The funny thing about English is that many words have several meanings. Take the word “crazy”, for example. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists definitions for “crazy” as an adjective, a noun and an adverb. It’s a very functional word.
Definition of crazy (paraphrased, only using the adjective definitions, because listing all the definitions would take up this entire post): Unsound; mad or insane; impractical or erratic; out of the ordinary, unusual; distracted with desire or excitement; absurdly fond or infatuated; passionately preoccupied or obsessed.
I’m reasonably certain I’ve been associated, through running, with all those definitions of crazy. After I list the ridiculous things that I’ve done in the name of RUN, you will probably associate me with all of them as well.
- Ignoring my body. Let’s face it – I could (and should) list this as the reason for each and every running setback that I’ve experienced. This one, in particular, dates back to my marathon training last year for the marathon that would never be run. (I promise, I’ll explain that soon!) About mid-way through training last Fall, I began to have a numbness in my foot. At first it would just tingle and would last no longer than a mile during the run. But it progressively got worse, to the point that my foot would be completely numb for 3-4 miles. I did what every runner in denial does, I tried to find answers on the internet and rehab myself. (Go ahead – ask me how that worked out)
- Refusing to rest. There. I said it and it wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected. I would like to believe that my bad decision-making in this case was caused by injury-induced stupor, but most likely was caused by my stubbornness. Giving the body proper rest and recovery time is important to a healthy runner, but even more so when injury is involved. I *think* I have learned to take breaks in training when necessary.
- Treating training runs like a race. OK, I NEVER intend to run my training runs like a race, but, in half marathon distance especially, my PR is always in the back of my head. So when my running app rattles off current time and distance, I really can’t help myself by trying to beat my time. This is OK every once in a while, when one isn’t coming off injury or, training for a marathon, for example.
- Speed work coming off an injury. This crime is probably obvious to all the sane runners out there, but not to me. My hamstrings were REALLY angry with me, and my brain didn’t get the hint until the 3rd or 4th interval session! Hamstrings didn’t like the shoes I got for speed work either.
- Running through pain. I’m still learning my lesson on this one as I ran with my ITB screaming at me this past weekend to the point that I could barely bend my knee after. This may be the biggest crime I’ve committed to date and I am hoping and praying that my myofascia release guy can undo the damage I did. I am additionally ashamed to admit that I NEVER considered cutting the run short. Once again, I’m the Queen of Stupid Sh*t.
There is hope for even the most stubborn among us, as evidenced by my progress. Even though I routinely make bad decisions regarding my training, I am increasingly making better choices. Thankfully, I have a community of running friends who try their best to hold me accountable during the times that my brain fails me!