I disconnected myself from all forms of social media last week. My husband, son, and I flew to Portland last Wednesday. We had a family wedding to attend and decided to make it an extended trip to spend time with my husband’s immediate family who we don’t get to see much of due to proximity. My mother/father-in law and one of my husband’s brothers (and his family) all live in Alaska while his oldest brother (and his family) live in Portland. We are lucky if we get to see them once or twice a year. So we jumped on the idea of being ALL together for an extended period of time. Flying across the country at 32 weeks pregnant was NOT the easiest thing in the world (will post about our flight experiences later this week) but it was definitely worth it!
During an appointment before our trip out west, my chiropractor said something to me that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. I was updating him on the previous weekend: I woke up with very little pain and so rather than continue resting and icing (per doctor’s orders), I vacuumed and moped the entire 2nd floor of our house. Not smart. And as a result, the following day was one of the most painful ones so far.
He told me that I needed to just have patience. He repeated it over and over to me throughout my entire appointment that day.
Patience. A virtue that has eluded me throughout my life. I am NOT a patient person by any stretch of the imagination (which is why it’s SO strange that I am actually quite patient and okay with waiting to find out the sex of the baby!!).
I’ve gotten exponentially better since leaving the army and after giving birth to my son, but I’m still a very, very impatient person with most things in life. I don’t like waiting…I want things/results/updates NOW.
Patience is SO important – and not just for everyday things…it’s extremely important in regards to running:
- Patience to build mileage. One of the biggest reasons why beginning runners (or anyone looking to jump to the next racing distance) become injured is that there is the expectation that you can go from 0 to 60 in no time. To prevent this, I almost always follow the 10% total mileage rule and ~2 mile long run rule. That is, I increase my weekly mileage by 10% or less while ensuring that my long runs jump by no more than ~2 miles each week.
- Patience to improve and see results. I first was introduced to track / speed workouts five years ago when I was training for the Army Ten Miler on the Fort Hood Team. Each Tuesday we headed to the track for our daily workout. The first 3-4 weeks were extremely tough – I had never done these types of workouts before and was getting frustrated that my times were not improving. Then, after a month of hard workouts, my splits started dropping – and not just by a second or two – they were dropping by substantial blocks. Over the next few months I saw my mile repeat times drop from around a 7 min mile to 6:10. The biggest sign of the improvement was when I took the bi-annual APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test). My 2-mile time dropped from close to 14 minutes to 12:40!
- Patience in a race. I struggle with this frequently. You show up to a race, your well-rested legs, pre-race jitters, and the excitement of the crowd cause you to go out too fast. There is no such thing as building a time cushion for the end of the race. If you go out too fast, you will pay for it later in the race. I’ve discussed my lack of patience during races in several posts.
- Patience when you have an injury. This is what I am currently dealing with. The temptation is to immediately start running the moment your body shows signs of recovery or improvement. I’m still not running – although I am itching to head out to see how I feel. I am really trying hard to be as patient and smart about this as I can and will not attempt a run until my chiropractor gives me the okay. Yesterday was the first day where I honestly forgot at times about the back pain. It came and went – but even when the pain was there, it wasn’t the excruciating, shooting pain that it had been. And I am no longer limping (for the most part) as of about 2 days ago!! I’m extremely hopeful that I will get back to running either sometime at the end of this week or at the start of next week.
- Patience after an injury. You were running x miles at an x:xx pace before you got injured. You were forced to take 4-6 weeks off from running. The inclination is to immediately jump back into the pace and mileage that you were at prior to your injury. While it won’t take you 4-6 weeks to return to your previous running state, it will take some time to build back up to where you are.
What other areas of running do you need patience?
What do you have a hard time being patient with?