Training can hurt. I just finished reading Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor, and she spoke a lot about how keeping a positive mindset is key to success in workouts, races, and everyday runs. I’ve always struggled with this, and my mind too quickly jumps to thoughts of “my legs hurt,” “my breathing is out of control,” “I can afford to slow down at this part.” Last week, I did 4 more miles than I ever had before in one week, and after a long run up Mount Bonnell on Saturday, I was trudging with cramping calves to finish up those last miles on Sunday morning. I was supposed to tack on yet another 5 miles to my weekly mileage for the next week (this week), but I thought about pushing it back another week and dipping again in mileage before going back up. Reading about the utter abuse Deena put her body through to reach her goals made me realize that while I might be overly-lethargic during runs now, with achy legs, someone else is always out there doing more and living with it. The book utterly threw away any thoughts of taking the easy route out, and I’m glad I decided to go ahead with higher mileage this week. I can feel my body slowly adapting, and it makes me excited to know that we can bear pretty much anything as long as we have the mental strength to pull it off.
Disclaimer: this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t listen to your body and take breaks if you feel injury coming on! I’ve just been feeling tired, but if you feel anything more severe you should stop running before making the injury worse!