Is it just me or has this “short” week been one of the longest ever? NYC transit has been such a bear this week that every single day, my commute has taken much longer than it typically has.
Yesterday I spent more than 2-1/2 hours commuting (on top of a 12+ hr workday…). Typically my commute (there and back) is about 1 hour 20 minutes, or 1-1/2 hours on a slow day. On the plus side, I guess it did give me a chance to read 200+ pages in my book. (I am reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63 — absolutely amazing.)
At least I can look forward to a quick trip to my favorite state for one of my best friend’s bachelorette party. So very excited!
Because of my weekend getaway, I was planning on running everyday this week so I could take the entire weekend off without feeling too guilty. Granted, it’s not like we are going to be blobs sitting on the couch, but I won’t be bringing my running shoes. My body had other ideas as my Achilles has started to act up a bit.
Which brings up a question that I know is debated in the running world — at what point do you say stop? When do you push through the pain and take it to the next level… and when do you know that you need to take a step back and let your body rest so you don’t get injured?
I think the biggest signal for this is soreness vs. pain. This can be hard to distinguish because often you can be so sore that it feels painful.
Soreness is a heavy feeling. When my legs and arms are sore, if I need to do anything that exerts the muscles, it feels like I might as well be walking through a pool of molasses. My sore abs will “hurt” while laughing or even when sitting certain ways, but it’s because they feel so tired. It is also something that you can pinpoint to something specific — ah ha! That intense workout I did on Tuesday is finally kicking my butt…
Pain, on the other hand, is something that you feel suddenly while doing something that you normally would. You may feel fresh when you go out for your run, but pain will act up and cause you to stop in your tracks. A twinge of pain won’t stop you, but you will notice that something is off and feels off. Many people think that ignoring this is the best thing to do, but that’s farthest from the truth.
Pushing through pain is what causes injuries. Stepping back and taking one, two or even three days to rest is the best way to let that twinge go away and come back fresher and more ready than ever. I think the best thing to do on your first day off is to completely rest. Day two or three works for cross training, but definitely don’t go overboard or anything that can make the pain worse.
For me, this Achilles is getting three whole days to rest. Let’s hope that’s enough for it to stop acting up and get ready to get strong this summer!
How long is your daily and commute?
What are you reading right now?
How do you distinguish between pain and soreness?
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