I woke up yesterday early enough to run. It was my fourth scheduled run for the week. After a tough trail run last Saturday, I had already taken my rest day for the week on Monday. See, I’m not usually nice to myself like I should be. I typically only feel comfortable with 2 rest days a week: one random weekday and one Sunday. I don’t always run everyday, but I like to do cardio 5 days a week.
But when I woke up Friday morning, I didn’t want to run. I was at the tail end of a cold I suspect I caught from my daily commute on the train. I had only been riding the train for about a month after my office moved locations, and my immune system has yet to adjust to the daily exposure to the cornucopia of new and interesting germs.
It wasn’t just a “I stayed up too late last night, I’d rather sleep” morning. It was a “I feel like death and if I run, I think it’ll make me cry” morning. I’ve also been nursing a pesky mystery ankle pain for about 3 weeks now, and in combination with my sinuses, my ankle was throbbing.
After scanning Instagram for about 10 minutes, trying to work through my pains, I said “No thanks.” I climbed back into bed, and woke up 2 hours later feeling like a new woman. It was amazing.
When you call yourself a “runner,” it makes you feel important, and it should. You are doing something a lot of people don’t want to do, and often at an hour when other normal humans are sleeping. You modify your diet. You schedule your life around your runs and your runs around your life. You feel good when you are just sore enough to know you ran hard. Yet, in all of this, it’s important for us runners to remember to listen to our bodies when they try and reason with our stubborn minds.
We are runners, but we are not invincible. 99% of us will never run professionally. We have families and lives that we need to be mindful of and present for. Running is addictive, but we have to manage our addiction so that non-runners don’t start to hate us.
Sometimes the best thing for a runner is to not run.
I ran this morning instead; because of my ankle pain, I ran 10 instead of 13.1. But I ran hard, and I felt strong. I also ran in high-humidity, clouds, and drizzle, which helped me feel more awesome.
I ran hard, I pushed my body, and as a thank-you for the rest yesterday, my body repaid me with an awesome run.
Tomorrow, I will rest; this week I will have had 3 rest days. And I don’t care. I’m still going to eat what I want and not worry. I am going to concentrate on enjoying this time in which I am not in training, and run because I love it.
Have a restful weekend! Be sure to be nice to yourself.