Yesterday my knee starting feeling a bit off. I have been putting in more miles than usual as I approach the peak of my marathon training. My instinct is to carry on and, push past the pain in an effort to be my best on race day.
Then, the voice of reason kicked in. When I finally made the difficult choice to skip my long run this morning, I have to admit, I had a moment when I felt a little lost. It made me start thinking “Am I too dependent on running?”.
Like many of you, running is my alone time, my meditation, my therapy, my anti-depressant and, sometimes my adult social time. It has become my life outside my family and for a moment I panicked at the thought of that being removed.
What if I cannot run into my 90’s? What else could bring me this much joy and satisfaction? Of course my family brings me joy, but it is completely different type. There is something about the satisfaction of accomplishing something short term. A long run delivers an immediate rush of personal fufilment that often times you do not get as a parent.
Then, as I sat down and drank my cup of coffee (my voice of reason) along with the distant voice my incredible runner friends.
I realized that taking a week off to heal is exactly what I should be doing. Allowing our bodies time to heal is an investment, one that will pay off in our future.
Going for a run, is an immediate reward and, all too often we feel we can’t live without these quick fixes, when in reality if we continue to push past our voice of reason it is what could destroy us in the end. If you are always caving into your need for the “quick rush” it can have irreparable dammage. Obviously, that kind of destruction can be far worse than taking a week off.
So today I am going to let go of my “dependence” on running. As I sit here and type I feel I have reinforced a valuable lesson, one I will not soon forget. The “importance of investing”. You must be able to listen to your body and know when to stop and let it heal. The day, week or even month you take off may mean that you don’t do as well in next week’s race but it could mean that you will be able to run for a lifetime. I for one plan on being in the “90 year old running club”.
How about you?