fitness · running · training

Have you ever regretted having done a workout?

Image description: Anita and Tracy selfie, Anita on left, short dark hair, smiling, Tracy on right, short blond hair, smiling, garden in the background.
Image description: Anita and Tracy selfie, Anita on left, short dark hair, smiling, Tracy on right, short blond hair, smiling, garden in the background.

Yesterday was Monday. Usually a rest day for me. But since I was working a fairly tough gig in Toronto all weekend and my legs and feet were just so tired, I had to pass up my usual Sunday long run. Instead Anita and I made an unusual plan, and that was to run for two hours on Monday after work.

After work arrived (well, we kicked off a bit early to get the run in) and it was raining. And cold. And the wind started to pick up. These conditions could sometimes mess with me and make me start rationalizing my way to skipping the workout.

But having made a plan (one of my best winning strategies is to make a plan with someone to meet for a workout) and also wanting to catch up (Anita was out of town for awhile and we hadn’t really chatted in over a week) secured my commitment. Deciding in advance that we would run at an easy, chatty pace made the two hour commitment more approachable.

We decided on our route and off we went. Anita said at the beginning that the time would fly. And it actually did. And so did we. Both of us ran strong and felt amazing. We have been agonizing a bit over our upcoming half marathon. We’ve been training differently and have slightly different goals (Anita wants to do 10-1 intervals and I want to try running continuous but we both would like to cross the finish line at 2:25.

But today we both had an amazing run, despite the cold and the wet and the wind. In some ways, it was just perfect running weather. The rain stopped by the time we had changed into our gear, and it never resumed. The wind was cold, but not so terrible that we wished for more clothing than we’d chosen (capris and long sleeved t-shirts).

We ended up out for 2 hours and 11 minutes and we came in the last stretch at a tempo pace (the whole run was not at a tempo pace, but it feels good to lay it out at the end). We checked in with each other regularly about how we felt and we both kept remarking, almost not quite believing, just how fabulous the run felt.

The only tough part came right near the end. There is a gradual yet brutal hill out of the park heading back to Anita’s place. It looks almost like nothing. But it goes on FOREVER. Since we were already over our two hours, we agreed we would run to the end of that tough bit and then take a short walk break, then run the rest of the way home.

I’ve entitled this post “have you ever regretted having done a workout?” I like this question because my answer to it is an unequivocal, “no I have not.” And sometimes this one certainty is enough to get me doing a workout that I don’t want to do. The other morning I was messaging Cate and Christine about wanting to stay in bed. We are all quite supportive of whatever decisions each of us makes, recognizing too that rest is an essential part of a balanced workout strategy and not something we’re great at. But then when I said maybe I’ll go for a short one, Cate reminded me quite rightly that I would feel better.

Out the door I went. I was in Toronto and it’s especially refreshing to go running somewhere that’s not my usual turf. And guess what, within minutes of feeling the pavement under my feet, I did feel better. And by the time I got back to my hotel room, I felt positively amazing. I mean, the run was energizing for sure. So I felt literally better. But like I said, I never regret having completed a workout. I’m always happier for it.

Under the usual conditions (that is, assuming I don’t get injured because of the workout), there is no downside to getting that workout done. And often, it’s not just about having done it. As today’s run with Anita attests, there are those times when its awesomeness presents itself while it’s happening. The end isn’t always the best part of it!

Have you ever regretted having done a workout?

12 thoughts on “Have you ever regretted having done a workout?

  1. Yes. I’ve regretted workouts. Mostly because I was too tired, not well rested enough, needed a rest day but did it anyway. Sometimes that works out okay for me. The workout is energizing. Most drastically and rarely I’ve done workouts when tired that have led to injury. And in the middle I’ve just been tired for the rest of the day and it wasn’t a particularly high quality workout. I’m left thinking later in the day that I should have just slept. So I try to think about why I’m not wanting to go. Weather? I’ll do it anyway. Not in the mood? I’ll do it anyway. Tired? I listen to what my body is trying to tell me as sometimes I rest.

  2. Yes, that time 7-8 years ago when I got too enthusiastic about the assisted pull-up and tweaked a muscle in my back/shoulder. It’s caused me no end of trouble since.

    1. Sorry to hear of your injury. This is just the sort of example my “under the usual conditions” qualifier is meant for. It makes sense to want to rewind and have a re-do on a workout that results in injury or involves an accident etc.

      1. Right. And sometimes there is a connection between the injury and working out when you were thinking maybe you shouldn’t. Often injuries occur when we haven’t rested and recovered properly. The iron clad–I must work out because I’d planned to even though I don’t feel like it–is sometimes the thing that gets us in trouble.One of the reasons I liked tracking resting heart rate is that it’s a good measure of having recovered fully.

  3. For me, finding the balance with rest can be a challenge. Like right now, I’m in Calgary visiting family and slated to fly out this afternoon, if I’m not snowed in. I’m tired. I need a day off. I have a ton of work for tomorrow. But, I also feel like I want to sweat and get my heart moving and tomorrow is a better rest day–more time to work. Also, working out when I’m away keeps me grounded. Not sure what I’ll do–but this post inclines me in the, yes I’ll workout direction

  4. I have sometimes regretted my intensity (either too high or too low) but never the workout itself.

    My brain is very much against switching from one activity to another, so I need this reminder that it is worth the energy cost of switching into workout mode (and workout clothes).

    I also have to remind myself that it takes me a few minutes to ‘get into it’ so any initial reluctance doesn’t deter me.

    I’m glad your workout felt so good and I ADORE that photo of you two. Sheer perfection.

  5. Yes I have, when I didn’t lower the weights enough after a layoff and ended up breaking my arm …

  6. Yes I have, when I tried a ‘beginners’ 30 day yoga series. I didn’t have the core or wrist strength for a lot of the moves, which made me feel like a failure, which made me angry.
    I gave up at day 7 after shouting a string of expletives at my laptop. Not the result I want from my workouts.

  7. Oh, my, yes, I have regretted workouts. One was when I decided to do my scheduled weight training workout on a day when I was very tired and my blood sugar was too low. I had to ditch in the middle because I just couldn’t do the lifts safely. But the thing that really made me regret the workout was taking the plates off the bar the wrong way because I wasn’t thinking clearly, and sending the other end of the bar with almost 50 lbs of weights on it plummeting (in)to the floor. Yep, there’s a li’l bit of a hole there now…. (Shhhhhh. Don’t tell my husband.)

    If I had paid attention to my body, I never would have started that workout. Or I might have started it in the afternoon, after a good lunch and a better nap.

    Then there was the time that I wrecked my back so badly putting an eight into the water and then coxing it that I was in pain for three years, but that’s a story for another time.

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