Einstein Once Said…

“The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I’ve been down in Southern California for the last month training. As you may have seen in the weather, the San Diego area has received an abnormal amount of rain in the last few weeks. My timing could not have been much worse and it’s been a pretty wet and soggy January.

Along with the cool, wet weather, there has been huge changes in the pressure. Whether it was due to the ‘Pineapple Express’ ocean currents (present during an El Niño season) or the storms, it felt similar to what I experienced in the spring when my migraines set in. Lesson learned, I didn’t wait for the headache to build and I made sure I consumed the appropriate drugs to abate the headache.

The worst of it set in during a workout and it felt like I had total mind-body disconnect; my legs would just not stride the way I wanted them too. I didn’t even bother warming down, I went for a walk and just tried to find some mind-body calmness. I had planned a day off that week so the following day seemed like an ideal time to try to get things to heal.

is-my-headache-a-migraineI also didn’t rush back to training. My neurologist, Dr. David Chan, out of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto happened to publish this article right as things were getting intense with my head. His image aptly described how I was feeling.  In the spring, I had tried to return to training within about 48 hours of a migraine subsiding, but, in retrospect, during the spring I probably was not quite through the headache. This time around I waited almost 84 hours before returning to training.

Alongside the rest I also saw the support team we had on staff at the training camp. The careful blend of massage, physiotherapy, and chiropractic care definitely helped to mitigate the cycle of headaches that happen when the muscles in my neck and head tighten up.

As I learn I think I have a protocol for care for my headaches moving forward. I will not repeat the same mistakes again, because really, it would drive me insane. It’s really just one extra day of recovery; a day, 24 hours, a small snippet of time overall. Do I really think I lose any fitness or sharpness in 24 hours? No. But on the flip side when I rush back and have to renegotiate workouts, lose more days and more training, and just generally run less, I lose a lot more.

Injuries suck, they really do. No one is immune to them. We all suffer from them in different ways and at different times. We all have a choice in how we deal with our injuries. We can learn from them. Find what therapy methods, what drugs, what combination of art and science heals us. Or we can ignore everything, train through it, make things worse, and generally torture ourselves (I bet you can guess what path I’ll take!).


It’s ok to stumble to make mistakes, to not find that immediate feel-better solution. The important thing is to sit back and reflect on what makes your body, your heart, and your head healthy and smiling. Instead of repeating the springs mistakes I made, I followed my intuition so I could get outside and do a whole lot more of what I love to do, run!

(Track Photo Credit: Casey Atkin)