Wednesday, 15 February 2012

To be a rock and not to roll

I'm not at all discouraged by the fact that I've only managed to gather 80 pitiful kilometres so far in February. I'm not at all tempted to go out today and run a half marathon just to round it up to the more respectable 100. I am a living, breathing pillar of self restraint, resolve and discipline. Rock hard. Not at all swayed by fickle number addictions and running obsessions.

I had a couple of anxious messages from my parents waiting for me when I got home yesterday, after a 12-hour long work day that involved no running whatsoever. They had read my blog the other day and wanted to know exactly when I'd lost my marbles. What caused this erratic behaviour? Hadn't they hugged me enough when I was a child? Was that why I was suicidal?!

Successfully reading your body signals takes practice. With time, you learn when that strange feeling in your knee will sort itself out after a couple of kilometres and when you have to stop running because it's about to get injured. When it comes to colds and the flu, it's more difficult. There are some rules of thumb (don't run if you have a fever) but mostly it's different for each person when it's ok to run and when it's better to take an extra day's rest. Some people don't run at all. Some people run if it's only a head cold and avoid it if it's in the throat and chest. Some people don't care even if they cough up blood, and run anyway. Predictably, many of the latter develop very serious health problems as a result.

But the truth is that only we know how we feel. How can you describe how you feel so the person you're telling understands? How can we even tell if this cough is different to the one before, the one the doctor said it was safe to run with? (True story: I had a cough the summer of '10 that just wouldn't get better. The doctor who examined me told me that my lungs were just trying to get rid of the remains of some old illness, and that it was safe to go running, because I wasn't ill any more. Go figure)

I made the decision to run last Monday morning based on the fact that I'd felt fine all day Sunday. Of course, as my mother pointed out, one day's rest is not nearly enough to get over a cold. On the other hand, I don't even know what it was I had last Saturday, except that I was under the weather and my throat was sore. What I'm trying to say is that I tried to read my body signals and missed the fine print. So now I'm punishing myself by staring at my month totals and fretting over how woefully unprepared I'm going to be in Skövde.

Today I am taking that extra day's rest (from running, that is. We're probably going climbing later). The most observant of you might have noticed that I haven't posted a book review for ages. I have been struggling to get through a mammoth of a book and it has held me up for weeks. I'm hoping to make progress today, because I'm not even halfway. That didn't stop me from buying more books, of course. I'm hoping that my reading motivation will come back soon.

I'm looking forward to reading these ugly-looking yet very promising ultra books

1 comment:

  1. Som du säger i rubriken känner jag med ungefär... Blev en lång vila igen, men troligen nödvändig.
    Tycker det är dumt att utmana ödet med spränande huvudvärk. Nu är det bra igen och jag ska springa i morgon istället.

    (Sömnbrist tror jag stämmer, blandat med PMS)

    Rock n' roll :)