Listen to your body. UPDATE Mar.22

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jgore
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Listen to your body. UPDATE Mar.22

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:06 am

[rant]

Someone who didn't listen to his body collapsed and almost died at the Achilles St. Paddy's Day Run in Toronto today. He knew something wasn't right before the race even started and ignored his friends' advice - yes, more than one friend - to not run. Granted, it's an extreme example, but it's a symptom of that old runner's neurosis that tells him/her that it's possible to run through anything and I'm just getting so sick of hearing about. Why is it that so many runners put their training and/or racing goals ahead of their health? It seems that a PB, the schedule, the long run, hill repeats, speed training, and training that suits some dream goal rather than the runner's current level of fitness all take precedence over what is actually happening to his/her body.

Most of the injuries that we hear about don't happen overnight. Often something doesn't feel quite right for some time and is ignored until it becomes chronic and/or debilitating. Or the runner doesn't bother to get a nagging injury checked out because they don't want to know what it is and be told to take a break or alter their training schedule. Then they wind up injured and are forced into a break or reduced training for an extended period that could have been avoided had they simply listened to their body in the first place.

"Just do it" is great if you're healthy and willing to accept the consequences of just doing whatever it is. I just hear from so many people at the store who ignore fatigue and or incipient injuries, stick to the almighty schedule regardless of how they feel, injure themselves and wind up on extended breaks because of it, and expect me to agree that what happened to them is so unfair. I can't do it anymore. It's too bad that you can't run for x-number of days, weeks, or months due to injury, but if you brought it on yourself, don't expect me to feel sorry for you.

The fellow who collapsed today knew something wasn't right - and that it wasn't just ordinary aches or pains or trepidation - and said so to some people before the start of the race. He was advised to not run. He chose to run anyway. Now I have conflicting feelings. He's a nice guy and I'm sorry that he had such a serious breakdown and is in hospital. At the same time I think "You idiot! You knew you were in trouble and still ran. It's your own fault." ... for which I feel guilty.

So screw it. If anyone injures themselves through their own stupidity I refuse to give a damn anymore.

Listen to what your body is telling you. If you don't, don't bother telling me about your injury. And don't expect my sympathy.

[/rant]
Last edited by jgore on Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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seuss
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby seuss » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:38 am

a totally righteous rant sir. well done.
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby RobAllen » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:47 am

Understandable rant butI know at least a dozen people who behave the same way and none of them run. I think it is more of a personality trait than a segment of the population.

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby DougG » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:29 am

Well said Jim.
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injured
2013
Snowflake 10k....stopped at 5k
Rest of the year a write off because of injury.
2012
Snowflake 10k Jan 1 done
Run 4 Kids 10k Jan 7 done
Harry's Spring Run Off 8k. April 8 a disaster, but I finished
Centurion 50k at Horseshoe Valley (cycling) done
Centurion 50 miler at Blue Mountain (cycling) done.....barely!
Snowflake 5k, Dec 16 - done
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Harry Rosen 8k. April. done
Rotary 5k fun run. May. done
CANI 10k. June. done
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby purdy65 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:32 am

Good reminder JIm!

What happened to the guy?

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby La » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:36 am

Really good points, Jim.

I think the personality trait that gets us through some tough weeks and months of training is the same one that tells us that if we skip a workout or race that we have somehow failed. Many people have this "all or nothing / black & white mentality" when it comes to training. We somehow think that by getting out there and pushing through when things are tough that it will build this mental & physical toughness that will get us through the rough patches in a race (especially a long one). While this is true to some degree, it can also be detrimental (as evident in the situation you described).

In the last few years I've been retraining myself to be less rigid with my schedule and listening to my body (and heart!) a bit more. Sometimes the rest day is needed because the heart/mind just aren't into it, and that's just as valid a reason as your body not feeling up to it.
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby Mark.AU » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:26 am

jgore wrote:"Just do it" is great if you're healthy and willing to accept the consequences of just doing whatever it is. I just hear from so many people at the store who ignore fatigue and or incipient injuries, stick to the almighty schedule regardless of how they feel, injure themselves and wind up on extended breaks because of it, and expect me to agree that what happened to them is so unfair. I can't do it anymore. It's too bad that you can't run for x-number of days, weeks, or months due to injury, but if you brought it on yourself, don't expect me to feel sorry for you.

I seem to be missing the gene that would have me agree with this. This is what I would have written;

"Just do it" is great. If you're healthy or willing, accept the consequences of just doing whatever it is. I hear from many people at the store who ignore fatigue and/or incipient injuries, stick to their schedule in pursuit of a goal that is important to them regardless of how they feel. They injure themselves and wind up on extended breaks because of it, and expect me to agree that what happened to them is so unfair. I don't feel sorry for them, but I do offer advice on how they may have avoided the injury. Whether they take the advice makes no difference to me, I have absolutely nothing vested in their training or goals. It's too bad they can't run for x-number of days, weeks, or months due to injury, but they brought it on themself so I don't feel sorry for them, why on earth should I? everyone is entitled to train however they want to without me judging them for it.
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby PinkLady » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:39 am

Wow. I hope that guy is okay!

And, timely post for me as I'm struggling with my own overuse injury. And of course, it's my own d@mned fault. :roll:

I think that people who are in competitive sports tend to obviously be, well, competitive. And as such, tend towards the Type A compulsive driven personality, the overachievers. More is better, etc. In sports culture, 'no pain no gain' is a pretty prevalent belief!

I sometimes feel like the perfect balance is just that, like trying to find the top of a mountain. If you keep backing down every time it aches, twinges, is sore, or gets difficult, challenging, etc.....you'll never get to the peak. (Challenging can hurt too - my body sure doesn't like working at lactate threshold, and is often screaming at me to stop! But, that doesn't necessarily herald injury.) OTOH, if you keep climbing like a freak and don't pay attention to the signs that you're nearing the top, you can sail right over the top into injury.

'Listen to your body' is good, but the problem is symptoms are often not black and white. Sometimes aches are just 'DOMS', and sometimes they are much more. Unfortunately, it seems like the only way to really 'hear' what your body is telling you is after you've already screwed up at least once and have taken it too far! :? :oops:
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:51 am

I seem to be missing the gene that would have me agree with this. This is what I would have written; ...


Very good point, Mark. In theory I agree with you whole-heartedly. In reality, I hear the same things over and over again and must admit that I can't be as non-judgemental as you. It's my failing.

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby DougG » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:55 am

Jim, it's not your failing. You are entitled to feel as you do, just as Mark is entitled to his opinions. No need to apologize - your initial 'rant" was fine.
2014
injured
2013
Snowflake 10k....stopped at 5k
Rest of the year a write off because of injury.
2012
Snowflake 10k Jan 1 done
Run 4 Kids 10k Jan 7 done
Harry's Spring Run Off 8k. April 8 a disaster, but I finished
Centurion 50k at Horseshoe Valley (cycling) done
Centurion 50 miler at Blue Mountain (cycling) done.....barely!
Snowflake 5k, Dec 16 - done
2011
Harry Rosen 8k. April. done
Rotary 5k fun run. May. done
CANI 10k. June. done
Canada Day 10k. July. done
Barrie Waterfront 5k. Aug. done
CANI 10 k. Oct. done
Base Borden Army Run 10k. done

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby La » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:05 am

jgore wrote:
I seem to be missing the gene that would have me agree with this. This is what I would have written; ...


Very good point, Mark. In theory I agree with you whole-heartedly. In reality, I hear the same things over and over again and must admit that I can't be as non-judgemental as you. It's my failing.

There's also a big difference between someone's training causing them injury, and causing them collapse and near-death!
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby geobandito » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:15 am

I ran by this guy yesterday as they were doing CPR . Very, very scary. That is not something you ever want to see. So glad to hear he is okay.
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:16 am

Mark. wrote:... but I do offer advice on how they may have avoided the injury.


Oh, I've never been accused of holding back on this. Quite the opposite in fact. :lol:

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby Mark.AU » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:17 am

jgore wrote:It's my failing.

I wouldn't consider it a failing, Jim.
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:18 am

One time I sprained an ankle and decided to drop when I got to the next aid station. One of my reasons was, "the RD really doesn't need the head ache of calling paramedics to haul my butt of this course."
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Listen to your body.

Postby Jwolf » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:33 am

Well, I don't know what this guys issues were but there are lots of people who don't feel quite "right" before a race but are actually fine. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between the mind and the body's messages (and they are interconnected).

I've seen lots of people here race when they had doubts or even serious physical issues, then they do well in the race and we praise them afterwards for their strength. Sometimes the line isn't so clear.
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby PinkLady » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:35 am

Just curious.....did this fellow have the flu?

The one thing that even I, stupidly stubborn as I am, have never EVER tried to run through is below-the-neck illness. I've read enough scary, scary things about what can happen if you try to exercise with a compromised cardiopulmanary system to NEVER risk it. I mean, a stress fracture sucks arse, but it's not likely to KILL you!

Big difference between a broken leg and death, IMHO. :shock:
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby ian » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:35 am

Good rant.

jgore wrote:It seems that a PB, the schedule, the long run, hill repeats, speed training, and training that suits some dream goal rather than the runner's current level of fitness all take precedence over what is actually happening to his/her body.

Don't you work shifts at the RR? From my perspective, the structure of their clinics seems to exacerbate these problems. Specifically, I'm referring to big increases in training in time for a predetermined goal race, weekly programs that have far more quality workouts than is minimally necessary, training programs broken down in terms of race goal times, and an implicit expectation of an inevitable progression to the marathon. Maybe there's an opportunity for more experienced runners to set a better example for newcomers, even if the altered approach doesn't sell as much merchandise.

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:51 am

ian wrote:Good rant.

jgore wrote:It seems that a PB, the schedule, the long run, hill repeats, speed training, and training that suits some dream goal rather than the runner's current level of fitness all take precedence over what is actually happening to his/her body.


Don't you work shifts at the RR? From my perspective, the structure of their clinics seems to exacerbate these problems. Specifically, I'm referring to big increases in training in time for a predetermined goal race, weekly programs that have far more quality workouts than is minimally necessary, training programs broken down in terms of race goal times, and an implicit expectation of an inevitable progression to the marathon. Maybe there's an opportunity for more experienced runners to set a better example for newcomers, even if the altered approach doesn't sell as much merchandise.


Yes, I do work there part-time. Back in the days when I taught 10K and half-marathon clinics I routinely talked at least half the participants out of doing hills and speed work because they weren't ready for it. Group leaders took those people on an easy run instead. As much as possible within the structure of the clinics, I preached moderation. However, while teaching one of their clinics, I am obliged to follow their rules. (I no longer teach clinics. :wink:)

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby Mark.AU » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:53 am

The following is a little tangential, but I'm in a heavy build phase right now, my knees are sore and I'm still going to run today. :)

Aren't we all constantly walking a fine line between training/over-training in pursuit of our goals? Isn't it the nature of a challenge such that we must push ourselves, we must work through discomfort, in order to do something difficult? It's in the nature of goal setting that we must fly close to the sun at the same time trying to avoid making Icarus' mistake...

I'm fairly sure that if this fellow at the race knew he was going to need CPR, he wouldn't have raced. But, in pursuit of a goal who among us has over-ridden our reluctance to push ourselves hard? Most, if not all. Look at how many daily thread entries are comprised of some variation of "glorious rest day" as evidence of how hard we push ourselves on non-rest days.

The essence of training is a progressive load on the body, we have to stress ourselves to make gains. That entails risk of injury which makes for a self-fulfilling prophesy, we will suffer discomfort, we likely will get injured at some point. I suggest that injury isn't the anomoly or sign of a lack of hubris, rather a lack of injury (or at least, significant discomfort) might be a sign of under-achievement relative to potential. And that's okay! It's as okay as another individual's desire to push [too] hard sometimes, too.
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby PinkLady » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:01 am

Mark. wrote:
The essence of training is a progressive load on the body, we have to stress ourselves to make gains. That entails risk of injury which makes for a self-fulfilling prophesy, we will suffer discomfort, we likely will get injured at some point. I suggest that injury isn't the anomoly or sign of a lack of hubris, rather a lack of injury (or at least, significant discomfort) might be a sign of under-achievement relative to potential. And that's okay! It's as okay as another individual's desire to push [too] hard sometimes, too.


I very much agree with this!

It's a very, very fine line between pushing enough to maximize your potential gains, and pushing too far and breaking something. Push too little, and you feel like you're nowhere near your potential, push too much, and you're injured.

Knowing exactly where that line is is something that only comes with time and experience with your OWN body, as all of us are different in terms of our breaking points. Ah heck, even if you're super experienced that doesn't necessarily mean you know when to stop - witness how many elites have stress fractures! :shock:
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2012 - year of perseverance, endurance, survival, and earning blackmail material for life. :D
My running log: http://www.runningmania.com/forum/viewt ... 18&t=44092

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby HCcD » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:01 am

I dunno ... there's been quite a lot of deaths and serious health and related injuries, as of late, reported in the media of runners going down, for whatever reason ... Is it actually more incidents, considering the increase in number of participants, or just more media attention ...

On the other hand, would it be better to stay on the couch, eating whatever, smoking whatever, being over weight / obese and die of a stroke, heart attack, etc ? ?? :? :?
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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby phorunner » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:02 am

geobandito wrote:I ran by this guy yesterday as they were doing CPR . Very, very scary. That is not something you ever want to see. So glad to hear he is okay.


Ran by this guy too. Glad he's ok.

I was pacing a friend and when I saw that she had seen the guy, I looked at her face and she was mortified. Our second 10/1 walk break was supposed to be right before where he was gettting CPR, but I got her to keep running until just after him so she wouldn't have to keep looking at it so long.

As for running with injuries, I kind of agree - but not to the same degree.

Training is as much of a mental thing as it is a physical thing. On days where I miss I session, I don't only feel bad that day, but I feel a little hesitant the NEXT time I'm out. I get a little hesitant that I can't do it. Maybe it's just a rookie thing. I'm guilty of forcing myself out, but I DO listen to by body, and if I'm not feeling up to going full out, I just pull back the intensity. Oddly enough, I was running slightly injured yesterday (really sore from kettlebell training). I knew I wasn't going to set a PB, so I decided to pace my friend instead (who incidentally, set her PB). I think that's a pretty reasonable approach - no mental guilt and/or worry for missing a run, plus a nice bonus that I helped someone else do better.

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:17 am

I can't go into detail, but he is still in hospital.

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Re: Listen to your body.

Postby Doonst » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:22 am

But my legs and I aren't on speaking terms right now. The constant whining just got too much.
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