After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Is Crossing That Fine Line Necessary?

Photo by David Colby-Young
After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: June 6, 2013

I have had a lot of time to think, while I am mostly sitting on my butt, waiting for June 17th to get here.

This is what I am thinking about most.

As runners, many of us seem to keep challenging and pushing ourselves to run farther and/or faster.

Which means that we also tend to push the limits of what we should or can do with our bodies, which personally I believe is a good thing to do once in a while, just not all the time.

Pushing our limits when running also means, taking our bodies right up to the edge of a very fine line, then if or actually more likely - when we crossover that line, it usually results in periods where we don’t run, because we have injured ourselves.

Notice that I say, “We have injured ourselves”.

It is all about Choices

I do not believe that too many of us go for a run purposely to injure ourselves by crossing that fine line. However, crossing that damn “fine line” usually happens due to choices we make when:
We choose to ignore the signals our bodies are giving us and keep running – after all we HAVE TO FINISH what we start:

  • We allow pride, ego and peer pressure to influence our running
  • We choose to run faster, than our current level of conditioning (not where we were last month, last year or 20 years ago or where we think we should be)
  • We choose to run farther, than our current level of conditioning (again – look above)
  • We choose to run in places we shouldn’t (we all have) for whatever reason (safety, conditioning, lack of proper gear, etc.)
  • We choose to run in weather conditions we shouldn’t (storms, ice, rain, heat, cold, etc.)
  • We choose to run in equipment that is not right for us (shoes, clothes, etc.)
  • We choose to overtrain or do too much in too short a time period, the dreaded TMTS syndrome
  • We choose to undertrain and still go after some pretty aggressive goals
  • We choose to ignore the potential consequences for our actions or inactions
  • We choose to not take responsibility for the choices that we have made
  • We choose to – well you fill in the blank there are many more to add here if we wanted to.
The above things are all things (risks) that can result in us consciously crossing that fine line. I know I have done all of them plus a bunch more in the past and probably will again in the future.

Running -like the rest of our lives is about the choices we make.

Crossing the Fine Line

Recently, I crossed that dreaded line.

My training had been spotty at best, in the weeks leading up to my injury and I had gone to the Miles for Mills 5K not planning to run in the race.

However, after watching Travis Mills speak, I was strongly motivated to run in the race that was supporting and honoring him, especially when I found out he was going to run.

During the race my competitiveness took over, I pushed hard against my upper limits and ignored pain in my hip and Achilles tendon areas, to finish the race.

Due to the decisions that I made to run in that race and push my limits, now I have to accept the consequences of my actions.

I will be in an aircast for at least 3 weeks and will not know until June 17th, what my rehab will be or if other far less desirable steps will be necessary.
The reality is

that I am getting older (we all are) and my limits are not the same as they used to be – they are lower. The experiences I have had over the last month, really exposed those lower limits and have given me a lot to think about.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to:
  • Review my motivations for running
  • What I want to achieve as a runner – long and short term
  • How my goals fit my current limits
  • How I will train
  • Racing – how does it fit into my running life
  • Running gear – especially my shoes

I am also asking for your help and ideas on things that I should or could look at or something that you may have noticed about me when reading my blog (other than I am old and stubborn), that I need to change or at least look closely at, to see if there are ways to improve how I do something.
What do you think - have you ever gone through a complete review of your running? What was the process you used, how did it turn out for you?

In spite of these setbacks, surprisingly I have had a very positive attitude about being injured, how I am responding to this forced downtime and the uncertainty about what is going to happen. I think it really comes down to the fact that I know the injury occurred because of choices I made, not some random thing that I had no control over.

However, I also know that I will continue to chose to push my limits in the future and as a result will crossover that fine line again, probably many more times.

That is just who I am – an old fart, who according to my doctor has a bad case of AAS (Aging Athlete Syndrome), but maybe, just maybe I can decrease the gulf between reality and fantasy in my running world, train a little smarter and avoid crossing the line at least a few times.

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