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:
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.
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!
- 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!