Listening to My Body

A few years ago I became a bit obsessive about running. It’s kind a long story that I won’t get into now, but I found running gave me a really great mood. I starting running a 5K almost every week on my treadmill, which was a lot for me. I kept that up for a few weeks, until my feet really started to hurt. I was having some plantar faciitis issues. When the pain started it didn’t hurt when I ran, only later, frequently first thing in the morning when I got out of bed. Since it wasn’t hurting while I was running and running made me feel so damn good, I of course, kept up the running, until I couldn’t. My feet hurt all of the time. I could barely walk before I switched to biking to give my feet somewhat of a rest.

Eventually I was able to return to running, but this time I was smarter about it. Instead of trying to run every day, I run four days per week, and only four days per week. I do walk / run combinations, with some sprints thrown in. This allows me to enjoy the perks of running, while going easier on my feet. I know that I have to be diligent about running more than my feet will allow or I’ll end up having to take a break from running, which I’m trying to avoid.

Running on the Bean

That same period of obsessive running likely played a role in the kidney stone I had at the time. My body was suffering under the pressure of expelling a lot of fluid through sweat without me compensating for that with an increased consumption of water. I’m learned my lesson about that one and every day I drink the amount recommended by my physician.

I sometimes get tension headaches. They usually manifest first in pain on the sides of my head, and I can feel a tenderness in my jaw near my ears. I’ve discovered that I clench my jaw when I’m under stress. I also discovered that when I doing some kind of regular meditation practice, even if it’s just 10 minutes per day, this doesn’t seem to happen, or at least not as noticeably. Like my failure to listen to my feet, I’m not always good at listening to my jaw. I let my regular meditation practice fall from my priorities list during the past few months, and my jaw pain has returned, so now I need to make meditation a priority again, and keep it there.

Just this morning, during my cardio workout on the treadmill, I ignored some little twinges in my left hip area during my sprints. It felt more like some stiffness and otherwise my workout felt great. I might pay for this later. I’m stubborn and clearly still need to work on listening to my body. My next running workout is in two days. If my hip hurts during the first sprint, I’ll lay off the sprints for the rest of the workout and see how it feels. See, I’m learning.

Photo courtesy of Guiseppe Milo – CC- BY

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