This weekend was special though. In our district we had a four-day President's Day holiday weekend, and as a family we had planned to fly out to Montana to visit our daughter and spend the holiday with her. Given that I actually wanted to spend time with my family, I decided that I wanted to complete some of my weekend miles early. The problem was I had just completed 28 miles last weekend and if I really wanted to shave some miles off I need to skip my Monday rest day and run all week. I decided to see what my body was capable of.
I was going to attempt doing 8 miles each day, but in order to get 8 miles in before work I need to be on the road by 4:30am. So Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I was out dark and early hitting the pavement with my running buddies. Monday was fine, but by Tuesday and a total of 36 miles over three days my body was not sore at all, but I was tired--like inside my bones tired. I could hardly keep my eyes open at work and I collapsed into bed before 8pm each night. Wednesday I only ran 5 miles, still no soreness, but the fatigue continued and my intestines were rebelling. I know--TMI--but that was not something I was expecting. I felt no soreness at all in my muscles, but the body exhaustion and stomach issues were not easy to deal with. Despite all that, I ran another 8 miles on Thursday. Luckily, I survived the consecutive days of running and the long miles, and Friday was my fly to Montana day--a forced rest day.
And then my body put its foot down. Valentine's morning I was planning to do about 15 miles, but when I pried my eyes open in our hotel room, I couldn't lift my head off the pillow...literally. I was having a full-blown migraine with light sensitivity, nausea, and the feeling that someone had hit me with a sledgehammer. Touché, body--I was finally forced to listen.
Lesson learned. I really do try to listen to my body when it gives me the subtle hints that I am pushing too hard. The difficulty I am finding right now is balance. I am doing miles that I have never attempted, but I know I am capable of more if I can only strike that perfect harmony between pushing my limits and backing off when my body signals a need to slow down. I think that the key for me over the next few months is to find that perfect balance. Albert Einstein once shared that, "Life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving." It also doesn't take a genius to realize that even the strongest bicycle needs maintenance every once in a while. This weekend maintenance...next week, I keep moving!