There’s a difference between hurt and injury.

“Hurt” comes with playing a sport. Hurt is a little soreness the day after a workout. Hurt is that pain in your lungs after sprinting in freezing cold weather. Hurt is the tingle of sweat that drips into your eye on a hot day. Injury, on the other hand, keeps out of the game.

I know there’s a difference between hurt and injury- all athletes know this. Could I tell you that difference? Truthfully, no…

I coach athletes in the 1500m race. That’s just under a mile, specifically, .93 miles.

If you’ve known me for a long time, you know I didn’t do any sports growing up, much less track and field. I can talk for hours on how to train for a 5K or 10K, but I know next to nothing on training to run a mile (have I ever run *one* mile?), so I spend my evenings looking up workouts and getting ideas from Coach Google.

Last week, I had my athletes sprint or surge the straight parts of the track, and jog or walk the curved parts. Some of the kids are pretty young and new to track, and with many age groups, you have to explain things different ways. I explained the differences in sprinting and surging and talked about running fast.

Fast is relative, I pointed out. Your fast pace may be another athlete’s warm up. Someone may have to walk the curves while you jog them. You may be able to run like the wind one day, but have to take walk breaks another day.

Everybody is different. Every body is different.

Above all, do the best you can each day. Aim to do better each day. And run your own race, not someone else’s. Don’t fall into the comparison trap.

Since I didn’t have to pull a 12-hour day of working at my real girl job, working out, and coaching, I decided to participate in a group fitness Boot Camp class at my gym Monday night. Normally I can’t fit in these classes because of what time I get off work and what time I have to be at the field to coach, but today I could, and after hearing rave reviews from friends, I gave it a shot.

Typically, I’m not a group exercise kind of girl. I run, lift, do yoga, eat, and repeat- it works well for me. Generally, I say no to steppers, Zumba, low weights/high reps, and crunches. Nothing wrong with those activities for those who want to do them- I don’t.

The class was divided into three groups- the “Getting Fit” group, the “Fit” group, and the “Super Fit” group. I’d already lifted heavy that day, so I wanted to work out with the fit group- but I got dragged into the Super Fit category (Pretty sure everyone basically did the same workout, with modifications based on the group).

I have friends who swear by group fitness classes, and I truly believe that’s the only thing that keeps some of them motivated enough to go to the gym. Group fitness is great if you need motivation. But, if you’re highly motivated, competitive, Type A, and can fall into the comparison trap, you might want to rethink or keep yourself in check.

First, the class is called Boot Camp. Just the name of it  gives you the mentality that it should be hard work. Second, you bust your butt because no one wants to look like a dork in a class; plus you’re surrounded by mirrors, so everyone sees you, making you feel even dorkier. Pair those things with an instructor who’s constantly yelling encouragement and pushing you, and when you already push yourself harder than anyone else ever does and will, it’s a recipe for disaster.

I fell at Boot Camp. Not on the floor, but into that comparison trap. Hard.

And just like a fall, I hurt myself. My right quad and hip haven’t been the same all week, even after yoga and running. I’m taking the weekend off so I can run my 10K race next weekend and just planning to have a good time- not necessarily the time on the clock, but a good time with friends.

I’m running my own race.

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16 Responses to Trapped

  1. Kara says:

    Oh no! I hope you feel better soon. I totally understand though – I always fall into the “comparison trap” too!! I’m not a big group fitness class person. I never do the modifications even if I should…it’s bad!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I think I will be okay. It hurts a LOT less today, which means it’s probably not an injury but just needs a few days of rest to heal. It hurt like crazy Thursday night when I was leaving the field- as in, it hurt to walk up the hill from the field to the parking lot!

      Think I’ll stay away from that class, but it’s not a big loss. I do like my yoga class- it’s a totally different atmosphere, though.

  2. YIKES! I hope it isn’t anything serious or long term! You know I am completely allergic to exercise, particularly GROUP exercise so I can’t imagine enjoying the mirrors, other sweaty people at close range…the “encouraging” yells from the instructor….nope, not my style. I will stick with my quiet solitary pursuit of the dreaded exercise.

    BTW, love the plaid on the blog!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I think it’ll be fine. Gonna probably run tomorrow. It felt a lot better yesterday and hasn’t hurt this morning (granted all I’ve done so far today was go to the gas station, CVS, and get a newspaper, so it hasn’t had time to hurt anyway!).

      I love exercising, obviously, but I think I’m done with the big, loud, group classes for good… the yoga instructor whose class I go to, she’s very encouraging, but it’s a totally different feel that yelling “go lower!” or “get those knees up”… LOL

  3. Patty says:

    Aw I liked this. So inspiring 🙂

  4. runningtothefinish says:

    Ah I hope you feel better soon!! Even if it’s feeling a bit better, try to keep it easy for a few more days just to make sure it’s not playing tricks on you (as in the pain decides to disappear and then suddenly come back to bite you in the butt!)…that’s happened to me way too many times this past week 😦 also, what age group do you coach for? I think it’d be SO fun to be a running coach!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I’m definitely taking it easy on workouts this week. I have non-workout stuff to keep me busy, too :).

      I coach all ages (our club is ages 6-18), but mostly 6-12 or so. I coach for a city club, so most of the high school kids are running at their high schools right now. We do have a few high school kids though, we will have more once high school’s seasons wrap up in about a month or so.

  5. The comparison trap is all too easy to fall in to. I do most days, in one thing or another, and it does hurt. I’m glad you’re taking a little break though and planning to make the most of your 10K but not stress about it too much. I’ve been debating taking a break from my daily cardio circuits (obviously can’t take a break from walking, since it’s the only way I can get to class) because my left ankle’s been in a lot of pain lately. It’s scary considering a break, but if I want to be more active with tennis and other things this summer, I don’t want to risk an injury now.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, if you’re in a lot of pain, taking a few days off can work wonders. Case in point- I took the weekend off of working out to rest my hip, and I had a *great* run today. Legs were fresh, it was hot but I did not have to stop, I even ran about a mile longer than what I intended, just because I was so into it. Plus, if your campus is anything like mine was, just walking from my apartment to my class on the other side of campus was almost a mile, so you’ll still get exercise in.

  6. Oh nooo I am sorry this happened Amy and I am of course hoping this is nothing too serious at all! I am glad you are taking a break from running, even with the 10k coming up.. and are doing what you need to in order to get better. Just keep checking in with the pain and your body and make sure you are okay for race day. Obviously don’t want to push it
    Sending healing vibes your way!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! It did not hurt after my run today, but I am being careful. I’m good for the 10K on Saturday, not gonna push it… but, I could actually have switched on race day if I had to, so it was kinda comforting having that option. Taking Thursday and Friday off before the race… kinda makes me feel all old, like my 26-year-old bones can’t handle running multiple days back to back! LOL.

  7. Tiffany G. says:

    Sorry to hear about ur injury love. Hope u recuperate soon so you can knock em dead at the 10k 🙂
    But I can relate about the group class theory. When i took a high intensity interval training class in dillon gym, the instructor said i was more competitive when its majorily women as opposed to some men in there. LOL Maybe its the women version of testoterone (didnt know estrogen was such a go-getter lol)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I actually do feel like women are more competitive, but I think it’s because we have something to prove, even around other women. When you think about it, in pretty much every field or arena of life, historically, women have had to work harder than men to achieve the same success. So I think that’s what it comes from.

      I should be fine at the 10K. It wasn’t really an injury, but I was honestly scared it was. Good stretching and a few days off has definitely helped. Never underestimate the value of stretching or how amazing you will run after not running for a few days!

  8. Hope you caught it early enough that you feel better soon! And as you said – so important to focus on our own goals, race, effort, challenge.

  9. Pingback: {Race Recap} Run for Brighter Days 5K/10K |

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