Yesterday I took a day off. A rest day. A recovery day. Call it what you like – I just didn’t run.
I know I needed it, after over a month of daily running and the 10k a day in May challenge my body was in need of a chance to recover. Rest days are important
However, I was consciously aware of an undeniable desire to get out and run. Maybe it was just the habit I’d formed or the weather being so nice. Either way, it actually took will power to no go run.
The telltale signs of a rest day struggler were everpresent. Especially when we took a short drive to take a shaded walk in the afternoon. Seeing a runner floating across the tarmac under the scorching sun was almost too much to bear as we passed her.
This morning my alarm was set for 5am to get a run in before taking Helen to work. I woke with the alarm but groaned internally at my own choice to set it that early in the first place. Reluctantly I extracted myself from a bed that had never felt warmer nor cosier.
Why, after a day off where all I wanted to do was run, did I feel like this when I was doing it to run?
Three-and-a-half miles later and was happy I set that alarm and pleased I’ve been for a run. But it wasn’t all enjoyable.
The first mile felt like a huge struggle to get going. Like a dragonfly, it was as if I needed the warmth of the sun to help me warm up my wings and get the engine going. But, the sun was still low and the air had a chill to it. My knees we openly questioning my life choices – clearly, they’d enjoyed their day off a little too much.
My mind too was not on my side, a persistent fight between the sides of “keep going” and “go home”.
Team keep going scored a victory and I eventually got into a rhythm. By the time I was half-way around my mentally prepared route I was actually contemplating extending the run. But, time was not on my side and I needed to get home.
After a cold-hot-cold shower and a breakfast of blueberry and cinnamon French toast, I was able to reflect on the start of a new month of running.
So yes, I’m pleased to have put some miles into the June bank and got going on this new month. I’m a bit of a rudderless ship without a challenge or goal to focus on so I need to think of some micro-goals to keep me motivated.
Rest days are necessary, but they come with a health warning!
If the contents of this post seem familiar then that’s because this is almost the same as I wrote on my Instagram post earlier. In fact, I copied that text and used it as the bones of this article. Just in case you were wondering.