It’s no wonder people quit working out or are easily discouraged from sicking with a fitness routine! My regular routine was interrupted last Thursday but not because I had excuses not to, but because I raced and rested and it threw my strength training back a few days. Thursday I did my Tabata workout, Friday I ran, Saturday I had a full rest day to try and have a great race, Sunday I raced, Monday I had another (uuggghhh) full rest day and yesterday I ran. Seven full days without lifting a weight of any kind. The why is totally reasonable and understandable but the consequences of that were clear to me as I was drippier than usual and the fireplace was not on. All the exercises seemed harder and they were the same that I have been doing since November. Who knew that just a few days would be steps backward but why wouldn’t they be? Having this experience this morning helps me understand why those who are less dedicated start and then quit. Now in all fairness, some quit because well they don’t understand that it’s actually work to workout, some whine about it then quit because they aren’t willing to put the effort in and others just don’t start because they want to whine about what they don’t have without putting any effort in We’ll exclude those people for the sake of this blog. The few that aren’t prepared to make fitness a part of their lives who are not fully educated to good days, hard days, bad days, off days etc, are the people I feel like I better understand today. If I were anyone else I too could complain about it being harder today and use it as an excuse to not do it any longer and just focus on running and biking. That would only hurt me and weaken me which is what I don’t want but totally get this morning. This feeling of a set back of sorts is my gentle reminder that what I built up can go away really quickly. It’s what motivates me to keep going. I am bound and determined that I won’t be all gross when I’m 80. I may not be slender and beautiful like some others but I am healthy and strong and honestly on the inside I feel like a super strong Rhonda Rousy build so who cares that I have a chunky ass, thick legs and short bodice. It’s how you feel that matters and putting in the effort to be the best you that you can be. So today just reminded me that I should keep going. a 40 minute workout was all I could get in but that’s better than not having one. Every day do something for yourself whether it’s walking, swimming, riding a bike, running, strength training, taking an aerobic class or whatever you dig. Move, eat well, rest and laugh a lot! Life is short so do things that allow you to live it as long as you can!
Today I got up and could barely keep my eyes open. It had rained and I used the possible puddles as an excuse to not run today. I zombied my way through making breakfast and showering and getting to work. I feel like I was in slow motion all day. If there were a fire drill I would probably have been the last one out the door. All day I thought about running and I seriously struggled with having thrown in the towel so easily just because I was what I called exhausted. I played devil’s advocate with myself like I would have with anyone I was encouraging. I reassured myself that rest days are good and necessary for healthy improvement. I know this and I believed it but I just couldn’t put it to rest. I kept thinking about working at my son’s school tonight on play props and how that would keep me from doing something stupid.
Still wasn’t buying it…still felt like I could do something, anything other than resting. It does not feel like my rest day. Tomorrow might but today just didn’t feel that way so I went with my gut. I got home and decided not to go to the school. As I sat outside watching my husband mulch the leaves I just felt like it was a wonderful evening to get a few miles in. When he left I didn’t sit on the couch, I didn’t go to bed, I didn’t eat dinner.
I changed my clothes and slipped on my running shoes and headed out before I could change my mind. I figured it would either go my way OR really poorly and tomorrow I will be paying for it. Good thing it paid off in my favor. Good thing I don’t take excuses and a really good thing that I know when to push myself beyond my mental comfort zone. Running has taught me what my limits are. Running has given me the strength to push my limits and to understand when it is ok and not ok to do so. I love running for so many
reasons. It makes me proud of myself and confident that I can do things I never thought I could. It has saved me and shaped me and has seen me through some pretty shitty times. Running is the greatest teacher, cheapest therapist and most devoted support system. I am so happy to have run that first mile back on 6/27/2011 and that I have not looked back.
I like it when I decide on a rest day and when I get up and look outside to see that it’s raining. The reason I like this is that immediately in my mind the “I’m not running” which causes me sadness and a struggle to abide by the rest days becomes “I can’t run” and I no longer feel guilty. Everyone likes a good excuse every once in a while but the only time I do is when it comes to justifying my off days. If I turned off days into weight days like I really should I wouldn’t worry about it but my lazy self just can’t seem to get motivated to get there again. It wasn’t long ago when I was an exercising freak. Working out twice a day, running, swimming, weight training, running, Zumba, spinning like a maniac. I couldn’t get enough. Now I have a gym membership that’s collecting dust which I need to start using again since winter is coming and I will need an outlet should the weather be unfriendly for running. I’ll get there with a little focus but till then I like it when I can go from I’m not to I can’t when it comes to rest days!
So, I’m not a fan of rest days. They just seem, well lazy to be quite frank. One reason I like finally adding cross training into my workout routine is that it allows me to rest in the running department while still working out and working other areas that are in desperate need of attention. It seems less like I’m having a rest day. Today is day 4 without a run. Not really ok in my over achievement world but in reality my legs probably are ok with it. Honestly i don’t overwork them because I run 4-5 days which isn’t crazy i don’t think. The running group I belong to but don’t attend is crazier in miles and since they are running some miles in 2 degrees they are crazy overall. Probably one of the reasons I have drifted from my new and barely utilized group. They are definitely above my abilities and intentions. I would not run in this cold crazy weather. I guess I don’t care that much. Sad but true and irrelevant. So this last week was a success in learning how to be ok with total rest days and to consider them part of the routine. It’s all good!
Day 4 no running. Some days I move my running schedule around to accommodate things. My training schedule is T,W,Th and Sun runs. Sunday being my long run. This week I had to move Thursday because my son had his last driving class… yes another licensed driver on the road.
Not a big deal, I put it in my head that I would just run on Friday instead since Saturday is supposed to be a cross train day which I just haven’t been able to do well. Story for another day. So we skipped Thursday. Now if you remember, on Wednesday of last week I went rain running. I loved it and wrote about how much I do love to rain run,
bragged how awesome it is….. I’m now paying for my rain run. I don’t get sick often. I believe I’m paying for rain running even though half my family is sick with something similar. I’m now paying for it this weekend. Back to the story. So Friday rolls around and I have a little cough but generally feel ok. I brought my gear with me to work so I could either go to the gym to pound out 3 miles on the DM or change and hit the road as soon as I got home. By noon my eyes hurt, my cough was getting worse,
I’m never sick. In fact I have been one of a couple of recipients of the perfect attendance award at work for the last couple of years. Like I said, I”m never sick. I knew when my eyes began to hurt it was time to go home and home I went. blew off my run for my bed and there I stayed until today. 44 hours of bed. I’m sick of bed. I tried to get out of bed and did some cleaning and now I’m back IN bed feeling tired and a bit wiped out. Today is my long run day. I’m scheduled for 6..however when I put the training plan together for my half in May I built in a swing week just in case something like this happened. Brilliant! Anyway, as much as I’d like to get out there and do my run because I’m not good when I go several days without running, I know I can’t. First I won’t be able to breathe..breathing is good and right now a deep breath at resting mode makes me cough up a lung. Second, I will most likely have a setback and perhaps end up right back here in bed. Finally rest is good even on the well days. So I’ll stay here in bed again today with my achy eyes and sore throat and coughy self and suck it up like a big girl and rest because rest is good and well, I have a date with the road in two days that I’m not missing so today we rest.