Me vs. Myself or That Time I Almost Cried

8 Jul

Yesterday was my weekly long run, so Alex and I hit the streets for a 7-miler. Our 4-mile run on Saturday went pretty well, all things considered (and by all things considered I mean the heat). Saturday I decided to embrace one of the tips for running in the heat I saw: use the run-walk training method. So I set an app called Round Timer for 3 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. It worked out really well, and we even extended some of the running rounds when we felt up to it. I felt like I had accomplished the goal I set out to meet, rather than “I wanted to run the whole thing, and had to walk” which always makes me feel like a big fat failure.

Since the run-walk plan worked well on Saturday, I figured we’d just do that again on Sunday. So I setup intervals for 10 minutes of running, and 5 minutes of walking. It started out solidly; the first 2 miles went well. The next 5 on the other hand… not so much.

I’m a firm believer that running is 90% mental and 10% physical. And my mind sure can be a bitch. So here is a glimpse of the random thoughts that led to my run completely falling apart:

“You can’t do this. You know you can’t do this right?”

“My foot hurts, seriously, my shoe is rubbing. I’m going to get a blister. Then what am I going to do? How am I going to run next week if I have a blister?”

“We’re not even half way done… I want to die.”

“I hate this, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.”

“No, actually, I hate you, this was your idea.”

“I’m just going to have to walk home.”

“You know you’re a failure right?”

“There is a bench over there. I could sit on the bench. I could sit on the bench and cry.”

“No, I’m not listening to you, I can do this.”

“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.”

“Nope. I was wrong. I can’t.”

“It’s too hot. – It was hot yesterday, and you ran then, so what’s your excuse now?”

“I’m a fraud. I write a running blog and I can’t run.”

I’m sure that some of it actually was physical, at least, that’s what everyone else told me, and I’m trying to believe it. I did run 4 miles on Saturday. It was hot. More importantly, not only was it hot, it was ridiculously humid. And, I can’t ignore that I did cover 7 miles. I did not run the whole thing, but I went out, and I did it.

My biggest take away, or well concern, from all of this is my perception. I want to push myself, and I want to work through the mental. But. If I am working through the mental and push myself “no matter what” I need to be sure that I don’t go too far to the other extreme. I need to make sure that I don’t “push through the pain” when I really do, for my health, need to stop.

How do you know when to throw in the towel vs. when to push through?

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2 Responses to “Me vs. Myself or That Time I Almost Cried”

  1. Chuck July 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    If it isn’t bleeding uncontrollably…I push through it.
    If it isn’t swollen/swelling/broken…I push through it.
    If it isn’t discolored…I push through it.
    If it’s a side stitch…I push through it.
    If it’s a leg cramp…I stop, stretch and push through it.
    If it’s labored breathing…I will push through it, slow down some if necessary, then push through it again.

    If, after pushing through it the first time, it persists…I slow down or stop. Often I find if I experience an ache or pain, especially early in the run, I probably haven’t warmed up properly for the circumstances I’m currently running in. So I’ll slow down a bit, allow my body to warm up some more, then pick it back up and everything is fine.

    Sometimes, though…it just wasn’t meant to be for that day at that time. So after a few attempts at pushing through it, I listen to my body and call it a day. And when I do that, I never second guess myself. I log the mileage and try to figure out what went wrong. Here’s a post I did recently on such a day: http://ncmport59.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/tight-hamstrings/

    Good luck!!

  2. Donna Russell July 8, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Jess, you are the epitome of the “we are our worst critic”. You’ve been doing awesome in how disciplined you are. Stop being so hard on yourself. LOL…. There are a few points I’ll make (since I tried to respond on my phone and lost it….and dug out the laptop to respond). 1) Even you said it was hot and humid on Sunday. After the run you had Saturday, maybe pushing yourself the next day in that heat was too much for your body?
    2) You said on Saturday you did a 3 min run/2 min walk. So on Sunday, a day later, which was hotter and more humid you decided to do a 10 min run/5 min walk? Let me ask you this….if I was the one who posted this, what advice would you give me? 🙂 I love ya kid…..Hugs to you. Give yourself a break. You are totally awesome in my book.

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