i never really knew how much i needed a day off from training until one was put on my schedule.
i’ve always had one easy day a week … a 3 mile run, yoga or laps. but every day has been filled with a workout – the words REST or OFF have never been part of the workout vocabulary on the schedule.
i liked it this way.
days off made me a little wiggy.
like my muscles would atrophy or something.
but i had been feeling sluggish on my runs … and i worried that i should be faster. and my two cross training bike days just felt like a total wash … i dreaded getting on the bike. i was exhausted the minute i did & just felt like i didn’t have anything to give – which frustrated me further. i was perfectly content with being slow as hell & struggling on the hills. ok – i was not at all content with struggling on the hills, but i think i’ve painted a picture of the laziness i was feeling on the bike – i didn’t even want to eat hills for breakfast. and that made me sad.
and so, in my panic of i'm-tired-on-the-bike-and-i-am-not-running-fast-enough-shouldn’t-i-be-faster-do-i-need-to-be-doing-speedwork? i sent an email to coach – asking, essentially, just that. and in a be careful what you wish for sort of way – i did indeed get speedwork added to schedule in the form of 3 x 1 mile repeats – at a target pace that had me in a panic.
i got a bike day subtracted, for which i was overjoyed, because as far as i was concerned i had lost all the mojo i had worked so hard getting for 4 months & i was pissed. saying goodbye to a bike day was easy.
and so, because of the speed workout that replaced the ride, and my thursday mornings at the races, (a.k.a. big dog run) -- i got the addition of a day off. a real, honest to goodness day where it says OFF on my schedule. and while i was excited about this i secretly worried that it would make me wiggy. i wondered what i would do if i didn’t have to get up at 4:30, and i didn’t have to spend any time after my run stretching, rolling, showering. my god – if i wasn’t pulling on running shorts & a top, what would i wear?
so last friday, my husband let me sleep in … he did the 2 hour, get three kids out the door & onto two different buses routine. i got up & put on real clothes, and i went about my day. i didn’t even think about running, or not running.
and the next day – i woke up bright & early and got on the bike for a ride with my husband – and my mojo was back. i felt great … not even the slightest bit tired. and i wanted to eat the hills for breakfast again & i was happy. i could still do it. and when tuesdays’ mile repeats came around, i blew the target paces right out of the water – the same ones i thought there was no way i’d hit. they’ve now been lowered, and while i worry (a little bit) all over again that i won’t hit them – this rest day thing is magic mojo; because when i ran with the big dogs yesterday, i not only started the run with them, but i finished the run with them. no bringing up the rear. i mean sure, my heartrate was sky high & i think i was 5% away from collapsing (post on snazzy new watch and that's how i know about that 5% thing coming soon) ... but i didn't. i think it was the day off.
so it was a good week. the week before? not so much … so whether it was the day off that made last week so good, i don’t really know … but i’m gonna go with it. i get too intense over the quality of my workouts, the speeds, etc … i think my brain thanked me for the rest & then rewarded me. i’m sure the next 57 days has a lot in store for me in terms of good workouts, bad workouts … but hopefully fridays off will serve its purpose in keeping me from getting too nutty about it all.