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Archive for September 2011

On being hardcore

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So I’ve been a runner for about 5 years now, and I’d like to consider myself pretty hardcore. While I’ve never run through an injury (well, I ran through a broken pinky toe, but come on, it’s been over a year and it’s pretty much healed!), I’ve laced up my shoes and sucked it up to run in drenching downpours, blistering heat, scary thunderstorms and freezing cold. I’ve also run when I’m sick and probably shouldn’t. Like this past week. On Sunday I felt myself coming down with a nasty cold, but I ran about 1.5 miles Monday morning and then even though I was feeling exhausted on Tuesday night I decided to push through 3 slow miles. I figured that it was only a cold, and that I’d wake up once I started running. Well, I did wake up, and was feeling pretty good until about 2 miles in. Unfortunately the strangest thing started to happen. (This is where I get a little graphic, so if you’re squeamish, you should stop reading). I’ve thought for a long time that I have stress induced acid reflux. I’ve only gotten heartburn a few times, but when I’m really stressed about something the back of my throat burns with acid. When I’m running its uncomfortable but not so bad that I feel the need to stop running. This time though, about 1.5 miles in I started feeling like there was something lodged in my throat. The best way I can describe it is that my esophagus was fighting with itself to keep dinner where it belonged, in my stomach. I’ve never really felt nauseous while running, or felt like puking after, and this time I still wasn’t feeling nauseous, but I still felt like my dinner was making a furious bid for escape. And here’s where the confession part comes in: I slowed to a walk, and when I didn’t feel better, I ended up walking the last mile of my run. And that’s when I started wondering. Am I not a hard core runner? I think lots of runners would have pushed through until they puked. In fact, a lot of fellow runners blog about them pushing through pain and fatigue and all sorts of other ailments and conditions. Recently one of my favorite bloggers, Health on the Run, wrote a post about a 17 mile run she had recently completed. She was in a ton of  pain and fatigued beyond belief, but rather than stop, she had her boyfriend run the last 5 miles with her. It seems like lots of runners will push through anything to get their miles in. Here’s the truth though. I wouldn’t. If I was feeling so exhausted and sick that I felt like I couldn’t make it another step, I would stop running and walk. If I was injured, I wouldn’t run. (That rule doesn’t apply to an actual race though. When I ran a 10 mile race last March, my thighs were chafed so raw that I had to waddle for 3 days after the race, but I didn’t stop running.) I think that there’s a line for everyone. For me, the line is where I can feel my dinner in the back of my throat and I have to take slow deep breaths to get it to move back down. And while I don’t mind pushing through soreness to go for a run, when I think my body needs a recovery day (or 2, to get over this nasty cold), I’ll take one. So maybe I’m not as hardcore as other runners. But I think that’s ok. I love to run, and maybe I won’t ever be the type of runner that runs 17 miles when I didn’t even feel up to running 2. But I still run. And I think I can call myself  hardcore for running in rain so heavy that I could barely see in front of me.


Written by blusunshinesarah

September 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Running

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