…the body fights too.”
I picked up this quote not from some history book or from the mouth of a well-worn running God like Frank Shorter or Dr. George Sheehan, but from one of my favorite television shows, The Blacklist. I know it’s depressing to see James Spader with no hair but, he’s an unbelievable actor and once and a while, the show spits out a gem like this quote.
I feel like I’ve been living this lately. Instead of my mind and body being one, they are struggling and battling against one another. Until they learn to get along, mama ‘aint happy. You know what that means, right?
The struggle is stemming from my body being injured and my mind refusing to believe it. When I set my racing goals at the beginning of the year, I feel I can attain each and every one of them and, when that doesn’t happen, the battle begins.
After a lengthy conversation with CRS (my rocket scientist coach), some deep thoughts during the brief periods I get to run and generally thinking WWMHD (what would my husband do?) I’ve come to the following conclusions:
What CRS says: “Strength training is your number one priority right now. I will add in more swimming and biking and you let me know when you’re ready to run.”
What I think: “Why can’t I embrace a little down time? What the hell is wrong with me?”
What my husband would say: “Are these seriously the things you’re concerned with?”
GET A PLAN
What CRS says: “Forget about the duathlon and the triathlon on June 7. I have a whole list of other triathlons to chose from, tell me which one you want to do and we’ll go from there.”
What I think: “I need a race to focus on so I have a clear idea of what I’m training for and why.”
What my husband would say: “You have ANOTHER race?”
TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME
What CRS says: “We have plenty of time to get you healthy and racing again. Essentially we are chucking one race (the duathlon) and that’s it.”
What I think: “I need to do it all right now! Is there a race today?”
What my husband would say: “You actually think more then one day ahead?”
After a lot of thinking, consulting, planning and plotting, I may have my head and body in some sort of agreeable state. My immediate focus is on strengthening/getting healthy and choosing a triathlon that fits my schedule and is a Nationals qualifier.
Most importantly I need to give myself a break. There’s a reason why there are seasons for sports – because even elite athletes need downtime. I learned a very long time ago that rest days are just as important as your hardest training days and, if your mind and body aren’t in agreement, nothing works as it should.
I want to fight against my competition, I don’t want to be my competition.
And in case you want to know exactly what’s going on in my head, this article from The Huffington Post sums it up perfectly by listing “11 Things Every ‘Type A’ Person Wants You To Know.” I have a classic case of #5 right now:
5. We’re extremely goal-oriented.
Once we commit to something, we see it through until the very end, whether it’s a work project or Friday night plans. “[Type A’s] are certainly more occupied with achieving outcomes,” Schaubroeck previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “And given that they’re so occupied with achieving their goals, it makes sense that they would be more likely to do so.”
Thanks to my uncle for sending me and my relatives this article asking “How many women in our family fit this profile?” Um, all of us!
Are you a type-A?
What do your mind and body argue about?
Is that first pic Miley Cyrus from her wrecking ball days?!?! It’s very fitting! Anyway, I totally get this. My head is going a 1000 miles a minute over this injury. I had huge plans for the summer and the fall. And now it’s all a big question mark. I’ve tried the WWMHD and it just frustrates me! He’s the exact same way. I’ve tried to show him my ways and worry about everything but he’s not buying it!
I don’t think that’s Miley but it def could be!
I can only imagine how you feel, especially since that injury seemed to hit out of nowhere?
Trust me, my husband frustrates me too but sometimes adopting his “who cares” attitude helps…for a second. 🙂
Im so so so unbelievably type B which is NOT necessarily a good thing.
Ive run one race ever and I WORE THAT FINISHLINE TEE!!
Theres just never a happy medium as I can get too laid back and too complacent.
HYSTERICAL!!!! Love that about you so much! And agree there is no such thing as a happy medium or being balanced. I’m sure I would be bored if there was…
I’m with you that the mind needs to be healthy to race healthy. I think having a plan and getting back to where you want to be is going to be so beneficial for you. I cannot wait to see what you accomplish this race season!
Thanks so much Hollie. I’m very bad at the building back phase but I have no choice!
I’m glad you are figuring out the meeting point for mind and body. It takes a while to get there…I think our personality type needs to sit in denial a while first. But finding that meeting point is what gets you over the injury hump and moving forward. Cheers to that!
You’re exactly right about sitting in denial – that is usually my step one. I’ve now resigned myself to the fact that I need to re-build, as boring as it is, it’s necessary!
I am most certainly a Type A personality and always thinking I can do it all and then some. Yet, as I am indeed getting older, I am finding that my body won’t always allow for it, such as with my issues with my lower back. I have also had to step back and rethink at times, as well as readjust my my brain at times, because of this. So, yes I most definitely can relate and wishing you a speedy recovery to do more of the things you want to be able to do now 😉
Basically getting old sucks and our minds still think we’re 25 and have no kids! I hope your back isn’t too bad Janine!!
I can’t even imagine what it must be like for you to not be able to do what you LOVE to do! The great thing is that it’s temporary and you will be back stronger than ever. Sounds like CRS has you on a fantastic plan. Deep down you know you have to heal in order to come back 100% even though your mind wants to play tricks!! I think I’m type A-ish? Like a little but not all the way 🙂
I think you are Type A in all the best ways, but they you can be so laid back. How do you do that??? Tell me your secrets!
Love it! So glad we are on the same page with this…now the next question is, can we form a support group when your non type A husband is driving us crazy?
YES!!!! I think we need to plan regular meetings about this very topic 🙂
I’m only type A about certain things at certain times. Otherwise, I could probably benefit from being a little more type A.
Injury is never fun but at least you have a good perspective on it and a good support team. And our husbands must be the same person or just very use to living with crazy endurance athlete’s because I could hear my husband saying those exact words! It made me laugh.
I think all the endurance athlete husbands need their own support group!!
Um, you and your husband are me and AJ. This was like reading my own life.
OMG I love that!!! 🙂
I am totally type A….you’re having a hard time because running is not just about running for all of us… And let me just say that I still dream of the James Spader from his Pretty in Pink days….
Exactly! And I also dream about a wavy haired, super cool James Spader.
The mind-body connection is so powerful. I am definitely goal oriented like you- always looking to the next thing. But somewhere in my marathon training my mind pulled out of the goal, and then my body followed. It’s so weird. Now that I’m doing shorter distances, my mind is back in the game and I’m feeling stronger than I have in months!
Downtime can be hard- but you know (in your head) that these cycles of rest and intense training are important. It will make you stronger!
I do know that and I can also relate exactly to what you said about racing and having your mind “pull out.” Luckily, the same happens when your mind goes ALL IN, even when you think there’s nothing left to give.
I’m so excited about your new found fastness and can’t wait to see how you use it!!
i’ve had these conversations before as well – both with my body doc person and my husband. i WANT to flip the switch in my brain and just do the smart thing for the body… but then i’m faced with choosing the right switch. choices are a blessing and a curse!
since i’m in recovery mode still since last year’s IMTX i’m also in this weird ‘sloth screw everything mode” but still i move my body. it’s not ‘training’ it’s just for health. anyhow. i’m in denial about being a type A but your #5 example just made me go, “doh!”
Choices are a blessing and a curse – YES!
Stop denying who you really are and just join us Danielle 🙂
OMG…I just read that 11 Thinks article. Holy shit does that describe me to a tee! Number 6 is definitely my biggest issue…lol! Listen to CRS because she knows what’s best. I get it..it sucks but it could be worse. You will be back creaming the competition in no time.
It’s freaky how exact it is, isn’t it? I had the same reaction!
You are awesome and I love what you said at the end there. THANK YOU!
A. Blacklist – I just love you more and more each post
B. WWMHD – You already answered with exactly what he would say, too.
C. Are there things the mind and body actually DON’T argue about?? 😉
Type A all the way!
A. Right back at you!
B. Clearly we are married to the same person
Am I a type A? Hahahaha. I think the obvious answer to that question is YES! Although I have found that I’ve been slightly more relaxed about things since I’ve had Cooper mainly because I physically cannot do it all and he forces me to pay attention to his/our needs.
Oh I know you are but I found it actually helped with parenting…especially with the twins! I was totally organized and it helped tremendously. I know you’re the same with Coop 🙂
ohmygosh yes!! all of this. my head and my body are in two completely different places right now. and i don’t even think that they are speaking the same language! hilarious how your husband interprets the situation because that sounds an awful lot like my husband!
I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one whose husband doesn’t “get it!” And yes, I know you’re deep in a mind/body battle right now but you’re coming out on the other side. It won’t be long now…
Oh gee……I think I am type A and a 1/2. 🙂 I am totally making that up, but I pretty much fall in between A and B. Just like everything in my life! A small is too small, a medium is too big…a size 4 is too small, a size 6 is too big…my shoe size 9 is too small, size 9.5 too big…ahhhhh!
I am probably closer to A though until I finally just need a break. I do like goals and planning, but sometimes life is too crazy and I just say…who cares, I can only do what I can do!
With my training I sometimes have to think..what would i tell someone else! I often would benefit from taking my own advice. There have been plenty of times where i knew in my head a rest day would benefit me more than pounding out a few more miles, but I pound them out anyways because that was what I was planning to do…duh!
That is too funny about all your “in betweens!” Over the years I’ve actually gotten better with calling off training sessions instead of cramming in what I was “supposed” to do. And, my aunt asks me the same thing “What would you say to a client with this problem?” We’re so much harder on ourselves then we would ever be to anyone else! *sigh*
I’m total type A too, but not about my running. LOL But I used to be. And I get this whole thing, because I have a daughter dealing with an injury right now and she is ansy. We’re waiting to hear the official word. Hang in there. Sometimes your body is telling you something.
I hope your daughter recovers quickly! And yes, my body is screaming – ENOUGH! 🙂
Stress fracture 🙁
Oh no!!! I’m so sorry. That is truly awful.
She is swimming and biking in hopes she can still run at states, since she has already qualified. But the rest of the season and conference is out. Cross your fingers for us.
Oh I definitely will!! That is so much work and accomplishment. Keep me posted!
My head tells me I can’t eat ice cream daily.
My body says whatever. 🙂
Listen to your body on that one…
My mind and body argue about everything. Being type A and an athlete is a tricky combo for sure as we have a hard time saying its ok to just rest and relax a little bit. Here’s to finding some peace, rest, health and healing!
Thank you! I think most athletes struggle with this because it’s what makes us pursue our goals in the first place. This too shall pass is a mantra I have used for a long time!
Oh man, you should hear the arguments I have with myself. Mind over matter… until matter refuses to move!
Hahahaha – I know exactly what you mean!
I’m Type A, but I’m more of a little a as the years go on. Then again, my goals don’t usually have to do with my body, so I’m usually just fighting myself in my brain. Better for my body, but my brain is a minefield.
That may even be a little worse. At least I get to work though some of the angst during my physical activity, even if I’m injured. Good to know that I may be able to mellow a little with age…:-)
I’ve very type A and that is making it very hard to admit that I can’t do everything these days.
I hope that you are healing and back to running soon!!!
I can imagine! I hope things are going smoothly as you launch your next venture. As for running, I was just ordered to take 2 weeks off. Not happy but this is the time to do it…