Punching The Voice In My Head Square In The Mouth

Elliot's current position is even far snugglier than this position. He's clearly a snuggle whore.

It’s Friday eve and I’ve been thinking about crawling into bed for the past hour. Fortunately, that is exactly where I am.

At the moment, the wee fuzzball has snuggled up close and is softly purring contentedly. His position – half nuzzled up against my left arm and half on the laptop – makes typing difficult. However, he’s too damn cute to move. Apparently all it takes is a cute face and I’ll pretty much put up with anything.

I digress.

My day started with what would be my next-to-last long run prior to next weekend’s marathon. The last long run, of course, will be the Chocolate Race on Sunday. My goal today:

Run 30+ kilometres, with the hope of actually doing 36.

The run would be broken down into 3 equal stages: 1) run 12km on the treadmill, 2) meet up with my friend Mel and run another 12km, and then 3) return home to finish the run on the treadmill.

In terms of achieving this particular goal, I can say without a doubt that I failed, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

You see, I ran today – just not as far as I had hoped. The reason I wanted to run 36km was to give myself a bit more confidence for race day of the marathon. While I know I can run the marathon, there is still this voice in my head telling me I can’t – and I want to punch that voice in the mouth with a solid 30+ km run. I want to punch it so much.

Today’s run ended up being a solid 20km run, none of which was run on the treadmill. Instead, I met up with Mel and we ran alongside the Hanlon, and through the paths of Preservation Park in Guelph. After 1 loop, Mel returned to the YMCA and I decided to repeat the loop. The day was beautiful, and it’s always invigorating to run casually through nature trails. Everything was splendid.

As I returned home – 20km after starting my morning run – I thought about continuing the rest of my run on the treadmill. I felt energized, I felt strong, I felt confident that I could run the extra 10-16 kilometres that I’d wanted to run, but I also felt a tightness and soreness in my calf. This is very unusual for me as most of my tightness tends to isolate in my hip flexors and related muscles.

It wasn’t until I walked up the steps to my condo that I realized that running on the treadmill might be out of the question. My calf was really that tight. I had an internal debate. Eventually, logic and not laziness won out. I reasoned that it would be best to give my legs a rest. It would be best to stretch. It would be best to make sure that whatever I was feeling in my calf had time to recover and did not in fact become an injury.

And so I stopped. And as much as I would have liked to have run a longer run today, I can honestly say that I’m happy with my decision. You see, sometimes being healthy means cutting an intended run short; sometimes being healthy means not doing the exercise. Because sometimes, yes sometimes, it is far better to listen to the body.

And sometimes I need to remember these pearls-o-wisdom instead of feeling like I failed, because there is nothing wrong with running only 20km.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Carolyn says:

    Probably better that you did NOT run 30+. No long run you do now is going to help you in the full…except like you said – mentally. You can just substitute that 36K run with continued AWESOMENESS & all will be fine. =)

    1. dangillis says:

      The good thing is that I definitely had the energy to run more – but I didn’t want to risk borking up my calf/ankle/legs. So I guess that means I’m learning 🙂

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