I have found it increasingly important to listen to my body. Most people are probably like "Duh!", but I am maturing a lot this year as an athlete. I am a late bloomer. I am training smarter and healthier, which takes a lot more effort, but I think is going to significantly pay off. There are a lot of muscles in both pictures and a lot more that are not named. Controlling and training these muscles is an art form yet to be mastered by me.
Two Sundays ago I ran 10 miles at 7:44 pace and felt awesome. I also started my structured training plan yesterday so to feel like that going into the season was great. It was the day of the Marathon Olympic Trials and I was definitely on a high from reading all the twitter/news updates! Since then I have had numerous niggles, pinches, strains, tightness, pulls, knife-like-pierces, numbness's....the list could go on. The main one coming on this last weekend with numbness in my right foot (my functional and anatomically shorter; stronger leg--which makes me sound deformed).
I started to panic. How was this happening? I had prepared my body so well this year, but then I reflected. I also had prepared my body a lot mentally. My biggest motivation coming off my last injury around July (spawn from the same issues) last year when I had just started to regain hope was another blog. I find a honest and true tone from Lauren Fleshman, pro runner and 7th in the World at the 5K, that makes her real and bridges that gap from professional to amateur. She is walking/running proof that you can turn your season around after major injury. Two of my favorite posts are here (her report after USA Championship, part one you can watch her talk about balls) and here (her report after World Championship).
Every runner out there can attest that injuries take a mental toll on you. Being prepared is the best you can do. Not only mentally and not only at the beginning of the season. To be your best you need to attack your limiters all the time! I am back on my feet and running!