“Nervous about doing this on Sunday, mainly that I will be physically destroyed for Monday!” A word from RRCW Kathie Dinsmore referring to the LBI 18-mile race. Kathie is a tremendous and committed runner like many other committed soldiers of running who go into battle knowing that physical challenges will follow. From the amateur to the Olympic athlete, physical challenges are inescapable, which in a positive light is the main promoter of strength and growth. That physical wreck, which is also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) turns into a recovery period which in turn builds you stronger, which if repeated will bring the ultimate success.
Strength comes out of weakness
The winter blows in to destroy the beauty of blossoming growth of the summer in order to instill death. Out of the death results a more creative beautiful blossom of life in the spring. Our bodies work the same way, by breaking down the muscle we are infusing muscle injury or the act of tearing bodily tissue resulting in the pain or as Kathie stated “physically destroyed”. This state of being when utilizing recovery principles properly promotes the continuum of new growth and repair creating a stronger body prepared for the next challenge. Hence, we are confronted with the principle that most people don’t understand “strength comes out of weakness”. This is the secret that only true runners can understand.
The Real Power is in the failure
We tend to focus and contemplate on our successes, feelings and positions that relate to the good, but the true power is in the mistakes, failures and physical brokenness. This is the power which generates success through the process of repair and growth which builds the true foundation of good. Without the point of failure we would not grow physically or mentally, which can create a dormant life. James 1: 2 from the bible states “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” The true runner trains to the point of brokenness knowing it is in the recovery where he or she gets stronger. The brokenness is not only related to the muscle damage, but a mental capacity as well. Every failure, mistake, and brokenness is the next rung in the ladder of success. So go out and climb the ladder, make the mistakes, fail and train to brokenness. It is in that process that we find the true power source both physically and mentally.
One important element in training is the need for recovery during the hard training weeks. Sleep is a major part in the body’s ability to recover. Tissue damage is the result of training hard. Recovery and sleep help to repair the tissue damage producing a stronger body. One major fact concerning the “sleep recovery” is that the body produces human growth hormone during this time, which is responsible for tissue repair and growth. This is the legal and free way to take steroids. The important fact to remember is that sleep is responsible for the activation of the body’s natural muscle tissue repair system and a critical part of your training curriculum.
One must also resist the temptation to increase the training workload aggressively. Small increments such as the 10 percent rule can bring the workload up in healthy proportions. A good warm-up brings one into an intense training session with less damaging strain. The warm-up increases muscle warmth, lubrication, and healthy elasticity to the muscles. Last but definitely not least, good nutrition plays a key role. Meals fueled with a combo of protein and carb reduces the unnecessary muscle damage. Fueling is important during the training or race as well as prior and after.
So in conclusion, let’s check back in with Kathie and report on her statement after the LBI 18-Miler. Kathie what are your words after the completion of your race? “I am amazed, my run caused me so much pain last night even with my compression socks on and legs up so I thought today would be miserable- it was not. I have some stiffness in my quads, glutes and that nasty Achilles but pretty much no debilitating aches or pains. Three years ago I was unhealthy and now I am in a body that bounces back from whatever I am putting it through, which is a lot. It really is never too late to start toward a healthy you. Do it!!”
There you have it “folks” a true testimony! The key statement made is “I am in a body that bounces back.” Because of the challenges Kathie has put it through, the body is now prepared to bounce back (heal properly). Physical challenges activated through proper training and racing are the growth hormone to success. Stay healthy by training correctly, proper nutrition, and mental conditioning. Then bring on the destroying challenges!
Special thanks to RRCW Kathie Dinsmore for allowing the use of her incredible words of wisdom!
John K Carlson