Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Listening To Your Body

I like to think that I am a machine, robot, or cyborg (I mean I have the new INKnBURN robot kit coming to prove it), I was reminded recently that I am in fact a humanoid. So rude. Runners typically suffer from knee, leg, or foot injuries as a result of over exertion or poor form. Luckily, my legs and servo motors are still in tact. My rude awakening came a couple weeks ago during the Ventura Marathon.

I touched on this on Twitter and on a previous blog post, but allow me to paint the picture for you. Imagine running 26.2 on a flat and fast beachside course. Imagine that you are pacing strong with a 4:00 pacer who is doing an amazing job and imagine that you are feeling stronger than you have ever felt before. Your training, dedication, and focus are paying off. WELP. Imagine a sharp pain in your left ear, and imagine literally being halted as you approach mile 12. That happened to me. I didn't think much of it, I just thought maybe my ear popped due to sinuses or something. So I continued to try to run. Strike 2! My body literally stopped. I had a hard time standing for a few minutes and even felt like I was going to fall over as I continued to move forward. A really bizarre feeling if you can imagine. At that point, I knew something was up. Not only was my head rattling like I was a bobble head doll given away at Dodgers Stadium, my legs and quads started to tighten up as well. This is where I got concerned.

I pulled over and sat down as I approached the half way point. I didn't stop at a medical tent. I stretched out, began to hydrate more than I normally would at said stop, stretched and did some light breathing exercises just to keep my head in the game. I didn't know what was wrong. What I thought was I just overworked it the first half and just burned my engine to early.

Long story short, my body had enough at mile 15 and from there I made the long walk back to the finish. Yes I finished, and I am absolutely proud of that finish. I still beat my longest time by a long shot, so like I say any finish is a proud finish.

The next day I went to the doctor to see what exactly happened to my head. Turns out...I ran 26.2 miles with a middle ear infection. So no wonder I almost fell over! No wonder my body got tight! My body was literally fighting an infection! It was sending all of my energy and nutrients to my ear drum! So this freaked me out. I haven't had an ear infection since I was 7.

So I have literally been grounded from running since Ventura. I am going NUTS! I had to make the tough choice this week to remove myself from Ragnar Relay Napa Valley taking place in two days. I am still bummed about this decision but I know it is for the best. Again, the team will go up there and kill it! Do work you guys!

The ambitious me wants to hop on a plane and land in San Francisco tomorrow night and jump in van 2 and make it happen...then I said...yeah probably shouldn't. My ear at this moment is STILL plugged. I am still nursing myself back to health. Probably not a bright idea to fly at thirty thousand feet then run, then stay awake for 48 hours while your body is fighting an infection. In fact, that just seems damn stupid. So I will be here at home enjoying Netflix and iOS 7 with the rest of the population.

My point to all this banter is simple. You can't perform at optimum or peak levels when you are injured or sick. Take the time, listen to your body, and sit. Be sure to hydrate, and treat your body well. All I want to do is lace up and go out...but I know if I do something bad might happen. Same thing goes with foot or knee injuries. If you don't give your body adequate time to heal can do more damage. It isn't worth it. So...focus your energy in other places. Maybe you can review your training and/or nutrition plans. How about some light cross training that won't make your injury worse? It's never to late to start looking at new races you'd like to experience.

TAKE CARE OF YOU! This is coming from one of the most ambitious people that can't ever sit still! When my body makes a mention that it isn't okay and it needs me to help...I listen. And I hope you do the same. I care about my readers. I want them to be well and run well. Live your best life!

Run On!


  1. Completely agree! I hate not being able to run if I'm sick or feeling like an ache is more than just general muscle soreness from a good workout. But I was always taught that the rule of thumb is to wait to return to running until you feel 85-90% better, or you risk making it come back worse - this in regards to something like a cold or flu, but is probably a similar "figure" for injuries too.

    One of my favorite things to do when I can't run is to look up cool races, so good tip ;)

    1. So many awesome races out there! LOL :) One of my favorite things to do haha

  2. First of all, sorry that you aren't going to be able to run Ragnar, but looking at the long run (pun intended), you're making the right decision.

    I recently tweaked my Achilles and had to back off of my training for the Wine & Dine and the WDW Full...had I pushed things, I might have had to miss both races, but stepping back for a few weeks with some light workouts (and very slow walk/ that order), I'm now starting to feel strong again. Yes, I've had to adjust my training schedule(s), but I'm not going to argue with my Achilles.

    Hang in there, Captain...and I look forward to meeting you here in Florida later this year!

    1. Hey Pete! Thanks for the well wishes, and yes I am making the right much as I wanted that medal...there will be plenty of other Ragnar's! Yeah don't argue with the Achilles. And I look forward to meeting in you in Florida!

  3. Oh goodness - told you you're a no limit soldjah!!