Anyone who is a runner knows that point you can reach where your mind wins over your body and stopping seems like the only viable option. Whether it’s unbearable heat, a side cramp, or just an off day, I have had my fair share of ‘stop and walk’ moments in my running career. (Especially when I’m getting back into shape). Let me tell you one of the BEST things you can do for your mind and body in the long run (being that you are not just pushing yourself too hard and risking injury) is to push through these moments and finish strong.
On my run today I did just that. I ran at dusk, so heat wasn’t the problem, I didn’t have a cramp, and I started pretty strong so it wasn’t really an off day. Something just happened in the middle of my run, on a flat road, after I conquered the big hill. I just wanted to stop. Sometimes, I give into my head telling me it wouldn’t be so bad if I just took a little break (which most often lasts longer than intended). This time, I was determined to keep going because I knew I could.
Through my determination, I found something that actually worked…and it’s a little hilarious. Instead of my mind, I pictured it was my stubborn fat holding me back from finishing strong (which I guess is partly true.) it literally had a mouth. I mean, I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but I wanted to shut it up so much so that I not only finished my run, I finished strong, sprinting all the way to my front porch. As funny as it is, it’s a good lesson to find what works for you, both the big things and the little things, because they all help!
It is also really important for me to mention at what point you SHOULD stop your workout. This may just be the athletic trainer inside of me (have I mentioned I was in the NHS of Athletic Trainer’s in High School?) Here are some signs that you should call it quits!
1) Chest Pain– this just can’t be good. Intense exercise can trigger heart attacks (rare but true!) Chest pain is the primary symptom, so seek help immediately if this becomes an issue! (Nausea and neck pain are also signs)
2) Shortness of breath- now of course some huffing and puffing is expected during exercise (or else you may not be working hard enough!) But it can also signal an asthma attack! Shortness of breath to the point of coughing and weeing can be signals of exercise induced asthma.
4) Dizziness/lightheaded-ness can also be a sign of a serious problem such as heatstroke which can be fatal! It can also be a sign that you don’t have enough energy (in calories!) to get you through your workout.
3) Sharp joint or muscle pain- I like feeling sore the day after a hard workout because I feel like I’m making progress, however sharp and sever pain during exercise is a signal of injury. Too many people push through injury and wind up hurting themselves much worse than they should have. Finishing a workout is not worth a sprained ankle or a torn ACL that will put you out of commission anyways! PRACTICING PROPER FORM IS ALSO IMPERATIVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY SAFE!That being said, I came up with a simple a delicious Post-Workout Perfection Pop that uses my beloved Harmless Harvest Pink Coconut Water. I really hope you all get a chance to try this coconut water it is truly the most delicious and refreshing drink I have found and when I run out I could literally cry. (I’m currently on my second small bottle today, oops! 🙂 ) This pop makes my favorite drink that much more refreshing!
Post-Workout Perfection Pop
1/2 cup Harmless Harvest Pink Coconut Water.
1 tbsp coconut shavings
1 strawberry sliced
Pour all the ingredients into your Zoku Pop maker (or pop maker of choice) and follow the directions to freeze and remove. I froze mine for about 7 minutes. Remove and enjoy!