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March 21, 2012

Know When to Fold 'Em

cold run>> Where was this hat when I needed it?!?

While the rest of the county was talking about how hot it was last week and dealing with dehydration during workouts, we had no shortage of water in Seattle. It rain/snowed for 6 days straight. The wind never rested. But we have a standing meeting with Roosevelt Track that "couldn't" be canceled on Wednesday at 9am. The usual suspects (Sally, me, Mason) met at the Oiselle office and after fighting the urge to go have breakfast instead, we headed out into the vertical sleet. The wind was bitter.

I forgot gloves and had two violet armwarmers wrapped around my hands, no hat, and one quickly soaked long sleeve top. I obviously thought I was going to be enjoying the rest of the country's heat wave. The two and half mile warmup felt as hard as the first 1200 should have. The first 1200 felt like a dead sprint, I was sucking cold air like I was using a straw with a hole in it. The wind was a brick wall waiting on the back stretch.

First 1200 right on pace, but I was falling apart. Mason and Sally were behind me working their pace (I'm training for the half, them the full so the paces are different). I think this was the only interval we tried to chit-chat after. The second 1200 I was off pace and trying way too hard. The third was even worse. It felt like the temperature was dropping every lap, and the sleet was cutting to the core. There were five 1200s on the schedule but after three we all knew it was over. I tried to get the pace down on the forth, but nope. Slower than ever, and harder than ever.

We saw Oiselle team member Susan Empy arrive to the windtunnel, I mean, track just as we limped away. It was a demoralizing workout for all of us. The cool down was when I really started to freeze, Mason and I both didn't have good gloves. My fingers hurt so much. I just tried to keep talking and get my mind off them until, finally, I couldn't feel them anymore.

That night I set my alarm for 4:30am to get 10 miles in before my first Crossfit. "HA! HA! HA!" said my body. And rightfully so. I woke up at midnight with a 102 fever. Mason got a respiratory infection. Susan came down with bronchitis. Sally stayed strong, and fought off sickness with extra sleep.

As runners, it's really hard to throw the towel in on a workout. Rest is a four letter word. But the rest is just as important as the work. Being smart and flexible with your training schedule will pay off in the end. As many runners know, it can come down to "take one day off by choice, or be forced to take ___days off". We were smart not to do that last 1200 and I would have been smart to move the workout another day.

Tell me about your training: How do you know when it's the time to throw the towel in on a workout?


Kate | March 22, 2012 at 8:36am

When to Throw in the Towel :)

I can actually count on one hand the amount of times I've quit in the middle of a workout since I started running, which was quite some time ago. I DO have a tendency to push myself to the brink and almost every workout is "do or die" for me. BUT! That is not to say that I don't listen to my body when everything inside it is screaming, "STOP." :) Last week, I was in the middle of an interval workout, and I had been feeling pretty weary, sore and had been struggling a little during the workouts in the days preceding, and halfway through my seventh interval, I just ground to a halt. I wasn't even focused on running or thinking about it--my legs literally just stopped going, as though of their own volition. I paused on the sidewalk, wondering what in the world had just happened, considered starting my workout back up, and ended up walking home instead. While the schedule said, "Go," my body said a blatant, "NO." I was in tears about it, and was also entertaining some self-loathing, but it occurred to me later that everything HURT--my hips, knees, ankles, achilles, feet, etc. So instead of labeling myself an abject failure, I iced absolutely everything, stretched, and took the next few workouts at a torturesomely nice, gentle pace. ;D This week, my joints are feeling much, much better and my spirits are back where they should be--banner high. :) The other times that I have stopped have been much the same--normally, when it's fed up with the workout I'm doing, my body just kind of peters out and stops of its own accord. I used to pick back up and keep going, but there were always ramifications (illness, injury, so on.) So, I now try very hard to remain in tune with my body the best I can, and to listen to it when it really, truly is trying to communicate with my stubborn brain. Normally I am able to muscle through things, but when I honestly just cannot and my body laughs at me and says, "NO!", that is when I know it's time to throw in the towel, considering my general attitudes toward rest and training. It's always best to listen to your body. It knows best what it needs. :) I sure hope you're feeling better! By the way, is that Loren Horsley in the photo??

KippingItReal | April 10, 2012 at 7:56pm

10 mile run before your first

10 mile run before your first CrossFit class? That's insaneeee haha. Gotta give you credit for that. And I totally hear ya on having to just stop. My asthma comes back once in a while, so when I know things are getting bad during a WOD, I just end the workout. No sense in starting an asthma attack lol.