At the end of my June challenge of doing 100 squats a day I was looking for something to challenge me in July. I settled on challenging myself to run a 5k everyday in the month of July.
July. One of the hottest months and I’m going to run a 5k every day. No problem? Right? Well …
Everything started out fine. My regular running schedule was between 10-15 miles a week. I would meet up with my running group twice a week for a 5-mile run and I would try and do a longer run on the weekend. Running every day would be a challenge but nothing I couldn’t handle. Back in February I challenged myself to run at least a mile everyday and I completed that. The difference of course was that it was February, it was only a mile and many of those were done on the treadmill. Not to mention there are only 28 days in February!
Since it was July and hotter than hell in the afternoons I could not (or would not) run if the sun was up. So, each morning I would get out of bed at 4:30am and hit the pavement by 5:00am and get in my 3.1 miles (or more). I was feeling good. I was loving every minute of it. I would post my updates on social media and would receive all kinds of encouragement from those that followed me. It was great.
Until the 20th day.
After the run on the 20th day I was sore. More than sore. I was in pain. My hips were tight, and I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what position I was in. I spent the majority of the day on the floor trying to stretch and get myself into as many yoga poses as possible trying to get some relief. It wasn’t intolerable, just uncomfortable.
On the morning of the 21st day, my alarm went off at 4:30am. I checked in with myself to see how I was feeling, and I was still very uncomfortable. I lay in the bed looking up at the ceiling and I made the difficult decision to rest.
Can you imagine resting being a difficult decision? I went back and forth in my head, first telling myself that it’s not that bad and I should stop being a baby and then telling myself that there is no shame in resting. I finally told myself that there is no glory in exercising while in pain. That is, after all, what I would tell my clients. I tell them every week, if you are in pain – STOP.
The fact is, there is no physical benefit (to me) to run a 5k every day. I’m not training for an event and I’m not trying to get in shape. I am in shape. The purpose of these challenges is to give myself something to reach for. I never want to become complacent when it comes to physical activity, so I give myself these challenges. I’m not competing against anyone and I know that my only competition is ME.
When I took on this challenge, I had no idea if I was going to make it. That’s why it’s called a challenge. There is no shame in resting and there is no shame in stopping if you are in pain. The key is to not give up completely. If you must rest, rest. And after you rest, get started again.