Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Last weeks training: Mind over matter

Last week was a challenge for me fitness wise.  

I am struggling with getting up and running my LONG runs when I need to. THEN on top of that I was having trouble with my arms, so I didn't lift until Thursday. Weird right? My finger tips were numb. 
All of them. 
All of the time. 


It wasn't just in the morning, it was all day. I waiting a day or two and it didn't go away. And I REFUSE to be that person that doesn't go to the doctor or at least try and figure out what is wrong. Do you know that person? I do. And when something is wrong with my body, I am not going to mess with it. 

I assumed it happened one night after a weird nights sleep, but it was constant and persistent so it seemed odd. I sleep all over the place and sure, I know it's not that great on my shoulders especially, but I have a body pillow I use and it has helped. 

I got a massage on my shoulders, chest and arms. It helped! Yay, I knew it! I hold tension in my shoulders and traps when I workout, so it was great to get that relief. Then I went for a run. NO GO. 

I got home, took this pic and called the chiropractor. 
During my run, my left pectoral was in PAIN and my right arm was numb! Eight miles of  pressing my pecs and shaking my arm. Enough! I got into the chiropractor the next morning and he did one little test and told me I had a pinch in my brachial plexus: 

brachial plexus: a cluster of nerves right at the 
base of your neck above your pectoral muscles. 

AS it turns out, on top of sleeping funny, holding tension in my shoulders and in my chest while I run, I had been doing a horrible job of stretching my upper body after my lifting. As a side note, clients always get the stretch out speech, I will be giving myself now. A few adjustments, a few stretches to go and a few more appointments on the books and I am a new woman. 

Mind over matter: 
Because of ALL of that arm fiasco, I didn't lift like I wanted to.  I also cut my "last long run" before my relay short. I was feeling kind of soft and kind of....well. Lazy. I knew I needed to have an easy week upper body and my legs too got off pretty easy with the relay only a few days ahead. 

But life happens and you make due. I did a lot of core work. I did a lot of stretching and I did my own full body plyo workouts, including boot camp to still compensate and workout. It's hard mentally though to take it so easy, even though my body was sending me signals LOUD and clear that something was wrong and I needed a break. There is NOTHING wrong with resting during injury or even take a week, rest, change your whole routine, take it easy and prevent injury to begin with. 

I love this quote: do the hard things--train hard and REST hard. 
No one loses when you do that! 

We get SO used to pushing ourselves, we get so focused on getting to where we want to go that we can sometimes sacrifice what we really want or need until our body screeches to a halt and we HAVE to do it. It's mind over matter and it goes both ways. 

I know a lot of people that struggle FIRST with workouts in their head. If a certain exercise is overwhelming, daunting or HARD in their head, it WILL be hard physically. Yet if they believe they can do it, that it will be easy, 9 times out of 10 it is. They need to put their Mind over Matter and literally reverse their thinking, well... so do I and all you others who have trouble taking an easy day and being ok with it. 

Use your mind: take a break, take a rest day or a light week and reset. 
Mind over matter: use your mind to prevent injury or it won't MATTER how hard you have worked. Mind over matter goes both ways...  

Was it hard to take 4 days off? Yes, it was, but you know what...it was a nice break. I got my arm problem figured out by taking early action and I got to relax a little during my week and not stress about my training as much... 

Have you been forced into a rest because of stress or injury? 
OR do you take easy weeks and planned rest days? 


Mellissa said...

I take a few days off about every 10 weeks. Your body really needs time to recover!

I also try very hard to listen to my body. If I am really lethargic and sore I may take an extra day off.

Chubby McGee said...

I love how you always have that big smile on your face. So refreshing!

Tracy Manley said...

Chubby, you are so right, love the big smile! Mary, you are also right about getting the mind over matter thing going. There are days when I just don't think I can get up and run. I simply start with getting out of bed at the right time. Getting the stare down by my furry running partner sure helps. Nothing like looking into those excited brown eyes!

Ann said...

I love the idea of "mind over matter". It's so apparent to me when I am running. Most of the time, if I want to stop, it's my mind telling me that I'm tired - NOT my body!! Thank you for the reminder of how strong we are, mentally.

Also - GLAD you got some relief from the chiropractor!!

Miz said...

I recently took 12 weeks off from cardio.

that took me a LOT of mind over whining errr matter :)

Scott Alexander said...

My trainer would ALWAYS have me stretch after lifting. I found that my recovery time and potential for injury were greatly reduced. I also found that stretching in the sauna was a great help (if you can stand it after a vigorous workout).

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