One of the best things of having a marathoner Dad when you’re a runner, is that you get to witness the overall experience of running and training for races before you even consider to become one. You get familiar with failing and succeeding in your PR. You know what’s the meaning of terms like “hitting the wall”. And of course, you learn a lot about injuries and risks of getting injured.
Although my Dad has more than two decades running, he doesn’t get injured really easy. He has gotten more injuries from biking than from running. Four years ago my Dad felt down his bicycle having a cheekbone fracture and some other serious injuries on his face. He wasn’t really concerned by that except for the fact that he would be forced to stop his training for the Disney Marathon, which he had plan to run in two months after that. He was already registered for the race and we had everything planned for our trip to Orlando. So he decided to just show up the day of the race and hope for the best. It turned out that two months without running or exercising whatsoever resulted into the fastest Marathon he had ever ran by that time.
I’ll never forget this experience because it made me realize how wise the human body can be. Through muscle memory, my Dad was able to run 26 miles after two months of not running at all. Of course that you can’t pretend to run a race without having previous training, but I can’t help myself wonder what would’ve happened if my Dad wouldn’t have felt off that bike?
Probably the biggest lesson here is that your time of rest can be as important to strength your body as your training time. Even if we believe all the oposite.
Last Thursday, when I couldn’t even walk decently given the pain in my ankles and calves. I was supposed do a recovery run assuming that once I started running the pain was going to go away. Arrived to the park and started limping. I saw other people running and felt jealous. And then I wondered: “Is it me that is jealous or is it only my ego?.” I knew of course it was my ego, cause my poor legs where suffering. So, I decided to listen to my body and go for a walk in order to move that lactic acid. I started limping and ended up walking like normal person.
The thing with running is that the more you do it, the more stronger you feel. You’ll get to a point where you feel unbeatable. Or maybe you just get addict to the runner’s high. But then you get injured and you’re forced to rest. I haven’t had a running injury, but I do have my father’s voice constantly telling me that I need to slow down because resting for a couple of days will not affect my performance.
I’m also kind of terrified of injuring my body and if I can avoid it, then that’s what I’m going to do.
Even though my Dad was not injured by running he did have to take a two month break. And it all ended up in a great lesson. I’m pretty grateful I have him and his lifetime running experience. But if you don’t, learn from other runner’s experiences! Resources are unlimited and there’s a million of running blogs out there.
It’s because of your body that you’re actually able to run. So take care of it, listen to it, and respect it. Next time you feel like you’re forcing yourself too much, ask yourself
“Can my body do this or is it just my ego telling me to do it?”
Now, here are some pictures of my weekend.