Mein Bein tut weh

Considering I learnt German for about five years it is both shocking and depressing that this is about the only sentence I remember. And how lucky is it that the only sentence I remember is actually really apt for how my body feels today? Translated it means that my leg hurts, and after I pulled my hamstring the last week my leg really does hurt and I have had to rest. This has been harder than I thought.

I love the routine my running (and more often now fitness classes) have given me. I fit my day around them rather than the other way round, I wake up looking forward to them, and recently I haven’t been able to do that. I have joked about it but when did I become so stiff that doing a cartwheel results in my hamstring nearly breaking? Because that was all I did and it was the most beautiful and most painful cartwheel in the world. I have reached a point where I need to stretch before doing anything and the 9 year old me – the one who would cartwheel all lunchtime, every lunchtime – is horrified.

So I have been trying to take it easy and haven’t run in a while. I went to the gym and limited myself to cycling (but at less intensity and speed. I felt I had to do it as the triathlon is so soon and I need all the strength and stamina in my legs that I can get) and weight training (the deep squats in my weight training class defeated me so I just didn’t do them). Usually I also throw in some running but not only do I have the triathlon in June, I have the Nike 10k the week after. I have to be able to survive both and if I force my body to run now it won’t recover in time.

But, and this is the big but, is this really the case or am I just being weak? The only person who motivates me to run is me so the idea that I am stopping myself from running is crippling – will I always stop myself from running? Is this the beginning of the end? Will I always use an ‘injury’ to prevent me from running? All of these questions keep going round and round in my head – if I actually believe that I am injured I will use it as a crutch to demotivate myself.

Now I know I am being irrational. I know this. Mein Bein really does tut weh. And this won’t make me fall out of love with running – I know nothing will be able to do that. But, but, but. I need someone to tell me it is OK to take some time off to recover. I need someone to tell me that it won’t be the end of the world. Actually, scrap that. What I need is for me to be able to tell me that and for me to actually believe it.

I am going to go for a run tonight. A nice short one as a slow speed with no pressure at all because tomorrow I have signed up to go for a much longer run and I don’t want to have to cancel. However if it is so painful tonight I make a promise to myself and to all of you that I will cancel and I will rest. No matter how much this terrifies me.

Even though I feel as if I have been running for ages I really haven’t and there is a lot I need to learn about my body and exactly what it can and cannot do. I need to truly understand the importance of resting and recovering and the role proper food and supplements play in this. I wish I knew it all right now and I wish all the lessons were painless and easy.

Well I already know the latter isn’t true and as for the former, until unconscious osmosis is a viable alternative to learning I suspect that this whole process is going to take a lot of time.

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