Quit Getting Down on Yourself: On Giving Your Body and Self the Time it Needs to Succeed


Once I got back to Boston last week, and the half marathon was over I got a a really weird feeling. You know, that feeling you get when the holidays end, when you went back to school after prom or on the flight home from an incredible vacation. I can’t believe it’s all over. Now what? It’s an odd thing going from running nearly every day, plus long runs on the weekends to nothing. And I have to admit, now that I’m not training for anything I haven’t been very good about keeping up with my exercise, let alone running.

The other day, I decided I’d end this mood I was experiencing. Even though I knew I wasn’t quite ready to run again, I laced up my sneakers and hit the gym. After a light cardio workout on the elliptical, I hopped on the big, bad treadmill. I ran a mile and ran it fast. Then it hit me: my right shin / knee were in major pain. I had to stop, and at first felt defeated in a way. Last week I ran 13.1 miles, and now I can barely do 1? I was angry.

But rather than throwing myself a pity party, I realized it’s because my body isn’t quite ready to run. That doesn’t mean I’m not strong, powerful and healthy; it’s just a minor set-back. So I shrugged it off and hit the weights. It actually felt amazing to take a little break from running and really focus on my strength training for once. Not to mention that arm definition I noticed in the mirror while doing my lat pulldowns. Damn. Guess all that running paid off.

So the moral of the story is that you don’t have to feel bad when you realize you need a little time…you need a little break. Whether you’re taking a break from running to get your knee back in shape, or aren’t quite ready to give up late-night sweets, or need a little extra time to complete a project at work, you don’t need to feel guilty about it. You will achieve and accomplish these little goals when YOU (and your body) are ready to!

I’m about to go for a long walk outside. Yes, a walk not a run. And I’m totally OK with it! It’s 60 degrees out & I can’t wait to soak it all up…

Have you ever got down on yourself for giving your body a break, or giving yourself a little more time than you thought needed? How did you cope with it? Have a lovely day and enjoy the sun!


11 Responses to “Quit Getting Down on Yourself: On Giving Your Body and Self the Time it Needs to Succeed”

  1. Kathy The Boston Sports Woman Says:

    Rachel, so proud of you for this! You are such a positive influence for me!!!

  2. healthychicks Says:

    Thank you Kathy…I am glad you enjoyed this post. We all positively influence each other… and that’s what I love about the great community of women you meet through social media.

  3. Jess Says:

    God I am SO dealing with the same sort of frustration right now and having a really hard time not beating myself up. I want to be where I was last summer when I was training for my half – running without a care in the world, the miles coming easily to me. Or easier to me than they are right now. I know I just need to rebuild that endurance for longer distances but inside all I want to do is beat myself up. Why do we do that to ourselves?? Why not just be rational!!

  4. Christina Says:

    I used to beat myself up about missing days at the gym or going through periods without some sort of workout. Now I forgive myself. Maybe that down period is a time to give yourself another gift. If I’m not in the mood to go to the gym I do ask myself why, but then I decide to do something nice for myself with the added time. Get a manicure, walk in the sun, call a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time. Then get a good nights sleep and get up and feel good the next day. And with 20 years behind me of enjoying working out but not always finding the time to work it in…I also found out that my body can sustain itself during the down periods -whether the be for fun (vacation) or imposed by busy travel schedule for work.

  5. healthychicks Says:

    LOVE your attitude Christina. I too used to be obsessed with working out in college… I’d go to the gym for sometimes 2 hours a day and freak out if I missed a workout. Now I don’t see it as a negative thing when I take a few days off, or even a whole week off.

    It’s all about doing what feels right, listening to your body, and filling your free time with positive things : )

  6. gabriella @ embracement Says:

    Love this post, I agree on so many levels and we have such a similar philosophy. It’s really hard to get those nagging thoughts out of the back of your head. I wrote on my blog this morning something to the effect that “we all deserve success”. Pushing yourself too hard, not being organized, and giving power to negative thoughts is the quickest way to sabotage your own success.

  7. healthychicks Says:

    Yes, agreed. We can’t always put such high expectations on ourselves. Sometimes we need to just be.. and enjoy.

  8. Jessica Says:

    I can totally relate. I beat myself up when I take a day off from the gym or get extra winded from a workout. And if I go to a class that underwhelms me I feel like I need to work out again. I’ve been working on dealing better with all scenarios by trying to just listen to my body and trust it will tell me what it needs but I definitely think it’s easy to become obsessive!

  9. healthychicks Says:

    Thanks for such an honest comment Jessica… I think we can all relate and it’s nice to know we’ve all been there, but just need to take it a little easier on ourselves sometimes.. We can do it!

  10. Sisters running the kitchen Says:

    Did you write this post for me or something!? Haha I am being hard on myself after injuring my knee. I know I’m taperig but I’ve Barely have do anything. Feel like an oaf! But I know I’m in shape To run this Boston marathon! I have to give myself a break!!! Thanksss!

  11. healthychicks Says:

    Definitely give yourself a break… you are running the freakin’ BOSTON MARATHON – that is absolutely AMAZING! That would be cool if I could meet you… I’ll keep an eye out for ya ; ) Good luck, you will do great!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 10:03 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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