Saturday, July 20, 2013

When To Push, When To Relax and When To Just Shut Up and Listen To your Coach!

Sometimes the cure for restlessness is rest ~ Colleen Wainwright
Plan the work and work the planOr completely disobey and pay the price! I made a terrible mistake this week. I thought for a brief moment that I knew more than my coach. As it turns out, I don’t. I learned that lesson and a few others this week.

 Mondays are my days off. So Tuesday morning I was well rested and hydrated and really felt like a 1700 yard swim and a 3 mile run were just too easy. I thought, I am training for a half ironman, shouldn't I be doing more? Faster? Harder stuff? More brick workouts?  Reflecting back now, I want to scream, “Hey IDIOT!!! Just follow Jobys plan!!!” But ohhhh no.. that’s not what happened.

The swim was fine. Not easy by any means. I just usually get about 30 minutes into swimming and get bored. So there is always that obstacle where I have to just talk to myself and push through. Running however is a new found passion for me. Sometimes I get so excited to go running that I forget to turn my Garmin on. That’s a true story.  Anyways this passion is new to me. Usually…errr up until about 3 weeks ago I would whine like everyone else oh running sucks! But it doesn't! It’s so freeing! I can just throw on my shoes and go.

Well this fateful Tuesday turned out a little bit different. I had a few clients in between my swim and my run so how it worked out I did this 3 mile run on the treadmill. It was supposed to be an easy run with a pace between 10:00-10:30. A half mile into it I just felt so good I upped the speed. My Garmin is beeping and vibrating like crazy s l o w d o w n. Shrug. Ignore. One mile in I nudge the treadmill up a little faster. My Garmin shouts, “S L O W D O W N!”.  My body says no and plunders on faster and faster with each half mile. At one point I’m feeling so cocky and arrogant I even stop running to turn the watch to silent mode. I know what I’m doing you stupid Garmin, I will run as fast as I want!

I finish the three miles and even at the faster pace I still feel good. I feel so good in fact, that I decide I will run some sprint intervals. I do 40 seconds on at a 7:20 pace and rest 20. On and off I go for about 10 minutes…till my right hip starts to ache. Its ok I think push through the pain you’re a triathlete for gods sake, suck it up. ERROR! ERROR! ALERT! ALERT! IDIOT!

I hop (well not really hop at this point it’s more like a hobble) off the treadmill and roll and stretch. I can tell my hip is pissed off. I am already cussing at myself. I tell my clients all day long to listen to their bodies but then I turn around and disobey my own advice.

Luckily for me I share space with an amazing acupuncturist (and fellow runner). I tell her about my hip and she darts off to grab her needles. I’m now lying on the gym floor with 2 needles in my abdomen and 2 in my lower leg. As usual, I lay there and contemplate how Teresa and her magic needles work. It just doesn't make sense but 30 minutes later I stand up and have absolutely no pain whatsoever! My mind now free from pain wants to jump and shout, see we were right you can really run faster nee-ner nee-ner!

I can tell just lying in bed the next morning that my hip did not forgive me for what I had done and the acupuncture, while still magical, was only a temporary fix. I am supposed to go for another run today and I know that is simply not possible.  I silently scream into my pillow.

I slowly climb out of bed, grab my coffee and try to regroup. I grab my training plan and look at the rest of the week’s layout. I am trying to stay calm and just breathe. Ok so I’m going to have to shuffle things around. It’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. Just get a grip. In the end of this little pow-wow with myself I decide to just take the day off. In my days off I had time to reflect on some things.

When to push yourself:  Push when you know you are just being lazy. When you make excuses like I just don’t have the time. Push yourself on those days when the weather is too hot or too cold or too wet. 

When to relax: Relax (Or stop, IDIOT!) when you are feeling any kind of pain. Now I’m not talking about a mild soreness or an ache here and there. I’m talking about flat out pain. Pain = stop. Here are some other common signs that you might want to take a break:
Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Over training Syndrome
·         Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
·         Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
·         Pain in muscles and joints
·         Sudden drop in performance
·         Insomnia
·         Headaches
·         Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
·         Decrease in training capacity / intensity
·         Moodiness and irritability
·         Depression
·         Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
·         Decreased appetite
·         Increased incidence of injuries.

When To Just Shut Up and Listen To your Coach: Odds are if you have decided to pay someone for their coaching services they probably know more than you. So let them plan the work and you have the simple task of working that plan. It’s that simple. The end.

My hip is still a little mad but it seems to have temporarily forgiven me. I have gone for two 25 mile rides without much stiffness and tomorrow I will test it with a six mile run. However, having taken into account the lessons that I have learned this week if my hip so much has a twinge of pain, no matter what mile I am at, I vow to stop and walk the rest of the way home. My body just sighed and said Thank you. *Insert shin kick here* IDIOT!


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