“You push your body to the limits, but you have to train your body to deal with the limits.”
~ Tom Brady
Well… the excitement I felt on day-1 of training is leveling out. In my opinion, there is only one thing to blame: too much stuff to do and too little time.
Week-8 was clearly the week that bumps started to emerge. As I was getting set to do my warm-up on the track, my body totally rejected lifting my feet up and letting the gravity do its work. I immediately felt a sharp pain on my left shin. I continued with the warm-up but certainly at a slower pace than usual. At the last 2 miles of mile repeat, I could not help but ask myself: what’s going on today? A thought came to mind and it was a simple message – “you need to sleep more”.
I made some adjustments and it helped getting more caught up, but things started falling through the cracks, again! I refuse to go for a run if I feel sleep deprived. I swapped the morning run with late afternoon run. But the flaming-hot-like-furnace weather and afternoon rain showers were just enough to conclude: this is not working! Nevertheless, I put up with it when needed.
Back to the normal grind I went, and here comes Week-13 in the form of a wall. A sum of weeks of training in the heat, increase of mileage, Apopka hills, Clermont hills and tempo runs told my right hamstring and quads: I need a bit of a break!
I took a few days to rest here and there, started reading Pose Method of Running by Dr. Nicholas Romanov, added ice baths as part of my routine after my long runs, chugged some homemade ginger tea to easy on the inflammation, dove in on the Born to Run audio book by Christopher McDougall, stretched more, went to gym, emphasized on physical therapy exercises, focused on mental relaxation, but still none of these methods helped as much as I wanted for as fast as I wanted to be healed. The hamstring/quad discomfort was here to stay longer than I wanted.
My anxiety level started to elevate as Week-18 was approaching fairly quick for the Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon on October 3rd. Not only I had to learn how to deal with a physical injury, but I needed to learn on-the-fly how to build mental toughness; in addition to, spending some quality time with my parents visiting from Brazil for the entire month of September.
Rest, therapy (strength exercises), clean diet, sleep and stretching were the key to improve healing. But getting through a runner’s head that rest is a must despite an approaching race, it’s pretty tough because it’s a thin balance between rest and active-rest.
I continued doing my homework while balancing out my mileage. The strengthening exercises and stretching were the key to building up confidence and healing. No minor injury is a minor injury. This has been the toughest lesson to learn – knowing when to let it go and knowing when I can really push myself. Here comes my first Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon!
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”