Trusting my gut

She can be a real wench sometimes, my gut.

But as I learned today, I probably should listen to her when she’s yammering on like a broken record about something.

The past few days have been recovery for me, after Saturday’s half marathon.  I’ve been running easy, light on the miles, and doing some cross-training.  I’d planned to return to hard running tonight with the team tempo workout.  I knew I’d still be a little sluggish, but figured I could tough through it.

Then I saw the workout.  2 miles at 10K pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile at 5K pace.  All on hills in Central Park, of course.  Ouch.

Nonetheless, I told myself, I should sack up and do it.  I hate missing team workouts and I’ve already missed one this week!  This morning, though, my gut started nagging me.  Our banter continued throughout the day:

10:30 AM

Gut: You know, four days isn’t really enough recovery from a long race.  Not for a hard tempo.  You should skip this tempo run.

Me: Yeah, but if I skip it, then I have to run by myself…and I like seeing all of my teammates…I don’t want to miss another workout.

6:30 PM, getting ready to leave the apartment

Gut: Gosh, the sky is really dark.  It looks like it’s gonna pour.  You should skip this tempo run.

Me: Eh, I’m sure the rain will hold off for a little while.

6:50 PM, emerging from the subway at 59th St

Gut: Well, will ya look at that.  It’s pouring.  And thunder.  And lightning.  You should skip this tempo run.

Me: (After cowering under an overhang for five minutes)  It seems to be easing off a little?  Maybe?  I’m already here, I’ll at least jog up to 72nd and see if anyone else is around.

7:05 PM, during warm up, legs feel like rotten ass

Gut: You are officially an idiot.  I can’t even talk to you anymore.  You should really skip this tempo run.

Me: Whatever.

About a mile in to that 2-mile pickup I realized that my gut was right.  I was really struggling, and not just in a hard-workout way.  It simply wasn’t productive for me to be out there, trying to crank through at a sub-7:00 pace.  My body needed rest more than it needed this workout.  I finished the two miles and then did a couple more, easy.  Like I should have been doing all along.

Sometimes that is the hardest thing to accept.  So much of running – or anything, really – is about pushing yourself hard.  Working hard = reward.  It’s counter-intuitive to make ourselves believe that we’ll get the best results, long run, by taking it easy.  It’s why taper weeks and recovery weeks are sometimes harder than intense weeks of high mileage or hard workouts.

And I know all of this, yet I convince myself to go against my gut.  Really, my gut is smarter than me sometimes.

8:30 PM, post shower

Gut: Alright, I guess we’re cool, then.  Now get me a cold beer and a big-ass salad.

Me: Yes ma’am.

Well played, gut.  Well played.

Today’s EAT: Of course strawberries were going to feature prominently in this big-ass salad, given that the entire top shelf of my fridge has been taken over by them!

BAS components:

  • Salty: Goat cheese
  • Sweet: Strawberries
  • Meat: TJ’s Mango Chicken Sausage (new one to me…and uhhhh-mazing!)
  • Treat: Honey-crusted walnuts

Over a bed of mixed greens with homemade white-balsamic vinaigrette.  I love big-ass salads.

Today’s DRINK: This beer was a total pickup-while-waiting-in-the-checkout-line, because-the-label-is-cute purchase but I am really digging it!

Magic Hat Wacko Summer Seasonal Ale.  It claims to be “a beer with beet juice color.”  Um…I don’t know about that, but it’s very mild and smooth, yet flavorful.  I’ve liked just about every Magic Hat beer I’ve tried so I guess it’s no surprise that I’m enjoying this one too!

Today’s RUN: About 6 miles total, including warm-up, abandoned tempo run, and the 30 minutes I jogged around the park after I gave up.  I also did a 60-minute Pilates class this morning.

Today’s QUESTION: Do you trust your gut? My gut and I are generally on the same page – clearly, we have the same taste in food and drink – but I definitely struggle with going against what I know is good for me sometimes!

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14 responses to “Trusting my gut

  1. Good to see you out there. Sari struggled too after BK. You’ll be rolling on Tues!

    Where do you shop for brew? Selection at our stores suck!

    You’ve read my blog. I give my gut the finger on a consistent basis.

    • Trader Joe’s! Love their beer selection and it’s so much cheaper than other markets. The line, however, often brings me to the brink of a nervous breakdown.

      • Ha! Patience is not a known trait of a runner. :-). I can’t go in stores for that reason. Wifey takes the shopping bullet. A line of 2-3 gives me hives. I start cursing loudly at 4 .

  2. On the one hand, I have to hand it to you for a good call. On the other hand, WAHH I WANT TO RUN, PLZ HEAL UP BODY THX. I suck at listening to my gut. Maybe because it doesn’t have a cute navel ring. But, yeah, aren’t we about ready to be recovered?

    • Oh, the navel ring. I’ve had it since I was 17 and such things were novel. 🙂 It’s gonna need to come out at some point but I am afraid it might be stuck there.

  3. It sounds like a lot of us have had a hard time letting our bodies recover from last Saturday. I decided early in the week to just take it easy for the week.

  4. I’ve been taking it easy this week too after my half-marathon…I’m trying really hard to wait to do a hard workout until my body tells me it’s ready.

    Your stomach rocks, by the way. 🙂

  5. this whole crutches deal has taught me to LISTEN to the good ole gut a little more. we’ll see if i follow through when i get back to running! oy.

    strawberries and chicken sausage is a combo i’d never think to create. looks tasty though. i must get to TJs in the near future – though i’d like to avoid the inherent anxiety attack that comes with navigating through that place. ugh.

  6. that salad looks great! i’ll have to look for the chicken mango sausages – haven’t seen those!

    Hope you’re doing okay after the workout!

  7. Look at you! You just wanted to have a reason to show off your nice, lean belly area. 😛 I didn’t know you had a navel ring.

    Sometimes I listen to my gut and sometimes I don’t.

  8. My gut is usually right and I find that when I don’t listen to it, I wish I had.

    Love the beer label! Did it taste like beets at all or was it just supposed to be pinkish? Beet beer…sounds like something Dwight Schrute would make.

  9. I think you nailed it. Though as far as myself? Yeah, did you read my saga about not wanting to race last weekend? That’s pretty much how my mind works. I tend to do the “but i should” regardless of gut instinct because quite frankly, I’m such a whiner I never know when I’m really legitmately whining. ;p Oh well.

    Those strawberries? Look awesome. I want some.

  10. Usually I’m not very good at listening to my gut (case in point – I showed up to the track on Tuesday and Tony told me I was crazy for contemplating the workout, hehe). Howeverrrr, I managed to take 3 days off last week because I felt like I needed it. WIN.

    Those strawberries look delicious – you should make my fav berry crumble recipe!

    4 cups berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc)
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon
    splash of lemon juice

    (Crumb topping)
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup flour
    1 stick butter
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/3 cup oats

    Mix together berries, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon
    Combine crumble topping and sprinkle it on top of berries
    Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until lightly brown on top

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