BTAT: Sore As Hell

I don’t know about any of you, but I pretty regularly crave a good, hard workout. There’s something about getting my butt kicked by a track workout, or my favorite Refine Method instructor, or 5K that makes me feel like reeeeeeeeeally accomplished something.

That feeling when you stand up and say, “Ohhhhhhh my butt hurts.” Yeah, that feeling.

Maybe I’m a masochist?

Closing in on the Vomit Threshold in my last 5K. Woof.

The last 5K I ran. It was soooooo hot.

What it really is for me is that I’ve been forced to take so many breaks from running and exercise in the past five years, that when I can push hard and get myself sore, it means I’m finally on my way back. I can finally do a little bit more. I’m healthy enough to push hard.

You know that feeling, right?

You can push yourself a little faster.

You can run that hill a little harder.

You can do one more pushup.

You can finish that extra 800.

You can sprint to the finish at the end of a race.

And then you’re sore as hell. And you love it. Because being sore as hell means you’re changing your body, one workout at a time. Being sore as hell means you’re pushing your limits. Being sore as hell means you’re moving again.

IMG_2437

Yes, I could still go to a {very modified} Refine Method workout while pregnant, but I was never, ever sore.

Well, that’s what being sore as hell means to me, anyway. And it’s way Better Than the Alternative. I’ll take being sore as hell any day over being laid up on the couch any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Now go out and run.

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4 thoughts on “BTAT: Sore As Hell

  1. I may disagree with you here. With my athletes and myself, soreness is almost never ever a goal or desired outcome. What does soreness tell me?

    Soreness means I did one of two things.
    a) ran a workout that was too hard/long for my abilities
    b) did not properly progress the intensity/distance of my previous key workouts

    Take for example, my recent 13.1 training run on a net downhill paved half marathon course in 1:25. My quads were sore for a WEEK after this workout. This workout tells me that I did not do an adequate amount of hard downhill running before this run and/or did this workout too hard or it was too long.

    Soreness is also a teacher, though. It shows me a weakness.

    And if given the chance, that weakness can be adapted into a strength 🙂

    That’s what being sore as hell means to me!

    —–

    Further thought:

    “What it really is for me is that I’ve been forced to take so many breaks from running and exercise in the past five years, that when I can push hard and get myself sore, it means I’m finally on my way back. I can finally do a little bit more. I’m healthy enough to push hard.”

    What came to my mind when I read this was that I wonder if part of the reason you’ve had to take so many breaks from running and exercise in the past (assuming due to injury?) was because you may push key workouts too hard.

    Better to do track workouts, tempo runs, or long runs at 90% effort and feel good enough to train consistently rather than do them at 99% effort and feel and BE beat up for a number of days afterwards.

    • Kyle-

      Feel free to disagree with me but I have science on my side. Read some of my older posts regarding soreness & you will learn 2 things: 24-72hrs of DOMS indicates muscle damage that heals & leads to eventual muscular growth. More than 72hrs of soreness indicates muscular necrosis & a workout your body wasn’t ready for.

      In order to get stronger, destruction & rebuilding of tissue (< 72hrs of soreness) is not only desired, but necessary. I can site you specific scientific research if you like, but every exercise physiology textbook will back me up on this point.

      You obviously haven't been reading my blog long (again, I encourage you to read older posts regarding taking a break from running) because exactly none of my forced breaks from running were due to injury.

      I have a disease called ulcerative colitis that didn't respond to treatment for 2yrs, so I had 2 life-saving abdominal surgeries that forced me to stop exercising for a period of time & from which I recovered only to work my way back & run a half marathon PR last Spring.

      My most recent hiatus was due to my first pregnancy & post-partum recovery. As a doctoral candidate in Physical Therapy, I believe that running with the relaxin hormone still coursing through my body is not safe and could lead to joint problems down the road, so I am forcing myself to wait til I'm recovered to start running again.

      I encourage you to get the whole story before assuming something about me or anyone else, especially on the Internet. Please read old posts on my blog (there are 437!) for more about my story.

      Happy running!

      • I clearly did not read through your previous posts detailing your past breaks, I was simply replying to a statement which gave me a thought that I said may or may not be the case, in your case. For that I apologize.

  2. Abby!

    As always, I appreciate your posts and am so happy to see your blog showing up in my feedly again! I LOVE the sore feeling, because for me, it means I did something right. And there is def a difference between feeling sore and feeling/knowing you’re injured. But yea, enjoyed the post. Would run if I could! Will be hitting the pool tomorrow and saturday to give pool running a solid shot!

    Look forward to seeing and reading more!

    Becca

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