It reminds me of the day I ran along the cliff in More Mesa. The wind was whipping hard off of the ocean so that it blew against me from the side. As I ran along the edge of the precipice, I pushed against the wind to stay upright. It was thrilling to run in a storm along a dangerous bluff pushing against the force that was keeping me from falling to my death.
Running is like that edge. Any runner at any level will face that edge if they want to reach their potential. You may have struggled on that edge yourself. On the safe side of it, you fail to reach all that you can be as a runner, and on the other side of the edge is the canyon of injury, illness, burnout, and other symptoms of over-training.
It is difficult ... very difficult to make your way forward on the edge without falling. Of course the answer is to "listen to your body" and "make sure and give yourself time to recover." This is advice we readily give to our fellow edge runners, but oh that we would follow it ourselves. I HATE listening to my body. It tells me to take a break right when I am getting into a nice training mode and making some improvement.
But I don't want to fall over that cliff again. I spent most of last year injured, recovering from the injury, and struggling to get back into race condition. I don't want to go there again. I want to stay up here, running free in the wind, taking in the sweeping view.
Why do I even bring this up? Because this week my achilles tendon has been bugging me. Just a little. Not like last year when it crippled my running. Just enough to get my attention. "Yo," it says. What to do? I have a 5K race tomorrow. Maybe it will be fine. Maybe it won't. Regardless of my above mentioned "hate," I consider myself reasonable when it comes to training. I actually do listen ... kinda ... sometimes.
It's hard to teeter on the edge, but if I can stay balanced up there, I may accomplish things I only dreamed of, and beat competitors I used to idolize. If it's in me, I'd like to try. Can you relate to any of this?