Listening to your body is essential in ensuring that you keep yourself from major injuries that can put you out of commission for a long time.
I like to use myself as example because this blog is really about my personal experiences.
I went running this morning as usual, but deep down I knew it wasn’t a smart idea. I did it anyway. It all started last week when I was trying to make up for lost time; I ran twice in a row ( as a beginner, I usually allow myself 1 or 2 days of rest before running again). I ran over 5 miles Saturday and did another 3.5 miles Sunday: “Too much, too soon”. I know better than that, you’d think. From that point on, it all went left. I started hurting, even limping at times. Shin splints are no jokes guys.
I thought skipping Tuesday would’ve helped, but I was wrong. I still managed to do a short run on Thursday, but I could tell my body wasn’t responding properly.
Today was the worst. It was supposed to be the day I do my long run, but as soon as I started running, I could tell it wasn’t going to happen. Each step was more painful than the last. I made it to 3.4 miles just because I didn’t want to feel disappointed. There wasn’t too much effort put into it though. My time sucked. It felt like I was starting this journey all over.
I should’ve listened to my body. It was telling me that I was in no shape to run. Last night I was hurting to the point that I started limping (major clue that I completely ignored). Shin splints are injuries that if not treated can turn into more complicated injuries (stress fracture) which will keep you from running for a while.
The lesson I learned today is that at the end of the day, it’s ok to take a few days off even a week or so (as needed) to recoup and heal so that you can prevent more complicated injuries. It’s good to be dedicated and all, but if you don’t have the right tools to get the job done, then you are wasting time. In this case the right tool would be an injury-free body.