When is it time to Slow Down?
I run daily - 365 days a year - no excuses, no gripes or complaints. I do it because I love lacing up my Nike Lunar Glides and feeling the freedom of running. It is just sheer pleasure for me - to hear the pitter patter of my feet on pavement, feel the racing in my heart, and falling into the rhythm of my own breath.
During summer time, the birds start chirping at about 5:45AM and usually not before. During the winter, it's a little different. In the summer, the sun will rise around 5:50AM, although with the transition into fall, the sun rise has been getting later.
About a week ago, at the end of my 3 hour run, I felt a little tenderness on the right side of my right foot. I thought- Oh, I probably tied my laces too tight. The next day, I ran about 2 hours , but by the end, the little tenderness felt like something more. Of course, ignoring the little "something more", I laced up that same day for my 2nd run of the day. I went about 30 seconds before I felt a shooting pain in the same foot.
Ignoring my foot pain, I went out the next day and the next to run. I was in pain, but I loved running even more. By the end of last week, I stopped going on a 2nd run the same day at least.
I have run through blisters, missing toenails, a fractured calcaneous bone on my other foot. Six years ago, when I fractured my pelvis, I was still running until I finally went to the orthopedist due to pain and he said my hip was going to give. I asked if I could have a cortisone shot so I could continue to run. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Once your hip gives, you are in Big Danger." Okay, that made me stop for a month, but not the recommended 4 - 6 months of no impact exercising. These doctors tend to be overly cautious anyway.
The other day my husband said to me , "You look like you are limping." I said, "Oh, its just a foot thing". Runners like to refer to these as "things" instead of "injury". Injury means permanence and time needed to heal. I reject that.
My situation made me think about the things that we do to push ourselves above and beyond- whether or not it is good for us. This can apply to your situation whether or not you run. People who work 100+ hour work weeks to hold a job in corporate America, parents who shuttle their children from soccer practice to piano practice to.... Or, those of us who are always rushing from one place to the next. Well, you get the idea.
Where is the next place to be? We are a culture of Do. We see everyone else Do, and so we Do. When is it time to Slow Down?
This morning I was running very slow - not 7 min or 8 minute miles. I must have been doing a slow 9 minute or 10 minute mile. At this point, my gait has changed. There is a little hobble going on. Then I thought to write this article on slowing down. Maybe I ought to take my own advice.