I always knew there was a reason why, until recently, I stayed away from treadmills.
Treadmills bring out my very worst competitive behaviour. All those stats flashing, the ability to push yourself that little bit harder, go that little bit faster, all without leaving the comfort of the gym. Treadmills are a disaster waiting to happen.
My training had been going so well. I had been worried about the impact of the winter on my training as I don't feel very safe running around in the dark after work. However, access to a treadmill saved the day! I could train in the gym three days a week and then run around outside to my heart's content at the weekend. It was all working so well...and then I worked out how fast I could run. All it took was one session of tempo training and I was running about that all the time, not really the brightest move, but even I admit there are times when my enthusiasm steamrollers the little common sense I possess.
Caning it several times a week was fine for a little while, in fact it felt amazing! I was running further and faster, feeling fitter and stronger, and finally got myself together to cross train (well, I was in the gym anyway). My body felt better than it ever had done...barring that little niggle in my ankle...the same little niggle that flared up before my last race and during the early days of my training. A little niggle I thought I had got rid off, only to aid its resurrection through over training!
Thankfully, the little niggle hasn't evolved in to a bigger niggle, but once again I am spending the week before a race resting, getting friendly with my resistance band, and surrounding myself in the aroma of deep heat (love that stuff). It is a tough lesson to go through when all I want to do is be outside seeing what I am capable of.
Learning my body's limits is something I am still working on (it would appear that I am something of a slow learner on this one). While I feel capable of doing more and more, my body doesn't always agree. It is hard to slow down and take things easy. It is hard not to always run my hardest and my fastest. Learning to take things slow and steady is probably the most important lesson that running has taught me. Learning that it is better to have incremental development over a long period of time, than amazing changes very quickly. I am learning to respect my body more, to go with it, testing it more gradually, remember that just because my brain thinks something is a good idea, it doesn't mean that my body agrees!