Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Running Dilemma: Being Too Careful

Lately I've been been having a little dilemma.  I'm sure it's one that many seasoned runners have faced at one time or another and at this point in my life, I am feeling a little unsettled.  If you know me personally, or have been following my blog, then you'll know that I have been a runner on and off for over twenty years.  I started running as a freshman in high school {note the big, early 90's hair!}...

...then went on to run in college {I'm #144}...

...and then beyond.  {This is from the March 1998 issue of Runner's World.}

There were times in my life between then and now that I didn't run at all.  And there were also times that I ran a little bit, here and there.  I am proud to say, that I am pushing forty and I am still able to run decent races and workouts.  I'm even an Oiselle ambassador and part of their racing team.  

Part of being able to do this is because I am very careful and I take care of my body.  I listen to every ache and pain, and I am proactive about taking the necessary steps to alleviate the symptom{s}.   

This past winter, I completed physical therapy for my IT band issues. {Here are my frozen ice cups that I routinely used each night.}

In the spring, I saw an orthopedic surgeon for my Achilles tendonitis, along with being diligent with physical therapy for that too.   

At that point, I took three weeks off from running in hopes to give my Achilles a rest.  While doing so, I swam countless laps in the pool to maintain my fitness level.  

And now, although I am finally feeling better, I still undergo chiropractic care for the Achilles, which, by the way, has worked wonders.  {Payton somehow captured this photo using my phone!} 

Here's the deal...sometimes I feel like I take TOO much care with my injuries because I want to be able to run forever.  But on the flip side, I'm not getting any younger...and I feel like I should just go for it and don't hold anything back {because who knows what the future holds.} 

So...what am I trying to say?   
I guess I am trying to sort through everything I do for my training {because I think about it a lot} and reach that fine line between pushing my body to the limit, but not to the point of hurting myself more.  It is so hard to do.  

When I get down and out about running at my age, Jesse reminds me that he witnessed Joan Benoit run a low 4:50, 1500 meter race on the track when she was in her 50's.  He says that if she can do great things...so can I.  

Does anyone else feel the same way I do?  Do you feel like you are too careful?  I know some runners can train through anything.  They run with torn muscles, minor fractures, etc.  Is this smart?  Do I need to get tougher, or am I doing the right thing by doctoring every little thing?    

Maybe I just need some reassurance, but I wanted to write about this issue because this blog is a way to share my thoughts and experiences with others.  And maybe, just maybe...someone is feeling the same way too.  I'd love to hear from you! 


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  2. Suzy Favor HamiltonAugust 23, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Why did you put a runners world article with my picture in it in your blog?

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