I ran 21km this morning, on a Monday morning! I tried three times this weekend to run it, but never made it more then a couple blocks from my house due to pain. I ended taking the WHOLE WEEKEND OFF! I think I can honestly say I have not taken a weekend off in two years, and I can't remember the last time I took two days off in a row. Whether the pain was caused by ice cream, or a chest infection or something else, I do think its safe to say I needed a rest. Maybe my body needed to throw off some crazy pains to tell me to take some time off.
I won't lie and say it didn't bother me. I was plenty frustrated with my body not cooperating with my mind's desire to run this weekend. I was slightly panicked at my training plan being thrown off. But after shedding some tears, and a big hug from Ryan I really did embrace the concept of a restful weekend and took two naps, scrapbooked, read, drank wine, went out for dinner and went to bed early. I know some people might think the way I workout is extreme, but the thing is I am hooked on running, and training for that race goal is something that fuels and inspires me like no other. If it was about "exercise" or "burning calories" I would have gone to the gym this weekend. As it didn't hurt to walk home, and I likely could have worked out on a cardio machine without incident. But I knew that "rest" was what I needed to get back in my running shoes and doing what I love.
I have been learning a lot lately about myself and what I need. I am learning that the mind is a powerful thing. When I set out this morning, I was nervous. To be truthful I am nervous before every long run, I wonder will I be able to do this? (I know silly right?). Given that the weekend's attempts were failures I was worried. I felt markably improved when I set out but still had a bit of tightness in my chest and pain. It was very mild. But my mind was focused on it and I was having a hard time letting go of it. I think I actually made it worse being so focused on it, because once I finally let go of it (30 min in) I felt good, as long as I didn't push it. Its amazing the power the mind has over us, how much of this running thing is mind over matter. Running in many ways has come somewhat easy to me. I love it, I actually truly enjoy it. I haven't struggled with it too much. I have had my share of tough runs, like in the winter when I was out for over 2 hours at a time and my water bottles would freeze, or the first time I ran 15 miles and HIT THE WALL, and the second time I hit the wall. But other then fairly normal stuff like that, my mind has been very strong pushing me out the door, going further, staying on course. Sometimes my mind can be too strong, to forceful and I don't listen to what the body wants. Sometimes I need to be hit with a hammer to take a break.
Like I said I am learning. This journey I have been on in the last 2 years has been a series of victories, celebrations, goals being met, mistakes and blunders, resets, and getting back on course. And I am learning, and I am taking care. This past week I did something big for me, and asked for help. I have been feeling my anxiety rise lately, and in the past I took medication for it (paxil and prozac) and stopped when I started working out and getting the endorphin rush. But the anxiety is back, and I don't want to take medicine for it (not yet). So I made an appointment with a counsellor to talk about it. Some time that is just for me, to talk about the things that stress me. I have to say I am looking forward to the time to talk to someone, without the kids interrupting and whining and causing a raucous. Heck just that alone should be enough to lower the anxiety levels! LOL. But in all seriousness I am making myself a priority (beyond just taking time to workout) and in doing so am going to be a better mother runner :)