Listen to your body

Last weekend I cycled 80 miles. I sat on my bike for 6 hours, and was out on the course for 7 hours and 20 minutes.

This week I decided to give my body a break and did no excercise at all, apart from walking lots. I also had a Deep Tissue Massage which was pretty painful (!), but helped to work out the knots in my quads and glutes.

On Sunday I decided to ease back into things, and went for a run. I got about 2 miles down the road and really wasn’t enjoying myself. My knee hurt, my lungs were gasping for breath and I felt really hot and sticky. I stopped to stretch and started thinking about my list of goals for September and began to feel a little panicky.

Listen to your body

On 11th September I was supposed to be tackling the Great North Run – a pretty hilly half marathon – and had just 5 weeks to build up my running fitness to be able to complete the distance.

After Saturday’s run I’ve decided that this would be foolish. I know that one bad run doesn’t necessarily mean I should give up, and that things were bound to feel difficult after having a week off and transitioning back to running from cycling. However, I also think its important to listen to your body – both physically and mentally – and to know which goals are realistic and which would be detrimental to my long term fitness plans.

Goal 1

Build up my running from barely 3 miles to 13.1 miles in 5 weeks with an already dodgy knee and and a high risk of further injury. Complete the course, but probably “just get round” and not really enjoy the experience.

Goal 2

Focus on training for a 10k PB at Run Reigate or the Women’s Running 10k, increasing mileage slowly and building in yoga and strength training. Take the pressure off a little, and hopefully enjoy the experience!

Listen to your body

After much deliberation I’m going for Goal 2.

It may seem like I make excuses a lot – a month ago I wrote “To Ride or Not to Ride” expressing similar doubts about RideLondon and it makes me quite embarrassed to yet again feel like I can’t fulfill a goal.

But while RideLondon was mainly nerves – I had trained, I was just lacking confidence with cycling being a new experience for me – this time I feel like my concerns are justified. All training plans tell you not to increase your mileage too quickly and I just can’t face grinding out the training runs for the sake of it. Gritting my teeth to get it done seems like such a waste, when I should be relishing the experience of taking part in the world’s largest half marathon.

For that reason, I’m burying my guilt at deferring my Great North Run place till next year and respecting the fact that I am able to listen to my body, and know when to scale it back. Yes, I will lose some money but the relief I felt once I had mentally made that decision told me it was the right one. Immediately I was excited by the prospect of building a 10k training plan that will help me to improve and do the best I can, and perhaps get a PB!

I firmly believe that it’s important to do what’s right for you, even if admitting I’ve backed out of a challenge makes me feel a little inferior for a while…

Come back on Thursday to see my training plan and hear more about my involvement with Run Reigate.

Have you ever had to make a hard decision about a big goal?

Beki x

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  • Reply Georgina

    Sounds like a wise decision Beki. As you probably know, I’ve battled with this decision myself a few times. Sometimes you’re just nervous or anxious, like with Ride London, but other times your heart’s just not in it and going ahead would only make you resent it. It’s good to recognise this early and set yourself new targets that will challenge you the right amount and make you feel better about your training. Enjoy your 10k planning 🙂

    August 9, 2016 at 8:31 am
  • Reply Anna @AnnaTheApple

    I think you’re being really smart! They’re not excuses – they’re valid, sensible reasons. Sometimes the hardest decisions are deciding to NOT do something. Plus you don’t want to hate it. Running should be fun.

    August 9, 2016 at 1:20 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thanks Anna! I definitely want running to be fun, and I think that taking the pressure off a little bit will mean that’s more likely to happen 🙂

      August 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm
  • Reply Maria @ runningcupcake

    It sounds like a really sensible decision. I think your relief once you have chosen also shows that it was the right one to make. Running should be fun, and if you are not running for a charity then it is down to you, and if you are running for a charity then they would rather you completed a sensible distance for you, or postponed, rather than risked an injury.

    August 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thanks Maria – the relief was quite surprising, I didn’t realise how much it was weighing on me! I definitely agree that as hard a decision as it was to make, not risking an injury is the most important thing.

      August 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm
  • Reply Andreea Sandu

    I’m doing the Great North Run, but also hadn’t trained for it. I don’t have any injuries, so I’m gonna go for it anyway or at least I’m definetely going to Newcastle because the travel is already arranged :). Good luck with goal 2!

    August 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Good luck Andreea! I hadn’t booked my travel yet, so that did have something to do with weighing up the pros and cons too!

      August 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm
  • Reply Lauren barber

    Well done for being brave enough to step back and listen! We don’t always hear the signals and it sounds like you have followed your instincts and your body will thank you for it. It’s not all about pushing and punishment, it’s celebrating what our body can do in an enjoyable way. Thank you for sharing! X

    August 10, 2016 at 3:41 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thanks for reading Lauren 🙂 It’s definitely important to remember that we choose to do these things for fun!

      August 12, 2016 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply

    I agree with you. It is really hard as you set a challenge but feel guilty not fulfilling it. At the end of the day it is just you who is punishing yourself for not doing it. There are times when you need to say heck with it I have to do what is best for me. I am 51 in two weeks time and this year I set myself a challenge to ride 50 miles. I broke my challenge of last year to do 30 so I feel that I need to do the 50. Me reservations are that I am have asthma and 13 years ago I had to have a disc removed and stabilisation to the back. Last night I rode 20 miles and laid awake from pain in my hip. My husband wanted to ride tonight and I wanted to but I am tired and back aches. As much as I feel guilty about not riding tonight I know that by resting tonight I can ride tomorrow plus I get to watch the cycling in the Olympics in Rio. ?

    August 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm
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