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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rest Day Thoughts

This morning I set no alarm, yet found myself wide awake just before 5:00 AM.  It took me a few minutes to realize that there was no need to crawl out of bed today.  No need to tiptoe across my room and sneak downstairs to make the baby his milk before heading out the door.  No clothes were laid out for my run.  No buddies were waiting to meet me at sunrise for early morning miles.  Today is my rest day.  The one and only rest day I take each week.  I don't always love the way I feel on my rest day, but in THAT moment - that moment when I realize I can stay in bed just a little bit longer - it is pure bliss.  I snuggled deeper into my covers and drifted back to sleep.

About an hour later my 5 year old son Will crept in bed next to me.  He had a new chapter book he wanted us to start together.  We cuddled up and read the first two chapters together before his sister and brother woke up.  Abby came in a little while later and remarked that she was so happy I was there.  We hugged and chatted about the day ahead of us.  I looked at the clock - 7:01 AM.  Most week day mornings this is when I am returning from my run, sweat soaked and happy and ready to get everyone going.  It seems that by the time I walk in the door the hustle and bustle is under way and I've missed the opportunity to snuggle quietly and have sweet talks with them.  By 7:00AM my big kids are demanding breakfast and craft supplies and they are arguing with one another (nothing drives me crazier than this) and talking back to me and telling me things aren't fair and losing their tempers...BEFORE I know it.

I knew by 8:00AM today that I was going to struggle a bit without my run.  I BELIEVE in the value of rest days and I am diligent about sticking to my plan of one rest day per week - at least - even if my body isn't asking for it.  But as the day goes on, it gets to me and I start to feel off balance.  I start to feel antsy for my outlet.

Rest days have so much purpose - they give my sore muscles a chance to recover from the week's hard workouts first and foremost.  And this week I have had some awesome workouts:

- Fastest 5K yet on Saturday plus warm up and cool down for a total of 5 miles.
- Super strong (and HOT) 14 miler on Sunday, average pace 8:05.  I killed it.
- Easy 7 mile recovery run on Monday, followed by 45 minutes of strength training.
- 10 mile run on Tuesday, followed by an awesome Pilates class.
- Killer track workout on Wednesday (10 x 400s - 1:35, 1:27, 1:34, 1:34, 1:35, 1:32, 1:30, 1:33, 1:32, 1:31) with a warm up and cool down on each end of course.  Followed up with 45 minutes of strength training.

Rest days also make me appreciate my running all that much more.  They make me CRAVE my run.  They make me feel hungry for it.  It's almost 3:00PM on my rest day and I will tell you this --tomorrow morning's run can't come soon enough!

How do you feel on your rest days?  Do you get antsy like me?  Or do you embrace them without any trouble?

5 comments:

I struggle with my rest days. I know deep down how important they are, and how NEEDED they are, especially now that I'm training for my first marathon. But like you, I just antsy! I want to be out running! Or just moving someway.
Rest days in the past were always a struggle for me... and I prolonged an injury because of it... but now, they are something I am slowly learning to love and embrace.
Love your thoughts and killer week last week!

I kind of love that moment in the morning when you can snuggle a little deeper under your covers and the cuddle time with the kids. I wish that I could return to being a morning person but I find it so hard to get up these days! I would also say that I'm more of the embrace my race day kind of girl. You rocked your runs this week (and congrats on the 5K!) so a rest day is definitely deserved.

I, like you, like the sleeping in but get very antsy too. i began running because i needed to, continued because I wanted to at some point i crossed the line and I train because I need to. just found your blog ... will return for sure. my journey at www.triathlonmami.com

Friday is my rest day, too! It works out well, since we have a play group in the morning and I would have less time for a run. For the most part, we stay busy and I enjoy the break. But I can get antsy, too. You had an awesome running week!

I LOVE rest days and have no problem enjoying them. Sometimes I enjoy the too much and envy people who are so motivated that they can get out every day and run.

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