I was a very whiny athlete on Wednesday.
My achilles tendons are no longer injured. There have been no bumps on them for months, and I don’t have anything I’d call “pain” in them after runs (although that doesn’t stop me from pinching the hell out of them after every run in a paranoid fashion, just to make sure. Yes, I’m aware I might do more damage that way, my anxiety isn’t listening to you). Generally they’ll get a weird tingly feeling if I push them too far. And that’s all I’m trying to do at this point in training, push them far enough to get stronger, and not so far that I injure myself. I make smart choices: I warm up slowly by walking for 5 minutes first, and then run/walking, I modify workouts, I stretch carefully, I sleep in a brace that keeps my right foot from pointing in my sleep (since my right was by far the worst off).
This doesn’t mean, however, that I’m always happy about all these smart choices. And this Wednesday was especially difficult because I LOVE hill training. One of my favorite memories from a Coyote training season is when I managed to do 6 repeats of the “washing machine” hill loops. They sucked and they were amazing, and I felt on top of the world after I finished the last one. But I knew going into this workout that I wasn’t going to be able to run the uphills (and probably not the downhills, given that they require even more pounding and stress than an uphill). I’m dying to push myself again, and as I get stronger and stronger, it only gets harder and harder to hold myself back.
So most everyone took off running, reflective vests glowing up the hill, and I marched my smart ass up the hill and back down. And did it again. And again. When Coach Nicole asked me how I was feeling after round 2, instead of giving a dutiful athlete report of how my tendons were doing, I snarked off “Bored.” And continued to march my ass up and down the hill, probably with an epic case of RBF (I am genetically gifted at Resting Bitch Face – if I’m not actively thinking about looking pleasant I look simultaneously bored and like I’m planning a murder. I’m a Slytherin, I can’t help it).
It was not a workout that left me feeling particularly fulfilled, and also not one that made me particularly happy afterwards. Apparently my cardiovascular system and muscles weren’t quite stressed enough to get any good endocannabinoids going.
But I have to keep reminding myself that every workout makes a difference, even the ones that inspire a kind of boredom that I normally associate with staff meetings. One step at a time.