Body, I’m Listening

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You hear a lot about “listening to your body.”  When it says, “Stop, I feel injured,” you’re suppose to stop.  When it says, “Wait, I’m full,” you’re suppose to put down the fork.  But it can be confusing when you’re body says, “Hold on, I’m too tired.”


Because… well, long bike rides and long runs make me TIRED… period.  I’m exhausted after 4 hours of cycling; I sleep 10 hours a night during the peak of training.  But, I don’t just mean crazy 60-mile rides or double-digit runs.  I mean whatever is long for YOUR body.  Maybe that’s a 5K or a killer Zumba class.  Workouts are sometimes just hard. 


And when exercise is physically exhausting, sometimes it’s difficult tell when you’re just feeling the distance or if you’re too tired to continue.


Tonight, I planned to run 3.0 miles and then go to a power yoga class.  I don’t really know what I was thinking because I rode for 60 miles yesterday, but I drove to the yoga studio, parked my car, and set out on my run.  The 3.0 miles felt torturous, and I kept having to stop to walk.  I finished in 32:30. 


I convinced myself I was OK for the yoga class, and I actually changed, set out my mat, and waited in the studio.  But right before the teacher began to talk, I stood up, rolled up my mat, and bounced.  My body was saying, “No, no, no, no.” I left.  It felt great.  🙂


Body, I’m listening!


I ran errands instead:


Chicken scratch:  Buy new vacuum, eye drops, dog food, and new dog beds.  🙂


Pre-workout snacks included grapes:


English muffin and PB with honey:


Post-run Hammer Gel (when I thought I was still going to stay through class):


And dinner was simple and lovely.


I have been craving sunny-side up eggs for WEEKS.  Maybe I need the protein?  Or maybe it just tastes a-maz-ing? I love dippy eggs.


Plus a tomato and peas:


How do you balance feelings of “I’m tired” or “I’m bored” with “I need a break”?  How do you listen to your body?



  • Daniel May 11, 2010, 8:10 pm

    I’m trying to learn how to do that on my own right now, it’s actually very hard for me to differentiate. I find that I continue my routine workouts regardless of how I feel and it’s mostly fear of losing my endurance that I’ve built up – even if it isn’t much – that keeps me from doing things other than running for 30 minutes, etc.

  • Ashley May 11, 2010, 8:12 pm

    The “I’m Bored” comes when I’m at the gym. That’s when I take my workout outside! Only when the weather allows of course… Sadly Illinois doesn’t allow that often.

    Dippy eggs are the best. I can’t help but grin every time I see you write that!

  • Mary May 11, 2010, 8:17 pm

    I sometimes have a really hard time listening to my body. especially during peak training season. Sometimes I just have to tell myself, it’s okay… you dont HAVE to do this 2 mile run even though you did 22 yesterday.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 11, 2010, 8:18 pm

    Good for you for listening to your body! It’s SO hard sometimes to determine when it’s just tired and when you’ve done TOO much. And we all know that pushing your body beyond it’s limits is just ASKING for an injury… no thank you.
    I have gotten better about listening to my body and what it needs. And I find that when I do, I never regret it.

  • Trish May 11, 2010, 8:21 pm

    I thought for sure you’d take today off. You did so much yesterday.

    Good for you for walking out on yoga. Rest is more important. You to need to let your body recover.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit May 11, 2010, 8:27 pm

    Great job, Caitlin 🙂 It feels so good when you listen to your body and give it the rest it needs! I sometimes manage to do that, other times not. Most often my body needs more sleep!

  • Kelly May 11, 2010, 8:27 pm

    I also find this REALLY difficult- just knowing when I need to push myself to accomplish something and when I need to say, this is way too much. I think I tend to stay on the side of caution, which I guess is good- though I still have been injured so maybe not always!

  • Cristal May 11, 2010, 8:32 pm

    I think it’s so hard to admit that our bodies need a break. I think that there is the misconception that taking a break for a day or even a week is showing weakness. At least this is what I used to struggle with and sometimes still do in my mind. It has been easier lately to take a break if I need one. When I was training for my first 10K, I was running farther and more than I ever had. When the race was over I continued to work out everyday, but I could really feel my body resisting. I decided that I would take 1 week off. This scared my because I was afraid I would lose that motivation. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that 1 week was just what I needed. By the time the week ended, I had a huge surge of motivation and was ready to get started exercising again. I guess my point is, your body is amazing and if you listen carefully it will tell you exactly what it wants to do!

  • Janelle May 11, 2010, 8:32 pm

    Good for you! I struggle with this – with a newborn around I’m ALWAYS tired, and I know exercise will re-energize me, but is it more important than a nap? I never know the right answer, so I try to alternate and do what seems reasonable. I’m impressed you managed to go for a run after yesterday’s epic bike ride – your legs must be in KILLER shape!

  • Jenna (Hello, I Love You) May 11, 2010, 8:33 pm

    This has been tough for me because I feel like I am extra tired lately! I just try to take a new class or just go for a walk outside to get myself moving. However, if I am really not feeling it, I just skip it and do something else I enjoy because I don’t want to end up resenting working out.

  • Alyssa May 11, 2010, 8:35 pm

    It is SO HARD – mostly because I always guilt myself for wanting to skip a workout or lowering the “intensity” because I feel tired. My perfectionism tells me “Being tired isn’t an excuse because you’re always tired, so you can’t use it as an excuse because then you would never workout.” So I guess I don’t have an answer because I always struggle with it :S

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is May 11, 2010, 8:37 pm

    I find if I am REALLY exhausted, I can feel it in my mood and actions, and I know I need a break.

  • Wendy May 11, 2010, 8:38 pm

    I ran a half this weekend…one month after a disastrous half that resulted in me passing out at the finish line and 10 days after coming down with a nasty case of bronchitis. I was proud of myself for listening to my body and running a slower pace than usual and not pushing my body to go faster, even though at times my mind & heart wanted to. I finished the race feeling pretty good (all things considered), really enjoyed myself, and am not the least bit sore three days later. However, I can tell I’m not fully recovered from being sick (or from the race), so I’m refraining from vigorous exercise, and getting lots of extra rest. I’ve even been taking afternoon naps, which is highly unusual for me.

    Good for you for listening to your body and knowing when to say enough is enough. Sometimes I think those of us who train for endurance races get so caught up in what the training schedule says that we ignore what our bodies are screaming at us!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 11, 2010, 8:39 pm

    I love how you are so good about listening to your body and being flexible with your workout plans! I am pretty good about listening to my body, especially lately, but I think sometimes I do need to fight against myself because I’d probably take a lot more rest days if I always listened to my body. Maybe its more my head though. 🙂

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) May 11, 2010, 8:41 pm

    I give myself one day off a week, but sometimes life gets in the way and I’m too exhausted to do anything. Sometimes I force myself but, I’m okay with packing it in if I just can’t follow through with the workout. It’s rare that it happens. I’m sure I’ll hit that point when I start marathon training though!

  • Evan Thomas May 11, 2010, 8:43 pm

    I feel like I’m awful at listening to m body. Especially at the end of half marathon training, I got really bad about overthinking when to rest and when to train. That’s partly why I’m enjoing having nothing to train for; I feel like I can 100% do what I want.

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary May 11, 2010, 8:45 pm

    I usually plan to take one day totally off… but sometimes, I’m not feeling it and I’m ok with taking an extra day *or two* off when I need it.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels May 11, 2010, 8:48 pm

    It’s hard to listen to your body, especially when it comes to sleep. Sometimes if I sleep in I beat myself up because I “wasted the day”. I should definitely stop being regretful about sleeping in and start realizing what it is that’s making me so tired.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow May 11, 2010, 8:51 pm

    Listening to our bodies is such an art, isn’t it…I have never been a good listener until recently. 🙂

    It’s taken a lot of practice, a lot of leaving yoga class before it starts, stopping in the middle of a bite and beyond. Listening takes so much practice, effort and a willingness to do what is not planned!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 11, 2010, 8:52 pm

    looooooove dippy eggs! i basically have them every other day for breakfast! nothing beats real, fresh eggs 😉

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite May 11, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Listening to my body is an ever learning experience! It take time and effort! That’s why its so hard!

  • Mary May 11, 2010, 8:57 pm

    I loved this post…I spent months thinking I was just lazy, forcing my body through workouts, and feeling over-all lousy. When I finally decided to listen to my body, I went to the doctor and discovered I had severe anemia! Totally cured with iron supplements, and now I feel amazing. I only wish I had listened to my body instead of beating myself up so I could have those months back!

  • Vaala May 11, 2010, 8:58 pm

    It’s hard to know what exactly your body is trying to tell you sometimes. At the moment my coach has me doing endless speed and hill work which has left me so drained. On Monday I set out for my interval training and realised on the second loop (although I had a suspicion on the 1st loop) that I wasn’t going to make the 3rd loop. So glad I listened and realised it wasn’t just ’cause the intervals are hard but because I really had nothing left and was in need of a rest.

  • Sarah for Real May 11, 2010, 8:59 pm

    When I get tired during long duration activity (like skiing), I’ll usually try taking a break and having some food or fluids. I know if I am truly tired because my form gets really sloppy.

    I am often tired when I get up early to go jogging, but I figure my body should be able to handle 30 minutes and it’s probably just lack of sleep. I’m “trusting the plan” like you said Caitlin!

  • ashleigh May 11, 2010, 9:01 pm

    Good for you for not pushing it! I give myself breaks when I’m sore and exhausted. I don’t want exercise to become something I dread so I always try to listen to my body.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) May 11, 2010, 9:02 pm

    Such an important message! Too many people try to “work through” pain but pain is really your body cautioning you to slow down.

  • Amanda May 11, 2010, 9:07 pm

    I love to exercise, so feelings like that usually mean that I really need a break. I’ve driven to the gym before, parked my car, and then turned it back on and driven home! Sometimes you’ve just gotta listen 🙂

  • Claire May 11, 2010, 9:14 pm

    I try everyday to listen to my body after not doing so for years. It is a toughy but yoga has helped me feel in tune with it much more, and helps my running as well. Sounds like you made the right choice tonight.

  • Krystina May 11, 2010, 9:20 pm

    When I feel bored or tired, I usually give myself 5 more minutes. If my body still feels tired, I stop. Usually just when I want to give up, I get a burst of energy and make it through.

  • Tara May 11, 2010, 9:28 pm

    First time commenter – love the blog! I so relate to this issue. The other day I got up early as usual, had a cup of coffee in preparation for a six mile run, and promptly fell back asleep on the couch, waking up just in time to get in gear and get to work. Sometimes we just need to listen to the voice inside.

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:42 am

      thank you for commenting 😉

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle May 11, 2010, 9:48 pm

    I just enjoyed my first workout free weekend in months! I felt a wee bit guilty, but I SO needed it! I feel great now.

  • Bethany (@ NotUnlessI'mBeingChased) May 11, 2010, 9:50 pm

    I had one of these moments this morning — I got up for my run and after two minutes, I went right back to bed. I just knew it wouldn’t be a good run if I was so tired. It started to pour rain minutes after my head hit the pillow.
    I took this as a sign from the universe I made the right choice. 🙂

  • Megan@maintainingthathealthybalance May 11, 2010, 10:00 pm

    I have been a daily blog reader for the last 2+years and you have all inspired me to start my own. My Story of weight loss is a little different then most. I would love for you so stop by and check it out. Keep up the great work!

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:43 am

      welcome to blog land!

  • Jenna May 11, 2010, 10:09 pm

    Really wanna try sunny Side eggs to see if I will like them!

  • kwithme May 11, 2010, 10:11 pm

    I listened to my body this weekend. It said it was tired, too. I added about 5 extra miles of walking over the week and when Saturday hit, I decided 2 solid days of rest were in order instead of just one. It paid off, my run on Monday was my best pace yet and longest distance (~2 miles).

  • Sarah May 11, 2010, 10:16 pm

    I think listening to your body in exercise is similar to listening to your body in what you’re hungry for. You’re right, though. It is so hard to figure out when your body is telling you NO and when you need to push yourself. Only instinct can decipher the two.

  • Camille May 11, 2010, 10:22 pm

    If i’m bored with my workout I look for a new workout!
    If i’m tired I take a nice break 🙂

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople May 11, 2010, 10:26 pm

    I don’t push my body when I am tired, but I do feel guilty about not doing what I had planned. I definitely need to work on that!

  • Sarah @ cocoanutshakes May 11, 2010, 10:26 pm

    The best is when my body is telling me to workout and I listen. That’s the only one I can ever really figure out because when my body is telling me to stop I convince myself that I’m just being lazy. So confusing!!

  • Sara B May 11, 2010, 10:34 pm

    Hey Caitlin! I really enjoyed running 3 miles with you. I’m glad you listened to your body and left yoga.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 11, 2010, 10:37 pm

    I did this last week. I had intended on going to the gym but I went to bed early instead. And I slept in. But I felt so much better the next day. It’s much better than what I normally do.

  • Heather ( May 11, 2010, 10:38 pm

    its so hard for me to tell the difference between I’m tired and I’m lazy! Usually I make myself get out and run and if after a couple miles I dont feel better/glad I came then I go home. I have had several 2 mile runs, and several I thought would be 2 that turned into more!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 11, 2010, 10:39 pm

    I definitely feel it when my body says it’s too tired. It will just poop out on me and my legs will refuse to move. I get really annoyed, but I guess it knows whats best for me.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 11, 2010, 10:49 pm

    Way to slow down sister! You’re crazy! You need rest.

    I only know when my body is saying rest rather than ‘I’m bored’ when I look at what I’ve done..

  • Andrea May 11, 2010, 11:01 pm

    I had the same idea as you did about a run and then yoga class a couple weeks ago. I felt pretty tired after my run but decided to do the hot yoga class anyways. I didn’t do very well because I was exhausted . I kept falling out my poses because I wasn’t completely focused and felt quite dizzy. Lesson learned for next time. 🙂

  • Katie @ Two Lives, One Lifestyle May 11, 2010, 11:03 pm

    Nice work listening to your body! When I’m not training for something, I try to tell the difference between tired and just being lazy by at least trying a workout. If I really don’t want to do it, I’m probably really tired or getting sick. With marathon training, it’s harder to stop during long runs especially since like you said, you ARE tired.

  • Rachel May 11, 2010, 11:12 pm

    You are so awesome to listen to your body like this. I suffer from the opposite, taking breaks and giving myself time off way more often than I probably need. At least I stay active, but I could probably improve quicker if I pushed myself a little harder…

  • Lisa May 11, 2010, 11:16 pm

    Good for you! You listened to your body BEFORE an injury. I tend to go-go-go until I get sick. I’m learning to listen to my body.

  • Wei-Wei May 12, 2010, 12:33 am

    I totally agree with this. Our bodies must not be ignored! I don’t listen to my body very well when it’s tired (I sleep 6 hours a night. I know that’s not good.) but I’m working on that… 😛

    Yummy preworkout snack! 😀


  • GirlonRaw May 12, 2010, 12:47 am

    Yeah we sometimes try and be superhuman when we should really tune into what our bodies are saying more right? I have found since cleaning up my diet totally, that I can hear so much more what my body wants! Nice post 🙂

  • Marina May 12, 2010, 1:23 am

    It’s really hard for me to listen what my body has to say. I don’t allow myself to be tired for workouts, which is stupid. I try to listen to my body better 🙂

  • Rachel A May 12, 2010, 1:27 am

    That is so weird…I’ve been craving sunny side up eggs for months and have eaten a lot of them. I don’t know if its the fat I need or what. Glad to know I’m not the only one with weird cravings. At least it’s better than craving twinkies!

  • Ilana May 12, 2010, 1:59 am

    Listening to your body is one of those things you just have to … train yourself to do. It’s easy to think you’re smarter than your body, but you’re not. Last week I did a really strenuous yoga class, my first yoga class ever, and then had a super-intense pilates session a few hours later. my obliques KILLED. it felt amazing in one respect, but i could barely laugh and even bending over hurt, so I decided to take a few days off and now I feel much better -and stronger! rest days are REALLY important!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs May 12, 2010, 2:36 am

    Good post! I totally struggle to listen to my body when it’s tired – I often think ‘I have a workout planned, therefore I will do the workout’ – like just yesterday, I did the most horrible 6mile run ever! Looking back, I should’ve done what you did and stopped. I’ll remember next time! Thanks 🙂

  • Hedda May 12, 2010, 3:02 am

    Great post, Caitlin! I am so glad that you try to listen to the different signals your body is giving you 🙂 That is the fundament for a healthy relationship between body and mind.

    These days I have become very much aware of what my body is telling me, and I find myself amazed over how clear the signals actually are if I am willing to listen. For over three years I was not willing to listen, I ignored my body crying out that ” I am tired. I am almost collapsing under the pressure you put on me.” A minimum of food and a way to huge amount of exercise every single day. I convinced myself that I loved running, that my body loved running. What I loved was to see the number on the scales go down, regardless of how that happened.
    The last months has been a period of learning, of taking a break and try to heal my body. To stop up and direct all my energy to listen to my body has made me able to get in touch with different signals, and slowly starting to accept them.
    My legs are tired. My bones are weak. When I eat better I notice an immediate effect, my body thanks me and allows me to feel more energetic.
    I hope that I will never pretend that I am deaf when my body tries to tell me something, but that I will respect my body and give it the love it deserve.

    (oops.. sorry for writing down your wall here 🙂 )

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) May 12, 2010, 3:46 am

    Why is it so hard to listen to your body when it’s telling you to rest?! Good for you! It feels so good taking a break when you know you need it!

  • Jennifer May 12, 2010, 3:55 am

    I’ve never heard the term “dippy eggs” before! Is it an American thing?

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:46 am

      i think its a midwestern american thing, yup!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 12, 2010, 4:00 am

    It can be really hard to find that balance, especially in training. I don´t remember the last weekday I DIDNT get up at 530 to exercise (I try to take time off on the weekends some days) but I don´t know if it´s because I ignore the “I´m tired” feeling too much or mistake being physically worn out for just being lazy. I definitely need to work on getting more in tune with my body in that way.

  • Emmanuelle May 12, 2010, 4:01 am

    I’ve learned to make the difference between “I don’t feel like it” and “I am too tired and I need some rest”, but it is hard to explain, I just feel it.
    These days I’m extra careful as I have evening classes twice a week on top of my day job, it doesn’t seem a lot but it is demanding and tiring. I work out and practice yoga as much as I can but sometimes I have to take things slower – and I come back stronger!

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 12, 2010, 4:26 am

    I love runny eggs, too! 🙂

    I try to listen to my body, but sometimes I let my mind overpower my body’s desires. 🙁 They are totally out of sync in that sense. Always room for improvement, though!


  • Julia @ May 12, 2010, 4:48 am

    I have literally just been posting about this on my blog. I was doing so much, so decided to listen to my body and delay week 3 of marathon training till next week, rather than pushing myself this week. I already got a horrid cold sore on my lip from exhaustion and trying to do it all!

    British Bride

  • Bernadette May 12, 2010, 5:07 am

    For the past week and a bit I have had a chest infection. It started last tuesday. I knew I didn’t feel right but I continued to go my daily runs until saturday. On sunday I finally listened to my body admitted there was something wrong. I was shattered. I went to the doctors and i’m now on anitbiotics. I can’t believe I kept running despite feeling that I couldn’t breathe! I just kept telling myself it was my hayfever. Silly me! I’m learning though 🙂 Hope you recover from your long ride soon!

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:46 am

      aww feel better!

  • Rachel (Suburban Yogini) May 12, 2010, 5:12 am

    The “I’m Tired” thing is a tough one for me. With fibromyalgia comes Chronic Fatigue and yes sometimes that means you need to take it easy but sometimes it means actually that’s a symptom, not actual tiredness and relatively gentle exercise (5miles on the bike, a 2 mile power walk, some yoga) is exactly what you need.

    I’ve spent half my life working on that balance!

  • Deborah @ pamplemouss21 May 12, 2010, 6:39 am

    I’m definitely feeling this challenge right now, although I think judging by what I’m actually doing, it’s boredom and not tiredness that my body is telling me about! But I think it’s JUST as important to acknowledge those signals and give your workout the appropriate shake-up!

    I love dippy eggs – do you call them that becuase of your husband? I always call them dippy eggs, or egg and soldiers which I notice you had the other week!!

  • Lauren May 12, 2010, 7:04 am

    Good for you Caitlin. It’s so hard to listen to our bodies when our minds have such a stronger influence most days. WAy to honor your body!!

  • Luna May 12, 2010, 7:19 am

    Hello Caitlin 🙂 I was on my dailymile account today reading my friend’s last entries and seeing this made me smile:
    baci dall’italia 🙂

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) May 12, 2010, 7:22 am

    It is REALLY hard for me to determine if I am just bored or really truly tired. I kind of do a mental checklist of my day, the day before, and decide if I am REALLY tired or just tired of what I am doing. If I am really tired, then I will shorten whatever I am doing- and my body always thanks me! If not, I keep pushing on and I am always glad afterwards!!


  • Becky May 12, 2010, 7:25 am

    Inspiring! For a long time, I was all about training. I was losing weight and feared what would happen if I stopped. Everyone told me that losing weight was a struggle, so when I felt tired, I thought that was how I should feel. Now that I am maintaining weight loss and completed my first 1/2 marathon, I feel like I can hear what my body is saying loud and clear. When I skip a workout and I feel good about it, I know it was the right thing to do. I try to remember that feeling for the next time I need to make the decision to walk away from a workout. Posts like this one really help keep things in perspective…thanks!

  • Tina May 12, 2010, 7:33 am

    I know my body needs a break when the exhaustion feels more like it’s deep…in the bones almost. When I’m just tired and would most likely feel better once I start, it is more just a head tired lack of motivation feeling. I wonder if that makes any sense! LOL

    It’s taken awhile but I have gotten very good at recognizing the difference between the two. Glad you were able to recognize yours. 🙂

  • Raya @ Raya Runs May 12, 2010, 7:44 am

    It’s a learning process…but generally I just know. If every step hurts on a run, I can barely do 2 pushups, or if it hurts just to lift my leg to do a kick at martial arts, I know I probably need a rest day. I also take things into account like how much sleep I’ve gotten over the past day or two and go from there. Good for you for listening to your body!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly May 12, 2010, 8:08 am

    My running coach tells me that when you push your body past it’s healthy point that is WHEN injuries happen. You never want to throw away a season of hard work for one workout.

  • Marla May 12, 2010, 8:18 am

    Silly question,but how does one know when sunnyside eggs up are cooked enough?I am always afraid of underccoking egg,yet like it runny?
    thanks 🙂

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:48 am

      I’m nervous about undercooking as well… I usually let them cook for 5 min on medium heat, and if the top white egg is still runny, it hasnt been long enough.

  • Helen May 12, 2010, 8:33 am

    I’m learning how to do this at the moment. I need to listen more to when my body says I’m tired and take a few days off exercise without feeling guilty. I hope you are feeling back to your best soon.
    PS. Your dinner looks amazing, so fresh and vibrant.

  • Joanne May 12, 2010, 8:33 am

    You are SO lucky to be able to sleep 10 hours. I only wish. My internal clock says 6 to 7 hours max. The dog usually insists I only sleep 6 :).

    When I feel tired or kind of burnt out, and I have it in my head that I still want to push on with the scheduled exercises/workout, I make a start. If the rhythm doesn’t kick in after 10 to 20 minutes, I head for home.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) May 12, 2010, 8:42 am

    First the intro to this post:) Very well-written. K that was a bit random, heh. Great point, too. Sounds like if you would have done the yoga, it would have done more damage than good to your body.
    Secondly…omg I would LOVE to be able to sleep ten hours. But for now I’m working 6 in the morning until 7 at night straight. I long for the day when I can sleep eight hours!
    I had eggs this morning for breakfast! Looks good 🙂

  • Maggie May 12, 2010, 8:45 am

    Oh, boy. You couldn’t have made this post at a more perfect time. Somehow on Monday I strained my neck and it’s been bugging me ever since. It’s been hard to say, “Just take a break, Maggie, or you’ll make it worse.” Reading your post just encouraged me to keep listening to my body, and not that annoying voice that keeps whispering “You have to have an intense, sweaty workout every single day.” THANK YOU!

  • Tammy May 12, 2010, 8:59 am

    It is SO hard to eat intuitively…to actually py attention to hunger cues…I have developed bad habits over a long period of time…either emotionally eating or putting myself on some schedule and eating every “so many hours”..even if I’m not that hungry. I used to have a big problem with blood sugar drops, so I guess I was afraid if I went to long without eating, I’d get into trouble, since it seemed to happen quickly. Ever since my most recent injuries, I am getting better about listening to my body as far as exercise goes. I just have to tell myself that it will be better for me to rest in the long run, than to squeeze “one more class” in and hurt myself!

  • Liz May 12, 2010, 9:06 am

    I just posted last night how I had to stop my swim early because I’m feeling sick. It’s so hard to pay attention to your body, especially since so many of us out there have the superwoman complex, which you have talked about before. This post of yours is a great example of keeping your life and body balanced!

  • Meg May 12, 2010, 9:07 am

    I love that you call them dippy eggs! I do too 🙂 You must have spent some time in Pittsburgh (I grew up there and now live in Charlotte, NC)!

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:48 am

      yup, i went to PITT for college!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 12, 2010, 9:09 am

    last friday i was supposed to do a killer, “tabata” workout and i was so tired-more so emotionally from a long week at work-i think that can be as draining as physical fatigue-that i said no way for the workout. i ended up doing it yesterday and felt great!

  • Kimberly Lee May 12, 2010, 9:37 am

    In the past, I have confused “I’m tired” with “I just want a break”. These days if I think I may be too tired for a workout I give it 10 minutes — even the tired feeling goes away then I continue working out, if it doesn’t I stop.

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries May 12, 2010, 9:41 am

    Oh gosh…this is so tough. I am coming off of a week of vacation because I needed a mental break from all things work. But, I didn’t take it off from exercise. In a way, I wish I had taken both. I would have still MOVED by simply having fun, but I wish I hadn’t forced myself to lace up my sneakers, which I did every day. I’m so terrible at resting. It makes me feel “lazy”.

  • Sarah May 12, 2010, 9:42 am

    I’m glad you didn’t stay for class. Sometimes the best decision is to just say no to more exercise. Thanks for pointing this out:).

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat May 12, 2010, 9:46 am

    Man, I know how hard that is sometimes! I haven’t exercised in three days because my body was just achy and begging me to rest. So I did 🙂 I’m so glad too because today I’m feeling so much better and ready to break a sweat!

  • Nicole, RD May 12, 2010, 9:47 am

    Good for you in listening to your body! I play the 10 minute game. If after 10 minutes I still want to stop, I do. Most of the time it’s just the struggle to DO IT, but once I start I’m fine. Other times, I truly need the break.

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope May 12, 2010, 10:14 am

    Caitlin, have you finished reading, “Eating animals”? I finished it last night. Definitely some parts that depressed the hell out of me, but glad i read it.

    • caitlin May 12, 2010, 10:49 am

      nope, im only halfway through! i stopped for a like a week.

  • Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers May 12, 2010, 10:42 am

    Oh I learned a great lesson in listening to your body yesterday. I was exhausted and busy – a bad combo for me. Ended up eating my way, very unhappily, through the day and never felt sastisfied. I was tired and trying to fix it with food – which was like trying to put a bandaid on a broken leg. All I needed was some rest. Live and learn!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) May 12, 2010, 10:45 am

    i would definitely say when you just feel TIRED like you need a nap or something is when you should take a break. at least that’s how i can gauge when i need to just rest!

  • Kristen May 12, 2010, 10:58 am

    Perfect timing for this post. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I am often bummed when I am too tired to complete a planned workout. I am training right now for my first 5k after 25 years of hating to run. Part of this training is learning to tell when I am just being lazy and when I actually just need to slow down. Also suffering from Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia I’ve had to accept that sometimes my body just can’t handle some of things I intend to do on any given day. Thanks!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 12, 2010, 11:49 am

    I think it has been hard for me in the past to sometimes know the difference between “I don’t feel like it” and “My body needs a break”. To balance that, I have learned to always try and pick work-outs I really enjoy. Then, the only reason I do want to take a day off is because my body genuinely needs it.

  • AngelaOSG May 12, 2010, 11:55 am

    haha I love that you ‘bounced’ yoga class. 🙂 You must have looked like a rebel! That is something I would do.

  • Susan @ Journey for Health May 12, 2010, 12:58 pm

    For me, I know that what others might consider a “light” workout or not even a workout at all (like the boyfriend, who considers the walks we do ‘strolls’ when they are killer for me – I’m ok w/it, though). So, when I’m sore, but not tired, I do an easier day for me. But if I’m so tired that I can’t think or just feel like doing *anything* more than that workout, I take the day off.

    I have to also try to not feel guilty! I know I need the time, and recovery/rest is part of being healthy, but when I go and try on clothes that are two sizes larger than I wore a couple years ago, I feel guilty….

    In the long run, I’ve just gotta do what’s right for me. This week I’ve gained a little bit (1/4 lbs – not awful, but not great). I know it is because this past week was the LAST week of school for me, so I didn’t work out much and certainly didn’t eat well. I have identified the problems and I’ll change them. I just need to make sure I don’t feel bad about resting when my body is asking for it.

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion May 12, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I skipped run club yesterday because I had a weird feeling in my knee and I had a long run planned for tonight. It was hard to make that decision, but my body thanked me and my knee feels fine today 🙂

  • Holly May 12, 2010, 4:39 pm

    Hi Caitlin!
    This was a great post- I often have a hard time listening to my body- I don’t take days off, which lately I have been thinking that I might need to. I really enjoy exercising, so I hate to take a day off, but I don’t want to get that ‘burnt out’ feeling.
    I think it is really important to listen to your body..and I’m still working on it 🙂 But I’m getting better @ it 🙂

  • Nicole May 12, 2010, 6:46 pm

    Caitlin I’ve been going through this for a few weeks now. I trained for four months for my 10 mile race last April, and after the race, I kept going. Since I’m running a 1/2 next month I thought I should be good to keep pushing through. My runs started getting harder and harder; I was having a hard time feeling rested; I was just unhappy. Period. I am just now getting back into the swing of things, but I haven’t ran a long run in three weeks. The very thought of running has actually made me sick. I wasn’t sure if I was just overworked or if something was seriously wrong with me but all I wanted to do was walk and strength train…so that’s all I’ve been doing for the past week (with some elliptical too) I’m hoping that by this weekend I’ll be ready to run again (I hope so since I have 7 weeks until my 1/2!)
    I almost emailed you for advice because I remember you talking about feeling stressed about running at one point. I really need to figure out how to get back into loving it…SOON!!!

    • Caitlin May 12, 2010, 6:51 pm

      you’re fine for your half… dont worry! just focus on loving running more than training, and it will come back together for you.

      • Nicole May 12, 2010, 7:02 pm

        Thanks Caitlin. You’re right. I think the problem is that I keep freaking out over mileage. Knowing that I HAVE to run…
        Thanks again 🙂

  • Susan May 13, 2010, 7:30 am

    Learning to tell the difference between being to tired to do something, and being too lazy to do something has actually been pretty hard for me. Most of the time, if I’m just lazy, I can get into my workout clothes and start to feel jazzed up anyways. If I’m sick or tired, I put on those cycling shorts and feel like I’m walking towards my grave. Even if I’m okay physically, sometimes a mental break is needed as well 🙂

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