After the Chicago Polar Dash last Saturday, I thought it would be beneficial (and perhaps a reward to myself) to take a little time off from all the physical activity this past year -- and especially these past two months -- and just relax. You know, getting more sleep (not getting up at 5-6am to run/workout), watching TV, getting up late on Saturday... doing what more 'normal' people get to do.
Well, I am on Day 5 of this 'rest week'. The first two days, Sunday and Monday, were great! The legs and feet were recovered from the race, I was just hangin' out! Watching the NFL Conference games with my wife on Sunday, and Criminal Mind reruns on Monday after work. I washed my run gear and didn't have to think about putting anything out for the Tuesday run. Good times!
Last night, I caught myself checking the morning weather for Thursday so I could pick out my gear for my run. Then I remembered! Oh yeah! I am not running this week! And then it kinda hit me.... I am not running this week! It occurred to me that the last time I went a full week without going out for a run was back in March 2011. If I look for the last time I did no physical activity at all for a full week (i.e. no gym workouts), it would be back in December 2010.
I feel so strange not actually "doing" anything this week. I think taking this time for recovery after running two Half Marathons is a good idea because it lets my legs and feet have plenty of time to get over the heavy demands placed upon them this month. But from a mental perspective, I feel like I should be doing something and by not doing it, I am missing out on something important.
I have really grown to appreciate and look forward to my runs and workouts throughout the week. Is it because of those endorphin 'highs'? Maybe. But mostly, I like carving out some time each day where I can go out, move my body, and have some "me time" to clear my head. Sometimes I get ideas and insights during a run. Other times, I just need to put the daily worries aside and enjoy a period of peace and quiet, or listen to music, or have some bonding time with my running buddy.
I will keep to my "week of Rest" decision for the remaining two days. During these next few days, I will work on my training schedule for 2012, which I think will be a bit complicated given my race schedule. And then next week, my work will begin anew. I relish getting "back in the running groove".