Less Than Scratch

Lessons Learned: Listen to Your Body
April 5, 2009, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Fitness and Health

It got up to 80F today and I went running during the hottest part of the day. I even tried to up my running to walking ratio by another minute. Bad ideas all around.

The combination of the temperature and pushing myself even more caused me to start to overheat. I ended up walking for the majority of my “run”. I didn’t even come close to what I had planned (although I did finish the distance). Each time I would start running and find myself getting out of breath, I would think back to a time in summer gym in high school where I overworked myself and triggered the worst migraine of my life. Fortunately, running today, I didn’t overdo it and cause a migraine. Instead, I listened to my body. Rather than trying to stick to an unreasonable pace, I let myself walk… a lot. My heart rate still stayed up and I still went the distance, but I didn’t kill myself.

Just because things didn’t go quite as planned, I’m still happy with the run. Today was a good reminder that I’m not indestructible and to take things slowly. I certainly don’t want to over-train and injure myself–I’d be working backward. It’s too easy to get caught up in the arbitrary goals we set for ourselves. Physically we work too hard and mentally we feel defeated when we don’t meet them. So today I learned my lesson: listen to my body. And for that matter, also listen to common sense. I now know not to run when the sun’s at its hottest and to be more realistic in my workout expectations. Finally, I know not to lose momentum if I can’t meet the expectations I do set. I’m still out there, I’m still working, and I’m still making progress.

On a side note, I did have an awesome run where everything went as planned on Friday. You can read more about that here (scroll to bottom of page).


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