Sunday, I took a DNS. Not my first DNS of the year and honestly I was psyched about it.
I registered for the holly jolly half marathon at Burke Park in Virginia as a way to motivate myself to run the miles I need to be ready for the WDW Marathon in January. I ran 6 with my girls on Saturday and did a holiday get together and then a nice dinner out with MB later that day. We were in bed by 10 and my when alarm rang at 5 I turned it off without a thought. I woke up 3 hours later wildly rested and ready for the day. MB was surprised that I decided to stay home but I really wasn’t. I wasn’t feeling the half on Saturday and when I woke up tired on Sunday I knew I just needed to take it easy.
lots of couching — not a lot of half marathoning on Sunday
I’m not usually very good at listening to my body. At all. I feel weirdly beholden to the race registration, the commitment to in-person and online running friends, my FitBit and Weight Watchers trackers to get out there and get the races done, the miles logged. But, after having Achilles tendinitis and pereoneal tendinitis last year I decided it’s time to stop playing around. Sure it’s a little disheartening when I don’t hit my mileage goals, when I don’t post the finisher photo but I can honestly say it’s way worse when I’m laid up not running or overly tired and sore because I pushed too hard.
I don’t know why we, as runners aren’t more gentle with ourselves — especially our bodies — knowing full well it is the instrument that helps us get the job done. I played clarinet all through school (so cool) and when one of the key pads was starting to get wonky we sent that shit out to have it fixed — give it a rest — and I either played a loner or (my preference) I would sit out a couple of practices. No big deal.
I wish runners felt encouraged to be easier on ourselves when it comes to injury and rest. We need to make a bigger deal about celebrating the rest days, the times we DON’T race or train because we don’t want to blow out our knees, ankles or IT bands. I wish we felt we could feel as proud of the times we listened carefully to the little voice in our heads the same way we listen to the loud one that is pushing us to be better, faster and more engaged.
I’m going to be the change I want to see in the world. I’ll be happily posting pictures of my rest streak. The days I actually cross train, stretch or god forbid rest. The doctor’s visits to see about that little nagging pain (I have one in my foot right now that I’ve been stupidly ignoring for months) and I hope you’ll do the same. Unlike my clarinet, we can’t send our bodies out and get a loaner, so I hope we can take as much joy as teenage LNRB did sitting a few out.