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Arguably the most important principle of exercise is that of rest and recovery.
Arguably the hardest principle of exercise for us endorphin addicts to follow is that of rest and recovery.
I just had a great conversation on the phone with my older sister Holly. A typical one hour conversation usually covers about two hours worth of topics, as I’ve heard more than one person observe our phone and/or in person conversations and question if we ever stop to take a breath. We like to talk! As always, we were talking training and racing (I’m so blessed and lucky to share this passion with my sister. Actually, I take that back. I completely blame her for this addiction. But I’m glad to have her to blame!). And one of the topics that came up was the roller coaster of highs and lows we all experience with our training. There are the lows… days, weeks, months when it’s all you can do to get your workouts done or hit your target goals. And then there are the highs… days, weeks, and months when you feel on top of the world. Not only do you eagerly bounce out the door for a training run, but you hit your goals, surpass them, and then find yourself an hour or two later wishing it was time to workout again.
I currently find myself in the latter. I have renewed focus on my goals. I’m feeling stronger, I’m seeing results. And this new bonus of forced core/weight training with the classes I’m teaching has left me feeling very strong. I’m climbing this great big hill and everyday it seems to get better and better.
And thus, I find myself absolutely terrified that something will happen to make it come crashing down. A pulled tendon. An overuse injury. The swine flu (is that still going around?) Anything. This morning, Rich woke up with a sniffly nose and slight cough. I practically strung a necklace out of oranges instead of garlic cloves and ran from him like he was Dracula.
(And of course, I avoid dura-flame logs and other ankle biters at all costs. )
So now more than ever I am trying to focus on my rest and recovery.
While so many of you will probably understand, yet so many of you (especially my non runner friends who just check in to see what chaos I’m up to now) will probably think I’m crazy for saying this, I’ll say it anyway: resting is SO HARD! Seriously, it’s taking some serious will power lately to stick to my once a day scheduled workout and once a day class.
But since I want this high feeling to last…I must rest.
So instead of catching up on my favorite housewives (Atlanta!) or 1000th season of Road Rules/Real World something or other on late night TV…I sleep.
Instead of hopping on that treadmill, tempting me from the corner, saying “I know you already did a tempo run today, but what’s a few more miles? You know you want to!”…I rest.
I tell those kettle bells, challenging me to just a few swings, that I’ll show them who’s boss…tomorrow.
This morning instead of going to a track workout with some running friends, my 4 year old woke up at 5:30 am and refused to go back to sleep. And since mommyhood always comes first, I was forced to skip the track. To be honest…after yesterdays tempo run, I was scheduled for a 5 mile recovery run today anyway. It was as if the running gods intervened through my preschooler and said “DON’T OVER DO IT CRAZY WOMAN!!”
So, I will rest, for I would much rather a voluntary rest than a forced one. And I will count my lucky stars that the worst of my current running problems is that I just can not sit still .
Happy running my friends, don’t forget to let your body and mind recover, for it is on those rest days when we truly build our strength (so they say…)