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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rest Day Happiness

Why I am embracing my rest days this summer ---
  • Sleeping in past 5:00AM feels luxurious and indulgent.  My kids are early risers - almost always starting their day around 6:00AM.  Before I made early morning running a regular part of my routine, I would be grumpy every day because they wouldn't let me "sleep in" and were always waking me up before I was ready.  Now that my body is used to rising before 5:00, sleeping until 6:00 feels like a TREAT!  And I love the way they wake me up, they climb in bed next to me with their warm little bodies and curl right up to say hello - I cherish it.  I feel so well rested getting that extra hour of sleep and starting my day with early morning hugs and kisses from my little ones makes me so happy.  I know before long they will be teenagers and I will have to drag them out of bed - so for now I will savor the quiet early mornings we have together.
  • In order to keep myself from feeling antsy for some "me time" halfway through my rest day, I plan a fun outing or activity for us in the morning - something we don't do every day.  Today we went to an awesome concert (Robbie Schaefer!  If you haven't heard his music before, you should check it out because he is really fantastic) at an outdoor theater that I love so much (Wolf Trap's Theater in the Woods).  The stage is nestled in the woods and is just a truly magical place - I went there as a child and have some wonderful memories.  I packed us a picnic lunch and after the concert we stayed and enjoyed lunch together and played in the grass.  We were ALL blissfully wiped out by the time we got home and were ready for some down time.  Now baby Gus is napping and the big kids are watching a movie and we can all have some down time before we having swimming this afternoon and evening!
front and center waiting for the show to start!
me and my sweet monkeys making a memory
with the awesomely talented and truly inspiring Robbie Schaefer!
  • I know without question that rest days are just as important to the success of my training as my hardest workouts are.  This is the time when my muscles have a chance to rebuild and recover and get stronger!  If I do not honor the purpose of my rest days, then my muscles will not be able to make the adaptations necessary for me to improve.  And I won't be as strong or fresh for the next big workout.  Tomorrow I am planning on a marathon goal pace run and on Saturday I have a 16 miler.  Taking today OFF - not only from running but from any type of structured exercise program - will give me the energy and motivation I need to make those important runs COUNT.  When I start to get antsy or impatient for a good sweat on my rest day, I always try to remember this.  Resting RIGHT matters.  Embrace the day just as you would any key workout!  Soak up the things you love about taking the day off - sleep in, cuddle more, play more with your kids!  I will appreciate it all so much more if I do that.
Today has really been such a great day so far.  Not only have I been having tons of fun with my little people, but this morning the amazing ladies at Run Like a Mother featured me on their web site!  To say that I am a fan of the RLAM community is a massive understatement.  To say that I am EXCITED to be this week's "Follow this Mother" hardly does justice to how grateful I feel about it!  You can read the article by clicking here.


So, how are you making your rest days COUNT?  Do you plan something extra fun or special for your day off?

3 comments:

Fridays are my rest day and we usually have a play group in the morning with friends, so it works out well. Your kids have the best smiles. And I can really see your face in them! Glad you had such a fun day together.

I've been following you on twitter and am *finally* checking out your blog. As a mom to almost 3 I love it! I'm worried about fitting it all in with 3 when it's already hard with 2. Glad to see it CAN be done :)

Good on you for appreciating your rest days. Most underestimated and underappreciated part of training by most runners. I think as moms those rest days are extra great because we appreciate the extra time we have to not only spend with the little ones, but not have to rush around so much for a change. Hope you have a great weekend of running! GL on that MP run!!!

Laura - thank you so much! I hope you had a great rest day and play group yesterday :) Always makes it so much better when fun activities are planned for everyone!

Salty - I'm so happy to hear from you! And congratulations on your pregnancy :) You are going to enjoy baby #3 SO much! It is just an incredible and fun time sharing the joy of growing your family with everyone! And don't worry - your running can and will continue to improve after baby arrives. I understand the worry - I have been there! - but believe me it can be done!
I totally agree with you about valuing rest days more as things get so crazy and busy managing our family and finding balance.

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