Sunday, May 05, 2013

On falling and getting up again

Many of my days are spent homeschooling and training for Seattle's Rock and Roll half marathon/21k in June. The schedule will change in a few months, as Bede and I anticipate Lucia attending a new school this September. Part of me will be relieved to have my own thinking time again, but I will also miss the flow of the days. Bede and I know now that homeschooling can be an option again in the future. We have resources, and the unknown is a little less mysterious in that regard.

I found this partial blog post in draft form, written at the end of March.

Last Sunday, I ran my second 10k race in 60 minutes and 4/10 of a second. I've got a hilly first half marathon scheduled for the end of June, and am casually glancing at the relatively flat See Jane Run event three weeks later. However, I am cautious, not because of the distances, but because of the various injuries that have cropped up over the past year. They are minor but persistent, probably as a result of ambitious over-training. I joined a running training program in January, and am taking part in another one for the half marathon.

One thing I've learned this past year is that, when I train, I need to be patient. A constant, "Step it up! Push it!" approach leads to me injuring myself. Every time I've fallen was a direct result of pushing through fatigued muscles too quickly.

The fall I took two weeks ago was a reminder of my physical limitations. I loathe "You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it" platitudes. It's one thing to start out with self-defeating "I can't do it" attitudes, and another to recognize that we all begin at different places, with different bodies and innate abilities. I appreciate my current fitness levels, and want to continue to improve to the best of my abilities. (But actually, I do want more.)

Not long after I wrote those paragraphs, I had a rough speed workout in which I was in so much pain that I probably should have taken a rest day instead of showing up for practice. My pace group mentor waited for me after everyone else in the pace group had headed back, and said encouraging things to assure me that we were all here to have fun and that speed didn't matter. Nonetheless, I worried.

Fortunately, a couple of days of self-care (foam-rolling, TriggerPoint Therapy, ice, ibuproferin, and AC/DC) were enough to bring me back to hope and strength. I have given myself permission to take naps when I can fit them in, rather than trying to squeeze in one more task.

Roz of Run Sister Run has a post that resonated with me: May you be accepting. It's a hard lesson, one which I have to learn again... and again.


adrienne said...

This is a timely reminder for me at the moment. My knee is hurting, and I've been resisting taking a couple extra days off running to rest it, but probably that's what I need to do.

Acceptance can be a hard thing. Sometimes it's hard to know the difference between acceptance and that nagging feeling that maybe one is just being lazy. But taking care of your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being is never lazy.

Saints and Spinners said...

Adrienne, it is such a change (to me, at any rate) to talk oneself out of exercise, rather than the opposite. I am sorry that your knee is giving you grief. We may need to have a knee seminar soon.