Listening to my body, and why I’m not racing in Seville

Even when something is staring at us in the face, and trying to get our attention in various ways, why do we still ignore it?

Our health (both physical and mental) is something many of us take for granted, and unfortunately lately I have been one of these many.

Both my eating habits, and the range of food I’ve been consuming hasn’t been up to my usual standards; I’ve known it but not taken any action. With the type of training and racing I demand of my body, rest and recuperation is arguably more important than the actual activities I put my body through. I’ve not been getting anywhere near enough rest (having a constant battle with insomnia doesn’t help), or practising the amount of usually strict and habitual self care techniques anywhere near as much as I should.

My life away from my body has been quite busy with putting the last few finishing touches on my new website, finishing two books, experimenting and baking in the kitchen, training my amazingly supportive clients, while trying to plan and get my 2015 mammoth adventure (hopefully tell you all in January) off the ground, and its now taken its toll.

I don’t feel I’m any busier than the next person, or trying to balance anymore spinning plates either; but my body has simply said STOP!

 

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Last week (10 days prior to my Seville race day) while out on my final longer run of this preparation, I suffered a tight calf. Not a tear, a strain, but a gripping feeling around my lower left leg. I walked to a train station from where I first felt this concerning sensation (about 7 kilometres) and went home. I knew I hadn’t done anything major, but also felt this injury was a result of the amount of pressure and stress I’ve put myself under, rather than actually a physical ailment. It’s not the first time I’ve suffered from this type of injury, and can only hope it will be the last.

Trying to relax, tone down the stresses I’ve placed upon myself and resting from any form of training except for some basic gym work and light swimming, I went for a run 60 hours before the start of my Spanish racing debut (last night). I lasted 10 kilometres before once again, I felt the same gripping feeling I had a week earlier. Again I stopped and walked, luckily I was only about four kilometres from home. Although it was cold and raining, I used these few kilometres walking home along the river Thames to have a good talking to myself (yes literally out load.)

I knew why and how I had found myself at this place, and if I’m honest (which I’m trying to be in this post) I saw what was coming but simply ignored it, what an idiot!

My physiotherapist and close friend Mo “magic hands” knows my body better than anyone (even better than me at times), and has fixed me on countless occasions over the years. After he attempted to untwist my contorted lumbar spine, and realign several other kinks in my armour our session was over, and I asked the question.

 

“Should I run 105 kilometres in 48 hours time?”

 

With a usual cagey response he said, “I cannot see any positives coming from attempting this, you may be fine, but you may not. The only certainty is that you will be running with anxiety and fear over your calf.”

He was right, and the decision was made.

 

This is why I am not racing in Seville this weekend.

 

We are all busy, and try to cram as much as we can into every minute of everyday, but at what cost?

I ask everyone who is reading this to take just a moment to stop and breath, think about what you pack your day full of, and if it’s at a cost to your overall health. Don’t ignore what is staring at you in the face, especially when it has to do with your physical or mental health.

I will go to Seville, have a relaxing weekend eating fresh local produce, absorbing the culture the city has to offer, and to simply not try and do too much.

 

Life should be enjoyable, if it is not; maybe a variation of how you live your life is needed.

 

Have a great day.

 

The Adventure. The Travel. The Challenge.

 

 

Luke

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