You never know when you are about to go too far as a runner. I've been training hard all winter for the marathon, and about three weeks ago on a cold, blistery Saturday morning I decided to go for my customary long run. I knew it wasn't wise. The night before at the Winter Ball as I attempted to two-step around the dance floor I had felt some pain in my right achilles. But rather than realize that my body was trying to tell me it was heading for trouble, I ignored it and set out the door. As the drizzle turned to sleet, and the sleet to snow, my achilles starting hurting more and more. Somehow I survived 14 miles, only to not be able to walk for the next day or two.
It's hard as a runner to know when you are crossing that line between being tough and having guts, or doing something insanely stupid. We are, by nature, a little crazy. We are trained to ignore pain and go beyond our limits on a fairly regular basis. So while I knew it wasn't a great idea that morning to run 14 miles, I went for it anyways because I needed to get my mileage in.
Problem is, decisions like that have consequences. After a few days rest I was back on my feet and running. But now that same achilles problem has reared its head and I've had to take another week off from training. Even two miles on Thursday was enough to make me hobble the remainder of the evening. So my training is on hold. That's part of it, I suppose, but maybe in the future I'll learn that sometimes working through pain is more insane than gutsy. Then again, maybe not.