donderdag 15 juli 2010

Listen to your body

Good afternoon everyone! I realized that I haven’t  told you about my new fitness goals yet. But first something about goals in general.

I was thinking about how I handled my bike ride the other day. And there are two things about it. On one side I feel like I bailed out when the going got tough, but on the other side I don’t mind at all. I know I didn’t train enough to do well. I am still happy with my choice to make things a little easier, even though I didn’t feel so bad when I finished, nor did I have a lot of sore muscles the day after. Those facts made a little voice inside me whisper ‘You see, you have some left, so you could have done the entire thing anyway, but you FAILED”.

But I refuse to listen to that voice. Because I remember that my problem was in the hills: Because I took it easy I was able to cycle 50k more, but every hill was excruciating. And who said that I needed to spend every single bit of energy in my body during that race anyway?

Spending a night like this is good…:

P4010063

But not when you have to because you cannot move…

I am sure that if I would have pushed myself over that limit, I would be injured or at least it would have take a lot of time to recuperate from that trip. And I don’t want either of them. Exercise is supposed to be fun and should not leave you feel like you got run over by a bus for a week. To add to this: I went to a Body Combat class over 48 hours later. I was feeling great so why not ? I felt good until at some point one of the songs had us use much force on one leg for a longer time. And then my leg said ‘I am not doing this, you do it yourself’ and I got muscle cramps and had to leave class early. My legs were ‘not ok’ for the rest of the week.

So, I think I finally did well listening to the signals of my body (at least during the bike ride). It is so hard to know the difference between having a hard time physically but especially mentally and really getting to your limits.

I had to learn the hard way, of course, to listen. About a year ago I started exercising more frequently when I started to run and reading health blogs. I felt great about it! I realized pretty soon that once I started working out 5 times a week, I wasn’t able to do 2 hour workouts at the gym anymore. I used to combine Body Pump and Zumba for example. So I stopped doing that, but still pushed myself hard on most of my exercise days. Around January I got my shoulders injured and to tell the truth: I am still dealing with that. But around that time I also lost my mojo. I was not enjoying exercise anymore and I felt like I was getting worse and worse at it: my running slowed down, my heart rate got up and I felt totally blah. Luckily my injury forced me to cut down on exercise and I also recognized that this was not going well. When looking back, I think I may have come dangerously close to overtraining.

So I cut myself some slack and since about a month I feel better: I am still looking for my perfect balance but I am enjoying my workouts again, looking forward to the next one and feeling much better in general. However, now my shoulders are starting to hurt a lot again. BOO. It hurts most when I am at my desk for a long time. But I also think it is a bit too much of a coincidence that it came back just as I started to attend Body Combat class in full force again. I do not have insurance for anymore physical therapy this year so I am going to try to fix myself. Deducing from what my physical therapist told me and the exercises he gave me, combined with some old-faithful Google I am pretty positive that it’s my rotation cuffs. So, I am forced to adapt my routines again before I even got used to them. But hey, it’s a good opportunity to mix things up over the summer.

Phew…that was long! But  am done blabbing now. Stay tuned for my next post about my new goals.

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