SILVA: It's OK to not be good all the time

jsilva@modbee.comJune 27, 2013 

Silva Marathon

Jim Silva following completion of the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon in June 2012.

— I had to skip my column two weeks ago and I felt terribly guilty.

We were launching two websites the week that I was supposed to turn in my column and I was just too tired and spent to get to writing.

While I felt terrible when the Saturday paper came out and "Mission: Fitness" was missing — I know at least of few of you out there were looking for it — I had to get over it.

And thus, this column was born.

The main theme: It's OK.

It's OK to miss a workout if you're too tired. It's OK to enjoy a piece of cake on a friend's birthday. And it's OK to allow yourself some slips in your journey toward fitness.

There is no way to be good at it all the time. As I've written before, I suffered terribly on one of my key training runs during preparation for my second marathon. I was supposed to complete 16 miles, but had to walk the last six.

I was feeling pretty down that day and doubted whether I would be able to finish the marathon. Turns out, I just had a bad day. I bounced back and had some good training runs in the subsequent weeks, and wound up completing my marathon in under four hours.

There are many times that I plan to run a distance — say eight miles — but only run half of it because to being too tired, stressed or just not feeling well.

Again — it's OK.

Whether you are just starting on your fitness journey or are a seasoned pro, you must allow yourself to have bad days. Even the pros have them.

What you can't do is let it get you down, especially if you're just starting out. You must learn to overcome the down times and keep the perspective that fitness is a long-term goal. Here are a few tips to get you through the down times:

• Whether you are training for a marathon, a 5K, or any other fitness event, you should expect to have some bad training periods. If you're lacking energy or begin to feel sore or injured, it may mean you are over-training. It's time to back off a bit and get some rest. You'll have better days in the future if you do.

• If you're trying to eat healthy or are following some sort of diet, allow for some treats. If you are too strict about what you eat, you'll eventually wind up giving up. I allow myself some treats when I get the urge — frozen yogurt, dark chocolate bars, etc. I just try to keep the portion size to a minimum. A little treat is usually good enough to tide me over.

• Lighten up. You're not an Olympic athlete. Yes, I'd love to set a personal best at every event. I'd like to win my age group every time. But if you're like me, you simply are somebody trying to be healthy, do your best and have fun. Having the right attitude will go a long way in your fitness journey, both physically and emotionally.

So, the next time you have to skip a workout, or indulge in an extra treat, just remember it's OK.

Nobody's perfect.

Reach Jim Silva at jsilva@modbee.com. On Twitter: @mission26point2.

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