Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Post Race: The Joy of Running When I Can't Barely Walk
I always have a double-edged fear when racing. On the one hand, I'm afraid I won't run hard enough to be sore and then I'll regret my race, feeling I could've done more. On the other, I'm afraid I'll truly injure myself (which has only happened once and was ignorance more than over-effort).
Then, there exists this exciting middle ground between these two where I ran so hard, I'm exhausted but excited with my effort. Oh, and yes I cannot walk easily. I'm so sore I cannot sit down, squat to pick up the baby, put on shoes etc. It is great! Just how I had hoped!
And since I am unable to walk comfortably, I decided to go for a recovery run. I didn't worry about form or speed or cadence. I didn't worry about my neighborhood watchers thinking I looked like an awkward cowboy just off the rodeo bull. The soreness was intense. It also gave me an opportunity to think about the nature of pain.
I used to have one thought when it came to pain - avoid it. Pretty simple. But, after reading two books, The Bradley Method (on childbirth) and The Brain that Changes Itself (Neuroscience), I have changed my mind.
Pain, I believe, is communicative. My body is telling me something. And I have been shocked at what could be labeled as pain is actually not painful at all. Intense, but not painful. Running soreness and childbirth are both events that come to mind. And God has placed a limit to pain for which I am immensely thankful.
In the end, I know tomorrow my soreness will be better. I will run stronger because of this hard day. I will not fear for the LORD, my God, is with me - every painful step.