs get, the more I realize how critical the mental piece of running really is.
4. Listen to your body. I'll say it: I suck at this. Big time. I am stubborn to a fault and will push through pain rather than "quit". But, that being said, this is what's gotten me injured both times. During long runs, my friend, who is training for her first marathon, has been educating me on how important it is to listen to my body. Like I said, she is training for a marathon and has yet to be injured. Why? Because she LISTENS to her body. I push through and end up INJURED. Point taken.
I wore my first pair out and got to buy NEW SHOES!
I'm dying to take these pretty babies out for a RUN!
Have I learned? Yes, I think I have. At the end of Saturday's 10 mile long run I had a spot in my foot that was "talking to me" near the end. It's still bothering me today, so I sit writing a blog post and enjoying the relief of ice and rest.
I've learned: training plans are a guide. The rest is determined by me and my body. Today, this body rests in hopes of running tomorrow.