Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Old Bones and Distance Running
"Listen to your body." These are words that roll off the tongue of many coaches, doctors, co-workers and friends when an ailment arises and one starts to complain. Heck, sometimes we might even listen to our own gut feelings and actually do something about it. I've been registered to do some distance hike/runs this year and after the first one - the 16.3 mile Hyner Challenge - something wasn't feeling too good in the old body. I pondered the thought, "maybe I'm not cut out for ump-teen miles at a time" even though the other determined half of me said, "ferget about it... just hike through the pain." Well, I chose the worried half and quit hiking/running anything longer than 5ish miles. A month later, I feel better than ever. My feet no longer hurt, my toes aren't tender anymore, the bones on the top of my feet aren't aching, my ass cheek isn't hurting all the time, and the rest of my achy, tired-feeling body returned to its energetic, can't-stop self again. There's some truth to listening to your body. I found a good article in the NY times on running distance, and in there was this comment: Exercise early in life can affect the development of tendons and muscles, but many people don’t start running until adulthood, so their bodies may not be as well developed for distance. Yup, that's me -- I didn't start exercise until early forties and then it was biking. The running didn't start until mid-forties and that really wasn't anything longer than about 8ish miles. I did a half-marathon two years ago, but haven't really done anything longer. So this year's mega-distance tryouts obviously answered the question of Can I Do It? Nope girly, you can't. Your old bones aren't seasoned enough for distance hiking/running. But it's a blessing in disguise because my bikes were starting to feel very dirty with all the dust they've been accumulating. I'm back in the saddle again. Maybe not as much as years past, but biking nonetheless. And the best part? It doesn't hurt anywhere. Listen to your body!