An amazing run that never happened

Listen to your body…

How many times have I heard that over the past few weeks!

Yesterday I was at my Chiropractor and I was glad to be there.  The track run the day before was horrendous on my body.  My good hip hurt so much that it was hard to walk.  I got up in the middle of the night and limped to the bathroom.  Work wasn’t much better.

After my last few blog posts there seemed to be a theme from the comments and that theme was, “Listen to your body”.

As I was waiting for the Chiropractor to come into the room, I had made up my mind I was going to run after the appointment.  Yes I had been in pain and I was tired, but it was to be an easy run and only 5 miles.  I could do this… But in the back of my mind were the “what ifs”.  What if I run and my hip gets worse?  What if I hurt myself and can’t run the marathon?  All those miles and all the pain would be for nothing.  Then came the other “what ifs”.  What if I don’t run and that would have been “the” best run?  What if I don’t run and in some small way it affects my marathon?  It is only 5 miles after all, I can do that much.  Finally, if I ran all my planned  runs this week I’d be at a 200 mile month which I’ve gotten close to before, but never actually achieved.  “I can’t give that up”, I thought to myself.

The doctor came in.  He adjusted me and asked about my running.  He said I was really stiff and spent extra time trying to loosen me up.  Finally he asked if I was going to run after my appointment.  I told him I was waffling back and forth as to whether I should run or take a day off to recover.

His response…

“Listen to your body”.

Alright, I might be a little obsessive about my running.  I need to be.  If I weren’t I would have stopped long ago.  But eventually hearing all of your comments on this blog and his response got to me.  I knew I had to take the day off.  Sometimes things are said in such a way, and so many times, that I know it is wisdom and not just a coincidence.  This was one of those times.

So I went home.  I got in bed.  I read your blogs.  I rested with heat on my back and hips.  I slept.  I got up this morning and felt great.  I’m still a bit sore and it was hard when I first got out of bed, but I almost beat “The Dog” down the stairs for the first time in weeks.

So yesterday was an amazing run.  I ran it in my head and not on the streets.  It may have been the difference between a good marathon and a great one for me.  It might not make much of a difference.  Either way, I’m glad I didn’t run.

Ten years from now when I am reading blogs and posting comments to help new marathoners, my advice will be:

Hi IrunBecauseIwantTo (made up blog name).
Years ago I was preparing for my first marathon.  I had trained a lot and had a rough couple of weeks toward the end of my training.  I got some of the best advice from fellow runners that I had received in my year and a half of running.  They told me over and over, “Listen to your body”.  Finally I listened.  My marathon was awesome and I can look back and see it was that advice that made all the difference.  So I leave you with the same advice.  Listen to your body and have a great marathon!!!

29 thoughts on “An amazing run that never happened

  1. Last year, my knee started hurting during training for my first full marathon (something that I was sooo very much looking forward to). Instead of listening to the doctor’s orders and taking a few weeks off to rest, I continued with my training schedule as planned. My knee hurt worse with each training run that I pushed through. Eventually, I couldn’t even run a mile without excruciating pain in my knee. Much to my dismay, I had to give up my dream of running 26.2 that year. That’s a goal that I have yet to accomplish (I’m planning on smartly training for my first in the spring of 2014– 1.5 years later). Lesson learned: always, always, always listen to your body. That’s the best running advice I’ve ever given/received. I think you did the best thing for your body by taking a rest day, and your marathon performance is sure to show it! Good luck!!!

    • That must have been so difficult. I must say that is one of my biggest fears. Getting this far into my training and then not being able to run my marathon. I’m glad you are going to be able to run one next Spring. Good luck with your training this time! Thanks for the comment. It helps confirm what I was feeling yesterday!!

  2. Solid advice. We get obsessed as runners with each and every workout and our weekly miles. What is hard for us to realize is the totality of our training vs. our daily/weekly efforts. Listening to your body is the smart way to stay on your feet and train. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thank you! I try to learn from other people as much as I can, but inevitably I have to learn from experience. Sometimes however I do listen to others, but not until I am beat over the head with something like this. 🙂

  3. Lol…..The phrase “listen to your body” is funny to me because really the only way I ever get *anything* done is to NOT listen to my body. If I listened to my body, I would do nothing but sleep & watch “House” reruns while drinking wine & eating bon bons. My body is a whiny, lazy bitch that needs her ass kicked basically every second of every day.

    But whatever works for you. 😉

      • I don’t think the advice was to listen to our inner slug, but rather listen to pains and evaluate how serious they are and act accordingly.

        I hope your pain stays away. I’m having trouble with my left foot and decided to quit my 7 mile run at 2 miles. I’ve not done that once in my training, but I’m too close to my half marathon to screw with a potential big problem. I hope that a little rest until Saturday resolves it.

        • Oh no! That is rough. I agree with your choice of holding off for a few days. In fact, taking one extra day off yesterday was difficult, but it seems to have had great results. I guess I’ll see after my run today. I hope you get some well needed rest and come back stronger than ever!!!

  4. I love your advice to new runners. I am happy that it turned out so positive for you. Your advice to listen to your body was great advice. I have been there after training for months for a marathon and not running it, which is why I adopted the phrase “Live to run another day.” But “listen to your body” is more concise.

  5. Pingback: Running and help for my aching body! | 278 to Boston

  6. Trying to run through plantar fasciitis killed my running for about 8 weeks. On the plus side though, it got me motivated to blog about it and without that I’d never have stumbled upon this great community full of knowledge and great stories of their trials and tribulations!
    Thanks for the great content!

    • Ouch. That must have been difficult to go 8 weeks!! Of course it did have positive results. Great perspective. Thanks. I really enjoy your blog. A lot of great info and help!!!

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