Monday, February 25, 2013

Listen to your body

“Ouch. Ouch. Bad. Ouch.”

It turns out your body speaks pretty loudly if you listen to it. For the last three weeks I have had a slight “twinge” in my right shin. I had slipped while doing box jumps at CrossFit and completely bashed my right shinbone into the plywood box. If the lump I still have (three weeks later, I swear) is any evidence, I hit it pretty hard. I originally attributed my pain to the throbbing of my new shin growth as I ran, and really, it only hurt for portions of the run on and off. I pushed through it and cursed myself for being so clumsy.

But last week while building into my four-mile run (I’m currently training for a 10k, and this was my longest distance since August) that twinge got a whole lot louder. I tripped and just barely caught myself from falling at the 1-mile mark. Something pulled down the front of my shin into my ankle and I stubbed my toe, but I figured I really only lost a bit of pride to the drivers who watched my flailing and kept going.

Bad idea, I desperately wish I had been smart and walked home then and there. My calf and shin started to hurt and cramp with every step. I took walking breaks, tried to rub out my calf (all while looking around for anything even remotely close to being a foam roller in the middle of San Jose suburbs), and slowed down. It didn’t make a difference, my whole lower leg was suddenly angry, and it was being incredibly clear about it.

I walked most of the rest of the almost three miles before going home and icing. When I woke up the next day with a leg still aching while walking down stairs, I crossed my Saturday long run (set for 5 miles) off my calendar. When Saturday rolled around and my leg was still hurting, today’s run got the ax too.

As much as I desperately want to run and I feel the pressure to stick to my training plan, I decided to play it smart and listen to my body. I want to run the entire 10k in two weeks, but it’s a virtual race and walking isn’t too shameful. I’d rather still be able to at least walk at that point, so the few days of rest is worth it.

Instead of heading out for a run tonight I will be married to my foam roller and ice like clockwork. And after some amazing yoga today, my leg feels a bit better and I’m mentally ready to sit on the side-lines for a few more days. 

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