There is no PR, no amount of running success, no breaking of the tape worth the constant physical and emotional pain of overtraining. Running is a joy, a gift and a symbol of health, vitality and humanity. Running is like the brightest sharpest Instagram filter for life. Or it’s supposed to be.
When overtraining starts creeping, every run hurts. Wincing in physical pain through many many miles is one thing, but, perhaps worse, is the nagging feeling that no step she takes is good enough. The gnawing of failure is the thing that keeps an overtrained runner from seeing the truth of what is happening to her. She continues to claw and scrape and scratch trying to get away from failure’s grip, which only tightens it.
What the overtrained runner views as failure is her body’s plea for mercy. “Stop!” it screams as it sends pain coursing through her body and blankets her with exhaustion that no amount of caffeinated gel or pump-up music can correct. “STOP!” it screams as it sucks the joy out of every step and triggers negative thought loops through even the easiest of runs. But she plugs on believing in the power of her will. “It’s just soft tissue,” she tells herself. “Maybe my iron is low,” she thinks. “I’m just not tough enough,” she reasons. She hurts to walk. She hurts to sit. She hurts to lay in bed. She feels like she doesn’t belong with her team. She feels like she’s a fraud, that anything she ever achieved was a fluke or didn’t really happen. Read more >>