Why I Don’t Push Through The Pain
I have 4 weeks until the Chicago Spring Half Marathon and this weekend I ran my longest run in 2 weeks—3 miles. I had developed shin splints from changing shoes, my body adapting to them, and pushing myself to run farther and faster during sprints in my high-intensity classes. I talked last week about what to do when you haven’t trained for a race and although there were times when I felt like a failure by not pushing myself to run a distance that I think is necessary for this point in my training, I knew that I needed to take a break.
I have issues with the “inspirational” images and quotes surrounding fitness. I do think that some are great and can motivate me to do my best, but others are worded in such a way that pushes my perfectionism, self-doubt, and shame buttons all at once. Comparison rears its ugly head. Sometimes I am only competing against myself, but more often than not I am using a staged stock image to take myself to an unnecessary place of self-deprecation. Take the following images for example:
Nope, sorry. For me, a stress fracture or whatever I did to my hip to prohibit me from running for an entire summer hurts more than knowing I did the best I could that day.
This message is just frightening to me. Maybe replace the word “hurting” with “burning,” but any exercise that is actually hurting you should be stopped immediately. I get their point, but the danger is all in the wording of these quotes.
I know what happens to me when I tell myself to ignore the pain. I get injured. I have learned this enough times that I am wiser about listening to my body cues and understanding when I can push myself and when doing so would actually set me back. That being said, not all of these motivational attempts are negative and the ones that trigger me may help someone else. It is really about who is reading them, what they have been through, and what their motivations are.
My 3 miles that I ran yesterday were just what I needed. My shins felt better, but I started to notice them more as I neared that 3 mile marker. I knew that rather than push myself I needed to stop at that point and responsibly take care of my body by resting and icing. By NOT pushing through the pain, I will actually be more successful in running this half, but it took me a long time to learn that.
[Tweet “Bad #motivation? How pushing through the pain is more dangerous than helpful in #fitness”]
P.S. Good luck to everyone running Boston today!!
P.P.S. I signed up for my NASM exam and will be taking it on 5/29. Gulp.
- What are your opinions about “motivational” quotes?
- How do you push yourself in a healthy way?
- What did you do this weekend? Let me live vicariously!