Will Run for Wednesdays: Physical Awareness & Personal Honesty

When morning workouts are kind of your thing, it becomes nearly impossible — painful even — to switch up your routine and save the sweat for evening.

I’d been excited for Tuesday’s yoga + wine combo since last week when I mapped out all the ways I’d maintain my physical fitness without incessant running. Still, it didn’t make waking up on Tuesday morning and purposely not working out any easier — even if it did mean that I’d be able to do my hair for the first time in, well, ever.

Last week, Ashley and I decided that yoga and wine was in order, even if a Chobani tasting wasn’t to follow like the last (and first?) time we met up. But when a scheduling issue thwarted our evening plans (don’t you hate when real work gets in the way?), my apartment ended up replacing Yoga Vida’s crowded downtown studio and Law and Order SVU replacing Ashley’s sorely missed company (though Mariska Hargitay made a damn good replacement).

A few things you should know about me when I haven’t yet worked out in the morning:

1. Perpetual sleepiness. Sweat is like my morning coffee, even though I drink that too. Without it, I’m like Popeye without spinach: lethargic, unmotivated and hopelessly in love with Olive Oil. Also lame and prone to jokes my grandpa would make.

2. My stomach hurts. Sweat gets me going in the morning in more ways than one. Not sweating really throws me off. I have been very thrown off lately.

3. Less efficient. You’d think that, by saving an hour in the morning by not working out, I’d be more efficient and show up for work an hour earlier. I tell myself every time that that’s what I’ll do. And yet, I never do. That hour saved never really does me that much good, which is just another reason why it’s better spent getting my workout of the day out of the way.

In conclusion, working out at night is really tough for me. But sometimes, it’s nice to change it up; nice to meet a friendly face; and especially nice to sweat and flow when you know that it’s exactly what your body has been begging you to do.

In some sick way, I feel like I saw this leg injury coming all along. Healthy or not, each day, as I’d wake up and consciously decide to run rather than cross-train or incorporate yoga or even sit on the couch and rest, I knew I was adding physical stress to my body. Yoga was what got me through my piriformis injury, and yet I failed to incorporate it into my current half marathon training program until it was too late.

What was I thinking? (???)

In some ways, runners can be masochistic creatures, and I mean this in the least offensive way possible. We thrive off of a “no pain, no gain” mentality while striving to reach our personal goals, whether they be time, distance, speed, a finish line or simply running through last night’s hangover. And yet, at times, we fail to consider the consequences of what we do.

I like to think of running through the aches to be as detrimental to my physical well-being as not removing my contacts on a nightly basis. Fact: I’m constantly scratching my eyes and wondering which day I’ll wake up with an infection in the same way that I often ponder when my leg, glute or hip will finally give out.

If you say you’ve never been there, you’ve got to be lying — even if you’ve graduated from this puerile way of thinking. Clearly, I still have a long way to go.

I hear this all the time in the wide and wonderful world of injuries: Don’t run today so you can run the rest of your life. That’s essentially the philosophy I’ve adopted — because I have to adopt it — over the next few weeks. The runs will be short and slow, fostering a sense of physical awareness. There will be plenty of yoga in between, whether in my apartment or any of the many studios I love in Manhattan.

Ultimately, I’m sacrificing sanity by not running for my physical well-being, even if every time I find myself sitting at my desk thinking about the lack of endorphins running through my system — every time I make the conscious decision not to run — I have to remind myself that I’m ultimately doing this for some better good.

This week, I will not run long or often, but I will run for a newfound sense of physical awareness. When I do run, I will be mindful of every twinge, creak and ache. I will stop if needed. And finally, I will listen to my body, I will consider what it needs (as opposed to what it wants), and I will allow myself to slowly heal. At the end of the day, it’s the only way I’ll be able to finish the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon successfully – even if it totally hurts not to use the word “crush” when talking about what I intend to do to this race.

  • What will you run for this week?
  • Have you ever been insanely aware of your body while running?
  • How often do you incorporate cross-training or yoga while training?
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10 thoughts on “Will Run for Wednesdays: Physical Awareness & Personal Honesty

  1. I think you’re being very smart about this! I had to throw in the towel on my run this morning. Monday night I got not enough sleep, yet still got up at 4:45 to run 5 miles. I was exhausted all day yesterday, and was starting to feel sick. So, I knew that I needed to give my body SLEEP more than give it a run this morning. Hoping to fit it in after work this evening, but I know what you mean about starting your day off with a great sweat session. Evening workouts are just not the same.

    • They so aren’t. Way to listen to your body too though. I hate when you feel all great because you ran, but then can’t keep your eyes open…even when running is supposed to GIVE you energy.

  2. Oddly enough, the thing that is healing you, is what got me injured. I recently tore my rotator cuff in yoga… But I can really relate to this post. I was hearing all the warning signals and pushing past them. I’ve had to completely forego studio practice and get in tune with what my body’s telling me. All in all, if we’re lucky enough to recover from our injuries, I think they can teach us a lot, and help us avoid the bigger ones. Your post here makes me feel a little less like I’m the only one who’s body gives out. Thanks for sharing.:)

    • I don’t even think that the hard part is the injury – it’s the recovery. Your comment, in turn, makes me feel a lot less frustrated with my own body, especially when we’re trying to take care of ourselves by exercising!

  3. Pingback: The 4th Stage of Loss: Despair « Will Run For Glitter

  4. Pingback: 7 Miles on Recovery Road: The Pros and Cons of Injury « Will Run For Glitter

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