Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lessons Learned


I have seen and done a lot of things in the 11+ years I have called myself a runner.

And, not all of it has been wise.

There was the time (six months ago) when I was oh-so-close to capping the 100 mile mark with my mileage. My body was not feeling beaten up, but it was more tired than I acknowledged. And, I am NOT a high-mileage runner. In fact, I pride myself on keeping my mileage pretty moderate. But, back in May, I was just so close...so I ran a couple of extra days and surpassed that century mark.

The stretch-out following that final run in May.....
Any guesses what happened as a result? Major heel pain! I never admitted to myself (or anyone else) that is was Plantar Fasciitis, but it certainly had all the makings of it. The pain was very localized, only on my right heel, and it didn't hurt much when I was running. But simply trying to stand or walk on it was most unpleasant. Ugh.

I spent the next couple weeks in a myriad of colorful athletic tape
I had a big (12 hour) ultra approaching (less than two months away) and a couple of half marathons (on back-to-back weekends) that I really did not want to miss. I trusted my endurance, so I scaled back my mileage (majorly) in the weeks following...and all went well. I was able to run both of my half marathons (though my finish times were nothing stellar), but my ultra went great.

Christmas in July, the 12-hour overnight ultra
There also was a time when I dug out my old, but very favorite, Mizunos Wave Inspire 8's. Mind you, these shoes were almost three years old, and had gotten me through not only my first marathon (Quad Cities 2013),but also my second (IMT Des Moines 2014), as well as most of the training miles for both of those marathons. I did a quick run in them and was instantly transported back in time (ever so briefly) and reliving many happy miles in those comfortable shoes. I even wore them for a 5K the next day. And in the days following, I experienced some hip pain and multiple other discomforts. Coincidence? I think not.
Oh how I loved these Mizuno babies...even after they were in their prime
In fact, I had a trail race a few days later (on a Saturday morning) and also a 15K (in the evening). Holy Yikes. I made it through the trail race alright (probably due to the soft terrain),but that evening was a different story. I ran the first 5K and could tell something was "off." I couldn't pinpoint exactly what wasn't right, but I could not get my body to work and my hips and glutes and hamstrings were all on fire. I wound up pulling out of the 10K (my first-ever DNF) after the first mile.


Sidelined. Humbled. And in pain.
So, why am I sharing all of these unwise choices? Because although they were (temporary) low points, they also were teaching moments. Running continues to make me proud, but it also keeps me humble. I'm not afraid of sharing my mistakes with the world, I am only human after all. Mistakes are worthwhile if you gain some wisdom from them.

What mistakes have you made with your running? Did you learn anything from them? Repeat offender?

I'm linking up with Deb for the Wednesday Word...and toady's word happens to be Wisdom. And, also linking up with Suzlyfe  Running on Happy Crazy Running Girl and Coach Debbie Runs for the Running Coaches Corner.




23 comments:

  1. I"m totally a repeat offender! As much as I've learned over the 25+ years of running, I still do some of the same stupid mistakes. Like running when I'm hurting. Not stretching as often as I should. Etc...

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    1. We all are distinguished members of this club, huh!

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  2. Overtraining is the hardest lesson to learn. And not pushing through pain that we tell ourselves is just a niggle.

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    1. Amen to that! Being a hero is not a great example to set, and usually comes with consequences.

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  3. I think the major thing I'm slowly learning is to really listen to my body. It ain't easy! The mind is willing, but the body is weak, as they say.

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    1. I agree...listening to my body (and my gut instinct) usually serve me well.

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  4. I think we all do things that we regret later when it comes to our fitness. I have ran when I knew I should be resting, thankfully I haven't ended up with any major injuries.

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    1. It's hard when you're caught up in the moment to step back and try to rationalize what is the smart thing to do. Been there, done that!

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  5. I am a classic over trainer-I love running so naturally I want to do it all the time. It's a tough but important lesson that I've had to learn through repeated experiences unfortunately. Hoping to try and be a little more intuitive in the future!

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    1. It's difficult, also, that our bodies are always evolving. The more miles we run, the more wear & tear has been done, and recovering may not be as easy as it was a few years prior.

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  6. I wish I could say that I have learned from my mistakes...but I'm not sure. Luckily (knock on wood), I haven't had any injuries in 4 years.

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    1. Four years of injury-free running is awesome!

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  7. Ah, sometimes running in older shoes feels so right...and then the pain comes later! We're always learning things/making mistakes in our running journeys!

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    1. Exactly! I had ZERO pain or issues while I was running, it wasn't until later that I noticed something was wrong...I could only assume it was from the shoes because I hadn't done anything else out of the ordinary.

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  8. Whenever I think I have this whole running thing all figured out, I realize I don't :)

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    1. yes, me too! This running gig certainly keeps us humble.

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  9. Ugh, yuck. I hate those humbling moments. I'm experiencing a few as we speak, unfortunately!

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  10. I totally see from a fashion perspective why you brought back those Mizunos-- super cute!! I also don't do well with high mileage-- a anything over 3-4 days of running per week throws my body for a curve ball!

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  11. I'd like to think I learn from my mistakes. My two biggest running ones were ramping up way too quickly after my first marathon (for redemption from the hot, cancelled Chi 07) and almost immediately having my ITB go into convulsions. The other was wearing a brand new model of shoe for too much of a long run and straining my peroneal tendon. Live and learn.

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  12. I think listening to your body and not always thinking I have to "push through" is something I've learned.

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  13. I love those teachable moments... Sorry about the PF tho! I have it too, so says the trainer at work. it's not fun! I wake up in the middle of the night with feet/calf/leg cramps too.

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  14. I like to think that I'm not much of a repeat offender, but obviously I am. Even when I listen to my body--sad thing is MY BODY LIES

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  15. I am getting better at listening to my body. With age comes wisdom!

    Thanks for linking up!

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